You've been handed the reins of setting up a conference call for upper management. You can't wait to prove your worth to the folks who sign your paycheck. But at the same time, your stomach is in knots.
You've never actually handled a conference call before.
Now is as good a time as any to learn how to setup a conference call. After all, research shows that using conference calls is a ubiquitous way of meeting, conferring and collaborating with business partners and coworkers.
If you're in charge of organizing conference calls for upper management, you can easily impress them by taking the right steps. Here's how to setup a conference call like a boss.
Let's get started!
Before the day of your upcoming conference call, it's critical that you establish a meeting agenda.
The agenda will allow you to organize your call objectives in a detailed outline that will give you a path to follow. In this way, you can get your meeting participants back on track if they go off on a tangent.
This is an incredibly important step to take as you prepare for your conference call with upper management.
Top providers will give you the guest and permanent host codes that you and your staff will need to enter your conference. They'll also allow you to host your call without having to pre-schedule it.
Also, practice using your dedicated conferencing provider's technology ahead of time. For instance, find out where the system's mute button is.
The more you familiarize yourself with the calling controls and the speakerphone, the less likely you are to experience embarrassing technological hiccups on the day of your call.
Next, you need to determine the best time to host the conference call.
If the time is too late, participants will simply hang up early, or they may become too tired or distracted to participate. Meanwhile, if the time is too early, you may end up with late arrivals.
Your best bet is to send out a poll to see what times would work best for the call's future participants.
Once you solidify a call time, send out an email/calendar invite. Your invite should feature the date and time of your call, as well as a list of the proper dial-in numbers. You should also include your meeting agenda and guest code.
If you have any reading material you'd like them to read prior to the call, mention this as well, and let them know how much time they should spend reading it. Doing this may make them feel more inclined to complete their "homework" before the big day.
On call day, everybody will need to dial into the conference from their mobile or landline phone.
As soon as you are prompted to do so, enter your host code. Everyone else will enter their guest code at this time.
Make sure that you join your conference early -- around five minutes prior to your start time. This will allow you to welcome your participants and make sure that they've got all of the materials necessary to participate.
All of your conference call participants -- including upper management -- are now present. So, now is the perfect time to explain to them your meeting's end goal.
If you outline your goals as soon as the meeting starts, keeping everybody on track will be easier. And as a result, your meeting will be more productive, yielding the exact outcomes you want.
Also, set some quick guidelines from the start. For instance, tell your fellow team members that they should mention their name prior to speaking. Or they should mute themselves whenever they're not speaking.
Again, this will help to reduce disruptions and keep the meeting flowing smoothly.
The great thing about today's conference call technology is that you can enable various features simply by entering shortcuts with your keypad.
For instance, you could put a participant on mute if needed. You could also record the conference and even signal for assistance.
Your provider can give you a list of the keypad shortcuts you need to know before your meeting.
As you move forward with your conference, don't forget to ask questions. Asking questions will help to drive participant engagement. Plus, you can make sure that the participants understand what is being discussed.
A good way to handle questions is to direct questions to new people each time. This will encourage everybody to pay attention rather than multitasking during the meeting.
Also, write down ideas, feedback, and questions that pop into your mind during the call, and take detailed notes. This will make you an active listen as well as a better host.
Once you've covered all of the material you intended to address during the call, it's time to introduce some final action items. In other words, spell out any next steps that participants should take. In this way, everybody will understand what their responsibilities are going forward.
In addition, ask your callers what they feel could be enhanced during the next meeting.
Finally, send out an email recapping the conference call, including next steps. This summary will help to remind your entire team, as well as upper management, what they learned from the call -- and what's coming next.
We are a leading conference company whose aim is to help companies to complete high-quality conference calls every time.
Contact us to find out more about how to setup a conference call and what we can do to make your conference call process smoother than ever before going forward.
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.