Every part of a conference call is important, which is why we put so much effort into creating Together Talk Audio. However, the start of a meeting has special significance. The beginning of a conference call is the foundation for the remainder of the session. A good opening to a remote meeting ensures that everyone is on the same page and has all the information they need to understand the conversation ahead. Here are four of the best ways to start a conference call that will make your meetings more effective and efficient.
Depending on the purpose of a conference call, the best way to start is with introductions. If there are new people in your audience, then you should begin by introducing yourself and other key speakers. These introductions can be brief, but they will help establish the voices people will hear and which voices are relevant. You wouldn’t want people to learn halfway through the meeting that they’ve been talking to a company president or special guest. For many business meetings, these introductions won’t be necessary, since the participants will already know each other. However, it’s still a good idea to do a quick roll call to establish that everyone that needs to be on the call is on the line.
The most productive meetings have a clear purpose and an agenda that will help them accomplish that goal. Meeting organizers should have a well-planned program prepared and send it out with invites to the conference call. Ideally, your guests will read over the agenda and prepare accordingly. Meeting organizers should start their call by reminding attendees about the purpose and the planned agenda. This review shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. This action tells everyone what they need to be thinking about and the way the meeting should flow. It helps keep the meeting on track and focused.
Meeting organizers need to establish rules for how a conference call will work to ensure an efficient session. By determining when to ask questions, how speakers will be selected, and what topics are open for discussion, meeting organizers can prevent chaotic meetings. Using a few minutes at the start of a session to establish ground rules can save a lot of time later by eliminating unplanned disruptions. The longer the team has been working together, the less time needs to be spent with these rules. In these cases, just pick one issue the will help the team in this particular meeting. For example, “I know we all have a lot we want to say about this topic, but try to keep your comments brief, so we have more time to put ideas on the table.”
Meeting organizers have an opportunity to start their conference call on the right foot by setting a positive tone. If a meeting begins with complaining, griping, and negativity, these sentiments may carry on through the session. Starting a meeting with optimism can have a positive impact on the remainder of the conference call. Call organizers can begin their discussion by praising something the team did well. Even when the call is to address a negative issue, it can be framed as an opportunity to fix the situation.
Businesses can save money and improve the quality of their conference call by switching to Together Talk Audio from the Conference Group. Speak to one of our Meeting Specialists to learn how your organization can benefit by using advance features to accomplish more while paying less.