Conference Calls in Real Life – And Tips to Improve Them

Sooner or later in the modern business world, you will have conference calls, video conferences, Slack, Skype calls, Zoom chats, Facebook Messenger chats, screen sharing, online conference meetings… the list goes on. What if what happens on a conference call happened in Real Life?

This video is by “Tripp & Tyler” who have a whole series of videos imitating life, such as “Things you can’t do when you’re NOT a dog.”

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Here at HookSEO, we have staff working in Arizona, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. We use video conferencing all the time. Here are some tips to making your video conference calls or other conference calls go more smoothly.

Conference Call Tips

1. HAVE AN AGENDA

It is vital that everyone understands why they are there and what the goal of the meeting is. Don’t have more than 3 things to accomplish. If you need more, have a different meeting. Remember that clarity = productivity. Have concrete goals for people to take away as their Next Steps, and ensure that you know what feedback you are trying to collect from your participants. When meeting time arrives, avoid people getting sidetracked, by re-pointing them to the agenda.

2. TRIAL RUN

Make sure you know in advance what software you will need, what number to call, etc. Set up a trial run with someone else who can help you test out the system, learn how to use mute or other features and ensure your computer already has all the necessary plugins and/or software installed and working.

3. TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT

Make sure that if you need to use headsets, cameras, microphones or screen sharing that you test (see #1) and that it is all functioning as you will need to use them to present or join the conference.

4. HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED HANDY

Make sure all the materials you need are ready to be referenced.  This will show that you are prepared and serious about what you are doing. If there is information you need digitally for your conference, think about using an additional monitor, another laptop, a tablet or printing out key information so that you do not have to leave the window on your computer or mistakenly hang up the phone to look for it.

5. BE EARLY – STAY LATE

If your conference call is from 1-2pm, don’t plan to start dialing in at 1 and leave at 1:50 to get to your next appointment.  Give yourself five or ten minutes to prepare, login and make sure everything is ready. Teleconferencing is generally going to take a little longer than a regular meeting because of the medium itself, and because people don’t follow these tips.

6. QUIET PLEASE!

Make sure you are in a place where you will not be disturbing the conference with background noise or being “photobombed” while on your conference.  Coffee shops and airports are notoriously bad places to take conference calls.  Ensure you know how to use the “mute” function on the service you are using. Whenever you are not talking, you should always be on mute.  Whenever you are about to chime in, ensure you check if you are muted before speaking.

Conference Call Success

If everyone follows these steps you will be better prepared and spend less time dealing with issues, bad connections, technical problems and more time on your subject matter, which is why you are holding this conference call in the first place!

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