Do you find yourself scrambling to get your thoughts and questions together minutes before a conference call?
When it comes to being prepared for and leading a productive call, having an organized agenda is essential. A well-written agenda will get you organized, ensuring that important topics and questions are covered and that the call stays on task.
Here are some tips for creating the perfect conference call agenda.
Before you put “pen to paper,” get input from your team members. According to the Harvard Business Review, asking your partners for topics keeps them more engaged when on the call. Also, getting others involved in the preparation can help shed light on items that are unclear or that may not have been thought of, allowing you to address any issues before the conference call.
Another critical factor is knowing what you want to accomplish on the call. Are you looking to close a sale, report account status, or solve a problem? Having a clear goal will help you create a concise call agenda.
Now that you have determined your goals and have touched base with your team members, you are ready to put the agenda together. When writing the conference call agenda, you will want to have a clear objective (think back to your goals) and only include the most important topics – there is no need to add items such as “pause for questions” or “brainstorming session.” Remember, you want to be concise to keep the call on schedule. Essential Items to include are:
• Informational Topics – This consists of any updates from managers or items that have been completed since the last meeting.
• Action Items – These are items that need to be reviewed, such as status reporting to identify improvements over time or to review assigned items to ensure that the necessary work that needs to be completed is noted, such as providing an estimate or researching a topic.
• Forward Planning – It is important to outline what the next steps are after the call. Forward planning helps to set expectations, review what’s ahead and will increase the likelihood that your conference call will yield results.
One of the drawbacks of any meeting whether in person or on a conference call line is getting off task and wasting too much time talking about the weather or last night’s game. One way to cover items on your agenda in a timely manner is to allocate time to each topic for discussion making sure to give the most time for the most critical items.
Now that you have added all the items to your conference call agenda you will want to add your call details, including the date, time, call line number and conference ID number and attendees. Make a separate note of any items that need to be completed before the call and as always pass the agenda to someone else to proofread and review for any missing information.
As a courtesy to attendees, it is best to send out the conference call agenda 3-4 days before the call. This gives participants time to review the agenda ahead of time so that they can prepare for the call.
Now that you know how to prepare the perfect conference call agenda, take a look at how The Conference Group can help your company set up the conference calling service that is right for you. Get low per-minute rates along with a variety of features to help make every call more productive and improve the efficiency of your business communications.