It's a safe bet that you've been on a conference call within the last month, and experienced some of the behaviors parodied in the video above. The proliferation of technology has provided added convenience to many aspects of office life, including conference calls. This is especially true for court reporters who implement audioconferencing as a remote participation service for attorneys and depositions.
To help out on your next conference call, we've compiled some etiquette tips to keep your meetings productive and polite.
Don't Be Tardy for the Party
Becoming annoyed when someone is late is a pretty universal reaction, but it's especially annoying when you're on a conference call. Usually when you dial in, a bell noise sounds and interrupts the conversation. This can ruin productivity, interrupt someone's train of thought, and just ultimately disrupt things (as seen in the video above). Be considerate, and be on time. You could even *gasp* call in a little early!
Follow the Leader
Each conference call should have a leader, and with that comes some added responsibility. The leader is often the organizer of the meeting, and they should have a clear objective for what the conference accomplishes, along with some concrete goals. Along with that comes their responsilibility to...
Announce an Agenda
...announce an agenda. The leader of each audioconference (or for that matter any meeting) should have an agenda prepared and distributed before each meeting. This will keep the conference call on track and will decrease the likelihood that you run over on time or become unproductive.
Monitor the Mute
Having a meeting over the phone can be tricky depending on the participants' environments. Be sure to mute your phone when you aren't talking to prevent any outside noises from affecting the connection.
That being said, be sure to pay attention to your mute button. You don't want to try to assert your opinion during the perfect lull in the conversation and not have anyone hear you.
Stop with the Shyness
There's no room for shyness or timidness when you're on a conference call. Because no one can see you or gauge your reactions like in a face-to-face meeting, you'll need to be comfortable speaking up when you have an opinion or point. However...
... you don't want to rudely interrupt someone. Being respectful is important in all aspects of life, including conference calls. Your colleagues will most likely understand that any interruptions aren't intentionally rude, but you also don't want to talk over someone every time they get a chance to speak. Make sure your points are important and relevant enough to warrant interrupting someone.
Don't Get Distracted
Going along with our last point, it's important to give every meeting your undivided attention, including conference calls. It's easy to let your mind wander when you're not in a face-to-face meeting, but it's respectful - not to mention professional - to keep your mind focused on the meeting at hand.
Use Remote Counsel
Using Remote Counsel for your audioconferencing needs is one of the smartest things you can do. Here's why:
- Because you will have your own audioconferencing number and pin code, no reservations are required and you will only be charged for your usage
- You can have up to 125 participants at a time, with moderator and participant passwords available
- We don't require any contract or obligation from you and have some of the most competitive rates in the business
- Premium features include: keypad shortcuts, recording and replay, optional security codes, subconference allowance, online account management, audio host controls, and more!
Do you have any additional tips for conference calling that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed the parody video at the beginning of our blog, be sure to check out the one below: