Using Your Teleconference Time Wisely by Planning Ahead

As a business professional, you’ve probably sat through your fair share of unproductive meetings. Instead of accomplishing even part of an agenda, co-workers, clients, and bystanders basically just wandered in and out, talked over each other, or tuned out completely. The situation gets even worse during teleconferences as you have multiple presenters at multiple locations.

Sound familiar? Such conferences are basically a complete waste of time…but they don’t have to be. With the proper planning you can make your next teleconference the success that it ought to be.

stopwatchPrep Work: The Key to Success

In order to avoid chaos, the best thing to do is plan ahead. You need to ask yourself questions about what you hope to accomplish, and plan from there. Instead of arriving at the teleconference and “winging it,” or hoping that everything will go smoothly—trust us, it never does—you need to take charge and create a plan of attack before the event even starts.

Here are a few preparation points to consider:

  • Scheduling. Avoid no-shows and latecomers by taking the time to schedule your teleconference at the most convenient time for all involved. Remember, your participants may be in different time zones and shouldn’t have to teleconference in the middle of the night.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the tech. When using a conference call service, test the service beforehand. When sharing instructions, make sure you corroborate that everything was sent properly. There’s nothing worse for an attendee than trying to dial in for a teleconference only to find that the number, link, or software doesn’t work.
  • Setting an agenda. It’s easy for meetings to go off-track or participants to get lost on tangents. However, if you prepare a detailed agenda ahead of time, you can pull the meeting back from oblivion.
  • Sharing the agenda. By knowing the agenda ahead of time, participants will have plenty of time to prepare themselves, gather data, and develop questions, as well as suggest any changes. This will cut down on confusion, lulls in conversation, and repetition during the meeting.
  • Taking control. Prepare rules that you will convey at the beginning of the meeting that address common distractions. Be sure to include issues such as disrespectful behavior, shouting, tardiness, multitasking, and cellphone use.
  • Structuring communication. Prepare for how and when participants will get to talk. Instead of allowing them to shout over one another, plan for a moderator to choose who gets to speak and when. During the meeting, make sure everyone gets a fair turn. A moderator is also beneficial to help calm arguments and keep debates professional.
  • Preparing questions. To avoid lulls in the conversation—many people clam up during teleconference and videoconference meetings—prepare your own questions to keep the conversation going and on track.
  • Contacting a professional teleconference company. With over 25 years worth of experience, our highly trained team has seen and heard everything that could go wrong in a teleconference. As such, we know how to avoid problems and help secure a successful event. Call us now to help successfully set up your next meeting.
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