Conference call services are versatile and take the hassle out of hosting a meeting. Still, a conference will need a host, and like any other meeting, there are good ones and bad ones.
Here are five tips to make your next conference call a success.
1. Arrange the call
The advantage of conference calls is to avoid long, overlapping email conversations, though sending a group message with a date and time is a good way to give people the heads up.
Remember, a teleconference call can be held over mobile devices as well as landlines, so expect participation to be higher than usual.
2. Set the agenda
It is good practice to set the agenda for the conference call at the beginning of the conversation. Approximate the time of the conference - even if you run over or finish early, busy people appreciate having some idea of how to book the call on their calendars.
Begin a meeting with an introduction. Letting everyone know who is involved in the conversation makes the meeting feel open.
Tell your participants the goal of the meeting. Is it to decide a budget, discuss hiring opportunities or perhaps plan an event? It's a simple tactic but it sets the stage for the whole conference to follow.
3. Allow conversation to flow
As a host, don't be afraid to take a backseat and let people talk. Brief silences may be common in smaller groups, but these are great for allowing people to think and mull over the points made.
It may be best for certain participants to give their specialist knowledge on key areas of the discussion. As the host, you can invite members to give their opinion if you think it will benefit the conversation.
4. Record your call
It's not always possible for everyone to attend a meeting. Recording a call allows you to save the discussion and use it at a later date, either as a refresher or to allow absentees to catch-up.
5. Schedule your next meeting
The last thing you can do in a conference call is set a time for your next meeting. It might be a daily, weekly or monthly discussion, but arranging this early will make step one a breeze next time.