Conference calls can be very intimidating when being conducted for the first time. Success can be solely dependent upon the technology that is used to conduct the meeting. Once technology is working, the hosts ability to facilitate the meeting among several callers is put into play. Without some organization and preparation, a conference call can turn into a major fail fairly quickly. Forbes contributor, Lisa Quast, offers a few ways to lead an effective call:
Prepare for the worst: Send out all of the information ahead of time. Access codes, telephone numbers, etc.
Play host: If you are the facilitator make sure you are the first one to dial in, just as you would be early to an in-person meeting.
- Ask dial-in attendees to put their telephones on mute while they are listening to avoid background noise. Tell them to unmute their telephone if they have a question or comments.
- Let dial-in attendees know NOT to put their telephone line on hold – doing so may cause everyone to hear hold music and will interrupt the meeting.
- Ask attendees who are not dialing in on a cell phone to place their cell phones on mute and keep them away from the telephone, as this can cause a loud buzzing noise.