For those who aren’t used to it, conference call etiquette can be confusing.
Conference calls are one of those things that are important in the business world, even though you probably don’t have a lot of experience with them in your personal life. That can make them feel intimidating.
But, really, conference calls just have some simple rules that you should be following.
They’re the sorts of rules that wouldn’t come to you naturally, but once you know them, they feel like common sense and they’re easy to follow.
Here are ten easy-to-follow conference call etiquette rules to keep your conference calls running smoothly. With these, you’ll be a conference call pro in no time!
State Your Name Before Speaking
This is a very simple rule.
Whenever you say something, you should let people know that it’s you speaking. A simple, “____ chiming in here” will do.
This is important because, in conference calls, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between voices. This can lead to a lot of confusing if you don’t clarify who is speaking before you continue.
Save your coworkers some time and aggravation by giving them your name before you start.
Write Things Down Beforehand
When you start a conference call, you probably have everything you want to say neat in your head.
But when the call starts, things will inevitably go off track. If you aren’t prepared, you forgetting something is pretty much inevitable.
But people remember things better when they write them down. Plus, having a list to consult means that you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
This will lead to a more productive meeting, as you won’t have to waste any time thinking about what you were going to ask or what you wanted to say. You’ll save everyone some stress.
Make Sure There’s an Agenda
This is a piece of conference call etiquette that goes a long way.
If you’re the one in charge, make sure that you have the agenda ready. If someone else is in charge, you can email them and ask them to send it to you.
Knowing what the conference call’s agenda is is important because it will help you to know what to expect. You won’t derail the call with questions if you know what to ask.
Consider Using Camera
Studies have shown that 55% of conversations are nonverbal. So, if your conference call is just through phone, you’re only getting half of the conversation.
If you’re planning a conference call, consider using Blue Conferencing. That might ultimately be the better thing to do.
This piece of conference call etiquette doesn’t necessarily have to do with politeness. Instead, it’s more about what works to get your point across.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
This is just common sense. You can’t expect your co-workers to understand you if you’re mumbling or going too fast to keep up.
In every conference call, some sound quality is going to be sacrificed. It’s just a part of how things go.
It also doesn’t help that people may be talking over each other or trying to say something at the same time.
If you’re in a conference call, communication and understanding should be your main concern.
Don’t Let There Be Dead Air
This is one of the most awkward things in a conference call.
If the call is waiting on you to do something, say, find a piece of information in your email, the proper conference call etiquette is to let the rest of the call know where you are by “narrating” it.
For example, you can say, “Alright, the email is loading … I’m searching … scrolling through … Yes, here it is.”
This avoids awkward silence.
Keep Things Quiet
Technology is not perfect. Sometimes, there will be feedback or awkward noises through the phone.
That’s why it’s generally considered good conference call etiquette to put your phone on mute when you aren’t actively speaking. This way, you aren’t interrupting the conversation.
Even though your phone is on mute, you shouldn’t make extra noise. Don’t eat, or work on something else. Give the call your full attention, even if they can’t hear or see you doing it!
If It’s Something That Doesn’t Affect the Rest of the Call, Save It
Imagine you’re out to dinner with a group of friends. You’re all having a good time when, suddenly, two of your friends start a very loud conversation that is only about the two of them. No one else can contribute.
Wouldn’t that annoy you?
The same rules apply to conference call etiquette. If it doesn’t apply to the whole group, ask your co-worker for a follow-up call to discuss it later.
Don’t Forget a Call to Action
At the end of a conference call, people need to know what they should be doing.
Because of this, it’s generally considered good conference call etiquette to end a call with something like, “Okay, Lauren is going to email the client, and Bill will start working on the logo design …”
Having a clear direction makes people focus on where they’re going in the future, but also makes the conference call feel like a success where things were accomplished.
Above All, Be Pleasant
This is the most important piece of conference call etiquette we can give.
Even if you don’t know all of the ins and outs and rules of a conference call, people won’t fault you if you’re polite and pleasant to them no matter what.
Trying to keep a call on track is stressful for everyone involved, but it is a lot less stressful without people being rude.
Keep your manners in mind, always, when you’re on a conference call.
Do You Have Conference Call Etiquette Down?
If so, it’s time for the next step: getting the right tools for the job.
We’re all about giving businesses affordable conference call solutions. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business, we’d love you to get in touch with us.