How to increase your conference call productivity without spending a fortune in new techy stuff and expensive consultations? It is quite easy, simply take care of these 17 little but important details that are the root of success of any meeting according to simply common sense.
1.) Establish an Agenda. Don’t call a conference without establishing an agenda fist. Not only does it help to structure the conference, but it also enables participants to take an active part in the discussion.
2.) Introduce every attendant to each other. This is an important point, as people that do not know each other’s voices have the opportunity to become familiar in a quick and natural way.
3.) Call a conference only if it is necessary. The number of unnecessary conference calls is surprisingly high. In many cases, a one-to-one call or a focused mail-exchange is enough.
4.) Set a good meeting timing. This includes establishing the time the meeting starts and ends, the breaks and their lengths. With the agenda, this is a basilar step to give structure, rhythm and order to your conference.
5.) Maintain focus on the conference. Limit the “electronic grazing” during the conference call. This means no email and no phone calls. If an emergency occurs and a call needs to be made, the person concerned is to leave the room.
6.) Schedule each speeches and optimize everyone’s time. You must do that in the agenda. Guests must know what time they have to speak, in order to avoid confusion and waste of time. Tick off an item on the agenda as soon as it has been covered.
7.) Delegate roles. Leave the clerical job to someone else, so that the meeting leader is free to focus on the matters in the agenda.
8.) Don’t spend too much time when it is not necessary. Not all issues require the same amount of time to settle. Every issue that can be resolved offline or does not require the input of the majority of the group should be dismissed as quickly as possible and ticked off the agenda.
10.) Stick to the point. Maintain conference calls short and concise, as there is nothing more boring and time wasting than a rambling speaker.
11.) Discuss first the points in the agenda. The matters that are not scheduled must be treated last in order to prevent side-tracking and losing precious time in covering non pertinent issues.
12.) Invite only the people that are necessary. The guys that you do not invite will warmly thank you for that.
13.) Limit the number of participants to maximum five. Too many guests means having too many opinions circulating at the same time with subsequent chaos.
14.) Wait your turn to speak. As meeting leader, it is up to you to set the good example. Another point is that every interruption is frustrating for the speaker and a possible source of confusion for the conference.
15.) Summarize the issues treated and the decisions taken. Take a few minutes at the end of the conference to email the list of resolutions to all participants and to identify those issues or questions that must be explored further.
16.) Start the conference on time. It is not only about possible time wastes. People’s time is as scheduled as yours. So, your guests have only that time slot to devote to you. Later, they will be busy with someone else.
17.) Take down notes. This is very helpful to retain information and it will encourage you to pay attention to each speaker.
Follow these easy tips and you will certainly have more productive conference calls.
For more information about online conferencing, kindly visit R-HUB’s website: http://www.rhubcom.com. You will find several interesting posts to read about this topic in their blog.