By February 4, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

How To Survive and Thrive on a Conference Call

How To Survive and Thrive on a Conference Call

Conference calls can be tough, particularly if you are the only one on the phone and everyone else is together in a room somewhere else.

While saving money and time on travel is a good thing, sometimes it will be hard to contribute effectively to the meeting and your contribution is often what helps you get noticed.

Should you attend by Conference Call?

Always consider whether you need to be in person. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision to travel to a meeting or take it as a conference call:

  • How important will the outcome of the meeting be and how important is your contribution? If either is high, you may want to attend in person, either to ensure success or to contribute to your career ambitions.
  • Are you the only one on the call, or are you joining a call with many others dialing in? If you are the only one, you may want to attend if it is an important meeting with significant decisions and outcomes expected, since it is much harder to contribute in that situation.
  • What type of call is it? If it is just a status or information type meeting, joining by call will probably be fine.
  • If key players are in a meeting and you want or need to make an impression, you should be there in person.
  • If there will be visuals, you should be there, unless you can easily follow along through a video or web based service, or even with the visual on your laptop or on paper in front of you.
  • If you are a key contributor or need to contribute, advocate or influence, it will be easier if you are there in person to achieve the results you need.

Things to do when you are on a Conference Call

After you’ve considered whether you should attend a meeting in person or on a call and you end up join the meeting by conference call, here are some tips to be more effective on the call:

  • Always ensure you are being heard. Make adjustments at your end or ask them to adjust at their end so everyone can hear you clearly when you speak. During the call, check again by asking if you think you aren’t coming across clearly enough.
  • Make sure you hear everyone in the room. Ask them to speak louder, move the mic, etc. If you can’t hear what others say, you can’t contribute.
  • Make sure they know you are there by making short statements periodically, including agreeing with something someone has said, saying ‘that’s a good point’ or something similar.
  • When you need to speak on a point, start by introducing yourself by saying ‘It’s John here, I’d like to make a point about that……” and then continue. This will help ensure they are listening before you begin talking about your point. Also, by saying your name, everyone will know for sure who is speaking, since others may not recognize your voice on a call.
  • Don’t be shy to ask someone to repeat themselves if you didn’t hear what they said clearly enough.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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