As one of ETA’s trainers, I spend a large part of my workday using conferencing services.  Whether I am talking to my ETA project team over an audio conference call, or if I am providing a customer with a step-by-step training using web conferencing technologies, I find these services to be crucial to my workday.  I have put together a list of best practices that I have found to be extremely important when conducting a conference call:

Before the conference call takes place –

  • Send out an agenda to the conference attendees that outlines the goals of the meeting
  • Provide all conference attendees with any external documents, presentations, or materials applicable to the meeting
  • Test out the camera(s) and/or microphone(s) at least 15 minutes before the conference is set to begin
  • Establish the necessary telephone and video connections

During the conference call –

  • Every participant should introduce themselves with their full name along with the company they are representing
  • Talk in a normal speaking volume; avoid unnecessary screaming
  • Use the “mute” button when another participant is speaking
  • Allow other participants to fully finish speaking before you speak to avoid audio feedback and “double talk”
  • Avoid distracting noises (ex: eating, shuffling papers, typing, chewing gum, etc.)

After the conference call –

  • Create a summary of what plans or goals were established during the call, and send to the appropriate parties
  • Send out any information or materials that were discussed during the call to all attendees
  • If the call was recorded, save this file and use accordingly

I hope you find these tips to be helpful!  Just remember, conducting yourself well on a conference call is just as important as the way you conduct yourself in an in-person meeting.