Meetings are increasingly being conducted over the telephone. The cost savings of such teleconference meetings is enormous, and there are actually some advantages to working via the phone, especially if the audio teleconference is conducted using the guidelines below. Here are some ideas and tips to use when you are participating in a teleconference call.
Ideas and tips for teleconference
When using a speakerphone, wait until there is a slight pause before speaking; otherwise you may cut off the last speaker before he or she is finished.
Arrange for someone else to handle your work while on the teleconference call. Interruptions disrupt the teleconference call.
Stay on the line for the whole call. If you must leave before the scheduled ending time, announce your situation at the start of the call. Accept decisions made by others in your absence.
Always state your name before commenting. Also, state the name of the person to whom you are addressing your comments. Research indicates that both practices improve audioconference productivity.
Take notes. Jotting down notes holds your attention in the absence of face-to-face contact. Take the notes according to who says what.
Keep notes about points you want to make. Don’t offer your thoughts immediately.
Wait until it’s your turn, or until you have several things to say. Use the WAIT (why am I talking) tip.
If no one is assuming the role of facilitator for the call, suggest that someone do so.
Acquire a shoulder rest for your phone if you’re not using a speakerphone.
If you do a lot of audioconferencing, invest in one of the recently improved types of speakerphones, which enhance your voice quality substantially.
Lightweight headsets are the best tool to use for audio teleconferencing. The newer models are cordless giving you more mobility during the call. This investment, once you get used to using it, will pay off in improved productivity in much of your other work also.
Hold the receiver away from your mouth. Breathing noises may cause interference on all the phone lines.
Enunciate clearly, and use concrete examples. Speak at slightly slower than normal speed. Experienced communication observers report that conference participants are heard more clearly if they slow down their delivery a bit.
Be especially conscious of your tone and vocal inflections. Research indicates that people interpret vocal cues more accurately than facial expressions or body language.
Alliances and factions are more easily recognized, as are resisters and supporters.
Be on time for the teleconference call. Calls patching in after the teleconference has started are even more disruptive than late entrances to face-to-face meetings.
View the conference calls as an opportunity to sharpen your listening skills.
Be conscious of your “air time.” Ask for the thoughts of others who may not be contributing enough.
Look over any related materials before the call so that you can stay with the group during the call.
Get your coffee or beverage, go to the restroom, and so on, before the call so that you’re not frustrated while on the call.
Do your part to encourage a focused approach to teleconference call.
If an agenda is not pre-published, ask that one be developed before the call gets in full swing.
Check that follow-up notes will be distributed to all members.
Clarify decisions and agreements before the group moves from one agenda item to the next.
Ask that responsibilities for assignments be clarified between meetings.
If people are sharing a speakerphone, everyone needs to move close to the microphone so they are clearly audible. Better speakerphones can pick up from a range of 12 to 15 feet. Most are only effective in much shorter ranges.
For more information about our services or more information regarding teleconferencing services and conferencing look at our website at 2Conference.co.uk or at 2Conference.be for Belgium or 2Conference.nl for the netherlands