No matter how hard anyone tries, unexpected issues and other matters or importance will always arise in the business world. That’s just the reality of today’s ultra-connected economy in which quick results matter - without sacrificing quality, of course.
So, it’s not unheard of for a team of remote or distributed coworkers or colleagues to need to hop on an unscheduled conference call to hash out the final details of a close-to-done business deal, a surprise troubleshooting issue or other urgent matter.
These are situations in which having the option to start an instant conference call for free with no wait time or registration required is invaluable. But to get the most out of these instant calls, team’s must know how to come together quickly, share details and create a plan of action in as little time as possible.
These seven tips will help your team do exactly that next time you hop on the phone for an important conference call.
Now, you may be thinking planning ahead for an unplanned conference call sounds like an oxymoron. Well, it is actually the best thing you and your team can do to make sure these unscheduled conference calls are able to come together efficiently, work effectively and take up only as much time as what is needed.
You see, by having a plan in place, you and your team won’t have to scramble to get together when a quick meeting or conversation is needed.
This plan should focus on how best to get everyone who is necessary on the call. Is there a group chat software or app that your team uses that could be used to request a quick call? Maybe everyone responds to email messages in a timely manner - or you could send a message that is flagged as important.
Once you have people on the call, make it known that the person requesting the call should lead the conversation.
If the call is especially urgent, then there probably is not enough time for an agenda to be sent out as you would in most conference calls. In these cases, have the person who requested the call open the meeting with an explanation of why the meeting was called. A best case scenario would be for this person to also have sent out an email or some other form of communication detailing why the call is necessary and why those invited are being asked to join.
By getting right down to business, the conversation can shift quickly from introduction, to discussion of the issue and, hopefully, a solution for how to proceed after everyone hangs up.
Nobody wants to be told that they are needed on an urgent conference call only to join and find that the call organizer isn’t even on the line yet. Organizers should always be on time to start a conference call.
Call hosts should expect to join every call, but especially instant conference calls, at least five minutes early. This allows them to start the call exactly as scheduled and to make sure everyone whose presence is absolutely required is also able to be there at the start of the discussion.
The same rule applies for other call participants, too. When the call is urgent, it is critically important that everyone do their best to be on time.
There probably is not much time to waste when a conference call needs to happen on such short notice. With that in mind, all participants should do their best to be engaged on the call.
Call participants should not be shy to speak up and share their opinions. In most cases, these instant conference calls will likely be comprised of a core group of decision makers who are used to having their voices heard.
However, if there are newcomers or anyone who is being overly quiet, then it may be worth the organizer’s time to ask more direct questions just to make sure everyone has had a chance to be heard. This could alleviate any hard feelings over decisions that had to be made quickly if someone feels - rightly or wrongly - that they did not have a chance to speak.
This one is related to being prepared, but it’s more about the physical location for each of the individuals on the line.
But everyone on the call needs to carefully consider where they can go to easily and quickly when an instant conference call is needed. Find a place with low foot traffic, little to no ambient noise and very little chances of interruption. This will make for a better conference call experience for everyone.
At the end of the call, simply make sure to review what decisions were reached. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as key points, next steps and follow-up actions are concerned.
Go through everyone’s responsibilities and expectations at the end of a call to develop and action plan. If there are deadlines that need to be met, make sure to reiterate those, too.
Those first six tips should get you well on your way to having an excellent efficient and quick conference call, but there’s just one more to keep in mind.
When time is of importance, always ask whether a topic or issue could be best handled over email, text or some other form of written communication. You know best how your team works, but if they are responsive to these methods, then it may be the best way to handle urgent issues that come up.
Another option is to simply call one-on-one if there are really only two people who need to make the decision.
Now that you have the tips and resources needed to knock out your next important call, give Conference Town a try.
With Conference Town, you can start a free instant conference call - or use it for upcoming calls - and use many of the great features that other conferencing services charge you for.
ConferenceTown.com provides the highest quality, feature packed audio conferencing for free. There are no hidden fees. Our system can handle both small and large conference calls. When quality is what matters, there's just one choice.