Top 3 Preparation Tools for Successful Conference Calls
In today’s business environment, virtual meetings and conference calls are inevitable. Remote communication challenges the most powerful factor in personal communication – engaging others to build connections.
Pre-planning and eliminating potential distractions are key and could mean the difference between your audience saying, “this was a great meeting”, or “this was a waste of time.”
Our communication consultants have outlined the top three conference call preparation strategies to ensure your next conference call is as engaging and productive for your audience as possible.
- Plan your content and agenda. Create a meeting agenda with estimated timeframes share this with the audience prior to the conference call. This will keep the conference call organized and ensure you are able to cover all topics in a systematic manner. For time sake, avoid long-winded explanations or drawn out conversations – this will bore your audience. Build in short segments for interaction, even asking “does this make sense”, whenever possible to sustain engagement.
- Consider the voice quality. Try a practice run, in the room where you will conduct the call, so you are able to hear your voice and whether it comes through clearly to the listener. Headsets or microphones may work better to amplify your voice than using laptop or table top speakers. Take the time before the call to consider the placement of speakers in the room. Be sure all conference call equipment is arranged within 1 feet or less to the speaker(s) to prevent having to shuffle the equipment during the call.
- Eliminate background noise. Some noises are unavoidable, but for those that are easily predicted like background conversations, office music or even pets barking, reduce their impact by eliminating their distractions. You may need to post signs to remind others that there is a conference call in progress or choose an insulated room. If the call will be held in a conference or meeting room, sit in the space for 10 minutes and just listen. Taking this time before the meeting to determine what background noises may be present can go a long way to making your call effective and engaging, without unnecessary distractions.
Preparation is a small part of the final success of a conference call. What you do during the conference call will be key in determining the level of connection you are able to form with participants. For international audiences, now, is the time to consider what cultural components may be at play that could hinder your ability to connect and engage your audience.
Your communication mastery is definitely possible with commitment and effort. When you’re ready to enhance your business communication skills and learn the best-in-class communication strategies to engage and inspire others, register for one of Speakeasy’s landmark business communication training programs. In the meantime, we invite you to connect with us on Facebook to share your best conference call preparation tips.