Conference Calls: The Do’s and Don’t’s to Make Them Great
It’s almost always more effective to meet colleagues or outside stakeholders for your business in person, but in the days of cross-country relationship building, conference calls are simply an annoyance we cannot avoid. How, though, can you make your conference calls more effective and less of a time suck?
Last week, our friends at Levo League shared their “7 Conference Call Commandments You Must Follow” and we agree wholeheartedly with all of them, but especially these three. Here they are:
2. Keep it down
Getting caught putting your dishes away when you’re supposed to be on page twelve of that spreadsheet? Humiliating. Try your best to avoid anything noisy. Can’t guarantee a quiet setting? Use the mute button so your supervisor isn’t subjected to your extremely vocal chihuahua who just spied a squirrel out the window.
5. Dress the part
Looking professional during a video call is a top priority, even if you aren’t actually in the office. I don’t care if you’re business from the waist up, bedtime from the waist down; simply make sure you appear presentable and well groomed on screen. The same goes for the background you’ll be sitting in front of. Take a few minutes to de-clutter your surroundings and remove any potentially embarrassing items. Translation? Forgetting to relocate the naked mannequin torso that lives behind your office chair won’t win you any brownie points. (Fortunately, my co-workers have a sense of humor.)
7. Speak up!
Make sure your voice is clear and audible, without resorting to shouting. Communicating over the phone can be tricky—try to allow brief pauses before responding to avoid interrupting your supervisor or cutting that really important client off. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to contribute and share your opinion. Just because you aren’t in the room doesn’t mean you can’t have a say. Your colleagues have gone out of their way to make sure you’re included — use this to your advantage!