Leading conference calls could be trickier than you expect. Follow these ten easy rules, and you will make your conferences really effective and fruitful.
It is difficult to imagine an organization that can avoid using conference calls in the global market of today. So, how to do in practice? First, it is important to buy the right conference call service. Luckily, the choice is wide and goes from R-HUB TurboMeeting, a server suite for virtual conferences, to the traditional free software’s like Skype and Paltalk. The difference is that while TurboMeeting is expressly designed for enterprises and professional use, services like Skype and Paltalk seem to be more suitable for private/general use, at least in their free versions.
Second, simply follow these simple but basilar rules.
Landlines or specific conference call hardware like TurboMeeting servers are much more reliable than mobiles that are inevitably exposed to the risk that something goes wrong. For example, it happens quite frequently that many participants cannot attend or follow your conference simply because of loss of reception or the fact that cellphone batteries are running down.
Prepare everything in advance
If you start to interrupt your conference to search your pc folders for the files to share, your audience will immediately lose attention, and do not expect that it is so easy to gain their attention again. This is the reason why you shall send participants all the necessary documentation (like files, slides, images) before the conference starts.
The problems with slides are that they can be extremely boring, especially if they are filled up with walls of text. At least, try to reduce them to the minimum necessary and avoid writing too much text.
Be on time
Be polite and enter the conference call on the scheduled time. Your moderator should be already in. Consider that keeping people waiting increases proportionally the risk that some participants leave.
Set a time limit
It is important to give participants the opportunity to schedule their day. So, please provide them with a list of items to treat and an estimation of the conference length. Another important point to keep in mind is that attendants’ attention tends to decrease as time passes. So, make your conference as shorter as you can.
Multitasking is evil
Focusing is important during a conference call, so forget your emails and close your socials. Any lack of attention could be contagious and makes you lose participants’ attention.
Engage participants as much as you can
Not only will your conference be more interesting, but you can also get some precious feedbacks if you are able to involve participants. So, do not be shy, ask questions, and get participant active and engaged.
Ban broad questions
Specific questions on specific topics are much more effective and able to prompt interesting answers than a trite “what do you think?”. In this way, you also prevent dead air and embarrassed silences.
Be the leader
Be the leader. Taking charge of the conference is the golden path to gain participants’ attention.
Craft great endings
People need to leave the conference with a sense of purpose, otherwise they will think to have wasted their time. At the end of the call, it is important to sum up what has been reached and establish the next milestone. Use takeaways.
What benefits can you expect by following these ten rules? You will be able to get your message across more effectively and save your and other people’s time. Participants’ engagement will increase, with subsequent greater impact of the conference on them. The energy of the event will be greater, and participants will join another call more willingly.
If you are interested in conference calls, you are going to find further information on R-HUB web site (http://www.rhubcom.com ).