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How to Set Up a Conference Call That Won't End in Disaster
15
Mar

How to Set Up a Conference Call That Won't End in Disaster



Company conference calls offer a myriad of benefits, including cutting the traditional costs of holding traditional meetings. Plus, you can communicate information easily and fast to your team members or partners.

But, like most office activities, these calls are vulnerable to several problems that can make them awkwardly disastrous. Some of these problems include background noise, low speaker volume, audio delays, and echo.

In this post, we're going to show you how to set up a conference call and avoid those awkward moments during meetings.

Read on to learn more about effective conference calls.

1. Start with Early Scheduling

The first thing you need to do is to have a list of all those people who are to attend the meeting. Send the invitations to the conference room early enough, and don't forget to give their PINs. Some services have built-in tools that allow you to upload emails and send automatic invitations.

Early invitations and reminders will help to avoid participants joining the conference calls in the middle of the meeting. Also, don't forget to include the details of the call, include the conversation. Giving the participants how much time you require helps to avoid issues, such as leaving the call early.

2. Encourage Time Management

Early scheduling and creating an agenda don't offer a guarantee for punctuality and proper time management. Poor timekeeping can be a problem is some of the meeting participants have never been on a conference call before. They end up spending a lot of time figuring out how the whole system works.

You can offer a few guidelines and instructions on how to use the software and other equipment. Encourage them to check their internet speeds early enough before the call. This way, you can eliminate common excuses people give for their lateness.

Still, you need to record the call to ensure latecomers are up-to-date on all the meeting details. Call recording is also great for future reference, especially when the meeting is a major project.

3. Take Care of the Mute Function

If you're using a new conferencing system, you first may want to take the meeting participants through its various features. During conference calls, the mute function is the most ignored or misused feature. Some people accidentally mute themselves, and this means other participants won't hear them.

However, most systems come with built-in chat, which you can use to notify a user that has accidentally muted themselves.

Another way people misuse the mute function is by forgetting to enable it whenever they're taking calls or talking to other people who're not part of the meeting. This is being impolite to other team members and may interrupt the meeting.

4. Create an Agenda and Stick to It

Whatever meeting you're having, it's best to have an agenda and stick to it. Create an agenda detailing the purpose of the call, it's duration, and what they're expected to prepare before the conference call.

There have been cases where members find themselves with wrong or outdated presentations, statements, spreadsheets, or other documents at the start of the call. Being specific about the required materials is an essential attribute of how to set up a conference call.

Remember to send the agenda to all the participants the day before or the day of the meeting. A schedule helps to reduce anxiety and prevent participants feeling that you're taking advantage or wasting their time.

5. Handle Technological Issues Early

As a rule of thumb, never start a meeting before testing the whole conference setup. Of course, there are particular technical issues that you can expect to happen, but it's possible to prevent some of the common problems.

First, ensure you have chosen a reliable conference software. You want to look at the features that the system offers. Some examples include:

  • Echo canceling feature
  • Active talker indicator
  • Full web interface for adequate workspace
  • Call recording
  • HD conference quality
  • Question and answer feature
Test all these features to ensure they are working good. If possible, ask someone in another location to test the setup, too. Even if you're planning not to use certain features, just make sure they're working as they should. Also, have a backup in place

You should also have the contact information for the person responsible for the equipment. Have them on standby during the meeting and be sure to learn a few troubleshooting tips from them.

6. Pick a Good Location

Just because a conference call is not the typical boardroom meeting, you can choose any location for the call. You should identify a place that doesn't have distractions to you and your colleagues.

When taking the call at home, make sure your pets and kids are not in the room. If you're stuck in traffic, don't dial in to tell your colleagues about your situation. Instead, send an email, SMS or use the chat feature of the conference system.

Find a private place where you can talk undisturbed, and you can share private or sensitive information. Keep in mind that your location should also have a reliable signal to avoid interrupting your call.

7. Conducting the Call

How to set up a conference call the right way doesn't just involve the technical details. The way you conduct the call is also important. For example, it's important to address other members by their names if you want them to respond quickly.

Also, before switching topics, ensure everyone is contented with the discussion or decisions. Some audio conferencing systems have a countdown feature that the moderator users to alert everyone when changing the topic. Before ending the call, confirm everyone agrees with all the discussed details.

If anything comes up that requires additional time, make sure to update all the members about it.

How to Set Up a Conference Call

With these tips in now easier to set up a conference call that won't end in disaster. Proper planning is crucial for any conference call. Most importantly, be sure to use a conference calling system that offers convenience and the best features for a great experience.

Do you have any question on how to set up a conference call? If you do, we're here to help. Just contact us whenever you want.

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