Conference Call Tips That Will Have You Hosting Like a Pro

by : Huzaili Aris

If you're new to the wild and wonderful world of conferencing, you might want to continue reading. We've put together a list of hot conferencing tips that will show you how to make a conference call the easiest work-related task you've completed since the time you took that cute sales rep to a "meeting" at that new bar across town.

Be On Time - Or Else
When sending out email notifications regarding your conference, ask that your participants show up at least five minutes before your conference is scheduled to start. This way, you can give them last minute instructions on how to use the conference call systems.

Yeah, You Too
I shouldn't have to tell you that you need to be on the phone at least five minutes before your participants, to ensure that you know how to use the conference call system before they ask.

The Mute Key is Your Friend
Make sure to let everyone know that when they are not speaking, they should be muting. Muting your phone will cut down on external noise if you are going with the traditional phone conference method. Plus, if you're hosting a lunch hour meeting, there won't be any unattractive chewing noises to try and speak over.

Make Sure You're Plugged In
This advice may sound kind of obvious, but you might be surprised. If your car coasted to a stop on the highway and wouldn't start again, would you immediately replace the engine or would you check the gas gauge? Before your conference goes into full swing, check all of your cables, plugs, and widgets are plugged in tight and in full working order.

Keep It Short and Sweet
If you rattle on about anything for more than one hour, you're likely to lose at least half of your attendees to the mysterious after-lunch fatigue that affects so many business professionals. Keep things brief and on target, but remember, if you machine-gun speak like an auctioneer, you'll lose just as many participants.

This Call May Be Recorded...
If you're using calling conference services or web phone conferencing, many of these services now offer a recording option. This comes in handy when your meeting minute-taker calls in sick. You can play back the conference, transcribe notes, and pass out or mail copies to all of the individuals that attended, reminding them of the points you covered in the meeting. Or wait until the minute-taker comes back and make them do it.
Armed with the right knowledge, conference call hosting can be a walk in the park. Just remember not to blabber too much, record your call for posterity, be on time, and feel free to mute.