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Tips for Hosting a Successful Conference Call

The key to successful meetings is keeping them professional and productive. These useful suggestions and tips can help make all your conference calls a success.

Before the Call

  • Stay organized and be prepared for your conference call.
  • Notify your participants of the date and time of the call.
  • Communicate any items that need to be prepared prior to the meeting.
  • Send the agenda to your participants.
  • Be sure you are in a quiet location where you will not be disturbed and try to minimize background noise.
  • Turn off call waiting, pagers and cell phones.

Starting the Call

  • Begin your conference call in a timely manner with introductions and a review of the agenda.
  • Be on time or early to your call.
  • Introduce yourself when you speak and encourage others to do the same.
  • Conduct a roll call so you know who is there.
  • Briefly state the agenda.
  • Do not put your phone on hold as this may put music into the conference and prevent others from continuing the meeting.

During the Call

  • Keep your conference on track by engaging your participants and keeping them informed of upcoming tasks and meetings.
  • Ask for feedback from specific participants instead of the entire group.
  • Table any discussions that are not relevant to the agenda for a later time and place.
  • Try to involve all of the participants in the discussion.
  • Promptly deal with any noise or distractions by pressing *0 to request an operator.
  • Summarize the issues discussed and recap any action items resulting from the call.
  • Establish the day and time for the next conference call.

Tips for Improved Line Quality

  • Electronic devices (such as Blackberries, iPhones, or cell phones and associated hands-free devices, laptops, etc.) can interfere with line quality if located too close to the phone. If possible, place such items a good distance away from the phone you are using for the conference call.
  • If you are conducting back-to-back calls, make sure to disconnect your initial conference call line prior to dialing back in for the next call. (Failing to do so could produce a ‘flash hook’ scenario, which feeds a loud signal into the call.)
  • When entering your passcode, do not press the keys too quickly—this will enable the system to ‘read’ them most effectively.
  • During an Operator Assisted Q&A session, participants should pick up their handsets to ask questions. This will ensure the best possible audio quality and volume from their lines.
  • If you are conducting a call using a conference room phone, microphone or speakerphone, be aware of the location of the phone/microphone at all times and speak directly into the device to ensure the best possible audio quality and volume.
  • If you are conducting an Operator Assisted call using a conference room phone, microphone or speakerphone, test the volume and line clarity with the operator prior to starting the call.
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