If you have ever given a presentation via conference call, you know that there can be many distractions and problems that cause disruptions for everyone. It is important to try to minimize these distractions for everyone in order to get the most from the time you have. Here are a few tips to run an effective conference call.
Set the rules. First and foremost you need to establish the rules up front. Conference call or video conference rules should include; no answering cell phones - this is distracting, not only to the conference, but to the people around you trying to listen. Do not put your phone on hold to answer another call - this causes ‘hold music’ to play for the entire conference and is very distracting. Have everyone put their phones on mute - this eliminates background noise such as people turning pages or chairs squeaking.
Outline the meeting. You should next outline the reason for the conference call. Tell the listeners what you will be presenting. It is easier to get through a meeting when there are specific topics and everyone knows what those topics are. If the call is more than an hour, schedule a break. Just a minute or two to stretch or use the restroom - it doesn't have to be more than that. .
Interaction: To keep people paying attention, you must have periodic interaction. This can be as simple as having a few quiz type questions on material covered if this is a training session, or a break for questions and answers. Keep the attendees involved and they will get more out of the call.
These were just a few tips to running an effective training conference call. Conference calling is rapidly becoming a cost effective alternative to travel and it is important you get the most out of your call.
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