by Sid Cervarich, Vice President of Sales at HRCT
Before we get into the professional aspects of conference calls and how you should act during the call, let’s poke a little fun. We’ve all been on those calls when someone is not aware of their actions during the call. Maybe, they’re a little too close to the receiver, and all you hear is heavy breathing. What about the times someone puts the conference call on hold and doesn’t remember they have music playing when their phone is on hold. How about when someone takes the call from home and you hear their baby crying or a dog barking.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss How to get the most out of conference calls. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you during the call.
How to get the most out of conference calls
DO be on time.
This seems like a given, right? You are on time for work in the morning and your meetings, so it should be easy to be on time for your conference calls. When you don’t show up on time and beep in late, it interrupts the leader of the call, and when several people are late it can sound like the phone is trying to play a monotone version of “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”Try to be early to the call, so it can start and end on time.
DON’T treat the conference call like a casual conversation, but as a meeting.
If you were in a face-to-face meeting you would be respectful of the person speaking by paying attention and being prepared. Have your agenda or outline with you for the call, and any other materials that you may need to participate.
DON’T hog the call.
Unless you’re the leader of the conference call, try to keep your comments to the question and answer part of the call, or if you are asked a question, you can and should respond. Nothing can veer a conference call off course faster than someone who interrupts the leader to discuss their own agenda. The goal of the call gets lost. People don’t get the information they need, and the call ends up going way over the time limit.
DO use the mute button.
Please use the mute button. If you need to talk at any point during the call you can “unmute” yourself. When you are finished speaking, press the mute button again. That way if you are multi-tasking, like eating or answering email, the other callers don’t have to listen to you chew or a chorus of click clacks as you type on the keyboard.
DON’T call in from your cell phone if you can avoid it.
Cell phone reception can sometimes be choppy. We recommend using a landline if you can for a conference call.
DO make it a priority.
Try to block off the time, so you can be on the call for the entire meeting. If you absolutely have to leave the call early, let the leader know before the conference call. Send them an email or make a call.
DON’T put your phone on hold at any point.
This not only lets people know that you aren’t on the call, but you can actually end up airing music to everyone else on the call. Sometimes placing a call on hold makes beeping sounds to the caller. If you need to take care of something refer to “DO use the mute button.”
DO pay attention.
Hopefully the leader of the call has treated the conference call like any other meeting and has taken time to prepare. If they put in the effort to run the call, you should put in the effort to listen. While it is easy to surf the web or get sidetracked with other aspects of work, a conference call should be treated equal to any other meeting. You may be called on to respond, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.
There can be a lot to gain from participating in a conference call. It puts you in touch with coworkers or clients in other markets. It is a great tool to push out company information or as a method for training. Whatever the reason, you should get the most out of your next conference call.
In order to have a conference call, you need to have a telephone. HRCT specializes in business telephones and communication needs. Whether you need Voice Over IP Systems (VoIP), digital keysets or a fully integrated telephone and computer system, HRCT can install and service your business telephone. HRCT services business in Hampton Roads, south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic and across the United States. HRCT keeps your company connected.
Call HRCT today. (757) 399-3350
Posted by Sid Cervarich, Vice President of Sales at HRCT. Sid has over 30 years of sales and implementation experience exclusively within the greater Hampton Roads area. His range of experience includes governmental as well as commercial solutions. His preference is to provide a consultative teamwork approach to solving customer requirements.