A conference call is a sophisticated type of phone call that allows multiple parties to connect to the same call. Conference calls can support anywhere from 3 to 10,000 simultaneous users, and most include a variety of tools and features to help manage the call.
Conference calls are a personal, convenient and cost-effective way to share information with people around the world. Many companies use conference calls for shareholder meetings, to announce new products, and for question and answer sessions.
Conference calls are also a great tool for holding meetings and discussions of any size. Use audio conferencing to connect employees from coast to coast for weekly project meetings, or for an impromptu discussion of an upcoming release. International teams can use conference calls to meet any time for just pennies per minute.
Here are some easy ways to get the most out of your next conference call.
If you will be hosting a conference call:
Have a clear agenda, and provide the agenda to all of the participants beforehand (if applicable)
Test your conference call system before the call begins to make sure everything is functioning properly and that you are familiar with all of the controls and features
Speak in a clear, engaging manner at an even pace, and be conscious of any international callers who are participating (consider hiring an interpreter if necessary).
Stay on schedule so the conference call wonít exceed your budgeted time.
Be sure to save some time at the end of the conference call for questions.
If you are participating in a conference call:
Review the agenda before the conference call and note any questions you have about the material that will be covered. (Even if no questions come to mind, it can be a good idea to make some notes of additional points or write some questions to extend the topics that will be covered in useful ways.)
Connect to the call as early as possible, and test your equipment and volume levels to make sure everything is functioning properly.
Mute your phone when you are not speaking to avoid adding noise to the call. You can mute most phones on the phone itself, and many conference call services provide in-call mute functions as well.
Donít multitask. Take notes if the call is presenting new information.
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