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A List of Helpful Points to Observe Proper Etiquette During a Conference Call
There are a number of good conference call etiquette rules that can be incorporated in a conference call setting to improve communication and increase productivity. Listed are some of the main points to consider when making conference calls:
1. Planning ahead is very important in all project management tasks, and the same goes for conference calling. When you plan to invite people on a conference call, make sure to give clear invitations ahead of time so that all necessary participants can join in as needed.
2. Organize all the information needed to be discussed beforehand to avoid getting confused during the call. Write down the main points you plan to discuss prior to the call in an easy-to-read format, as well as while the call is in session. The notes should be clear and bold. Use a program on your computer or write them down on a piece of paper. Consider making the font larger so it is easily readable.
3. Join in or dial your conference call number ahead of time. A good time to join is at least 5 to 10 minutes before the call begins. This should give you time to prepare and organize all of the necessary documents needed during the call for presentation or discussion.
4. Mute your phone if you are not talking at any point during a conference call or if you need to take care of other tasks. You also have the option of putting your phone on stand-by during the call to avoid disturbing other listeners.
5. Avoid making unnecessary noises during the call. Tapping a pen on the table or shuffling papers can disturb other callers and disrupt calls.
6. Do not interrupt others while speaking. It is important to note that unlike real-life meetings, there are no visual queues during a phone call and each person must wait for the other to finish speaking before talking.
7. Introduce yourself before talking so that other participants are aware of who you are.
8. Do not go off-topic. Going off-topic could waste other participants' precious time and shift the focus to other subjects that are best discussed outside the conference call.
9. Do not put the call on hold, which will cause a "hold tone" to be heard by the other callers on the line.
10. If you need to leave the call for any reason, clearly state so before leaving. Let the callers know that you will not be able to stay for the remaining duration due to whatever need that has arrived.
11. Always pay close attention to all that is being discussed so that you can provide relative and beneficial input to the conference call.
12. Wrap up a conference call properly by allowing all participants time to conclude their input. Clearly state that the call is going to conclude so that no one is in doubt or taken by surprise when you end the call.
Additional Resource: Where to Find and How to Use Pay Per Use Online Meeting Solutions
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BT Business: Modern manners: Your Guide to Conference call Etiquette - http://www.insight.bt.com
Audio Conferencing Guide: http://www.audio-conferencing-guide.com