Have you ever thought the audio conferences that we have in today’s modern office environment end up being a waste of time or that you never seem to get much accomplished? You are not alone. Many employees and team leaders feel this way.
That’s why we have put together the following tips that will help you lead an effective audio conference to get more accomplished in less time.
Setting the Time
Setting a proper meeting time is essential. According to an online article from CBS News, this is where you need to be a little unconventional. Never set a regular schedule. When scheduling an audio conference at the same time on the same day every week, the call becomes just another item on a calendar. The routine call can cause attendees and even leaders to stop adequately prepping for calls, and the call ends up being something that people dread.
Mixing up the audio conference times and making them really early or very late in the day puts more emphasis on the conference making it more likely that attendees will be prepared for the audio conference ahead of time.
Prepare an Effective Agenda
Taking time to create an agenda is another essential element to leading an effective audio conference. Preparing an agenda helps to keep the call on task and keeps goals and action steps clear.
The perfect conference call agenda consists of a clear objective, action items, and forward planning and should be free of items such as “pause for questions” or “brainstorming session.” To keep the call moving along as scheduled it is imperative that you allocate time for each item on the agenda and send the agenda out 3-4 days ahead of the call to give attendees time to prepare.
You may know what you want to talk about during an audio conference, but it is still helpful to prepare notes ahead of time. Having notes to follow during a meeting can keep you focused and lessen the likelihood that something will get missed. Just remember to never read directly from your notes. Not only can people tell when you are reading a statement, but it can make it difficult for attendees to connect with what you are saying.
Be on Time
“If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.” – Vince Lombardi
Being on time is essential in any situation, including an audio conference. Conference leaders should be on the call line at least 5 minutes early to greet attendees as they call in. A good conference call service can help with this by offering operator assistance and a pre-meeting room for call leaders to “get together” to go over the call details before attendees start calling in.
Many face-to-face meetings can be a place for small talk and a little joking around. However, on an audio conference, jokes don’t come across as intended due to the lack of visual cues and small talk can take up too much of the valuable call time. You can elevate these issues by being more rigid in your leadership of the call. If being rigid isn’t your thing here are some tips to help you out:
• Be on time
• Keep a serious voice
• Follow the agenda
• Limit banter and small talk
Send Out a Recap
The audio conference is not over when the call ends. For an audio conference to be truly effective, it is important to send out a recap. Just as with the agenda, the conference recap should consist of action steps and timelines with the addition of accountability. Following up with a post-meeting email will help everyone stay on top of agenda action items and agreed upon tasks. It is also a great way to show your enthusiasm for the projects ahead and appreciation for those who attended the conference.
Now that you know how to lead an audio conference “like a boss,” take a look at how The Conference Group can help your company set up the audio conference calling services that are 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.