Easy Ways To Improve Your Conference Calls
Conference calls are notorious for clumsy moments. Maybe a few people start speaking at the same time and it leads to a weird back and forth. Or maybe a colleague forgets to hit mute and says something they didn’t want the whole group to hear. While conference calls can be awkward at times, they also offer plenty of advantages—especially when your team members work remotely.
Best-selling author and leadership expert, Kevin Eikenberry, says that while conference calls are not as popular as they once were, they still provide an inexpensive and easy way to communicate with employees and clients all over the globe.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Eikenberry’s thoughts on how to make your conference calls run better.
Be mindful about using mute. Background noise can be a huge distraction on conference calls. That’s why Eikenberry recommends everyone uses mute if there are more than 15 people or so on the call. This helps eliminate inadvertent noises that will help detract from the conversation.
Reduce multitasking. It’s often tempting to check emails or finish up a project when you are muted and unseen on a conference all. That’s why Eikenberry suggests leaders remind their teams to stay focused on the call, even though they are not on camera. As multitasking increases, meeting and communication success drops.
Remain patient to encourage participation. It often takes longer to keep the discussion going in conference calls. This is due in part to the mute button and for other social reasons. Eikenberry says it’s a good idea to give meeting participants more time to respond and perhaps direct questions to specific individuals to improve the efficiency of your conference calls.
Make sure you are using the right platform. In many cases, a conference call will suit your purposes. However, if you plan to use many visuals or if the social interaction of a video call would aid in your success, consider switching platforms. In these days of Zoom and other video conferencing tools, you have many options.
Conference calls allow you to easily connect with colleagues and clients with just a phone number and a passcode. Participants can hop on a conference call from anywhere, further increasing their effectiveness. While webcams and video meeting platforms have largely replaced the traditional conference call, there are still many reasons to choose this communication method.
Before sending out your next meeting invite, consider how you can make the conference call run more efficiently. You can start by encouraging participants to use the mute button if they’re not speaking, remind everyone to stay engaged, and give everyone ample time to join the discussion. And if conference calls just aren’t cutting it for your team, there are plenty of video conferencing tools to explore.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Kevin Eikenberry is a world-renowned leadership expert, a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach and leader. He is the founder of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company.