Here are some tips that could help your conference call be successful (and maybe less painful)

1. Organize and Prepare: Know what you are going to be covering, create an agenda, and stick to it. Send it out in the meeting invite so that all attending is prepared as well

2. Be on Time: Start the call a minute or two early so that when your participants join, they don’t get the dreaded “The Organizer Hasn’t Started the Meeting Yet” message, and then have to listen to hold music. Nothing is a more of a conference call buzz kill then boring hold music.

3. Be Aware of the Technical Capabilities: There are situations where you must have a conference call due to a small handful of participants being remote, and you still have a handful of onsite participants, so you book a room. Make sure you know the technology in that room. Most importantly, make sure you know how to use your conferencing software (WebEx, Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, etc.). Too many times have people hosted a conference call without knowing how to use the conferencing software and valuable time has been wasted during the start of the call (and embarrassingly so in front of your participants) trying to figure out how to use your own software.

4. Take Notes: Make sure yourself, or another participant is dedicated to taking notes. But here is the catch, don’t just take them, send them out immediately after so that you can ensure everyone is on the same page after the call ends. Especially if there are action items.

5. Use Visual Aids (when necessary): There isn’t always a need for visual aids, but when there is, make sure you use them. It will help people stay engaged.

Conference calls are draining, we get it. But the above tips can help them be a little more successful and maybe even a little less painful.

-Krystina Hodge, Consultant & Project Manager

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