Conference phone calls are an efficient way to boost collaboration across your business. But like any business meeting, a successful conference call requires planning, management and common courtesy.

Here are five tips you can implement right now to make sure your next conference call is a success.
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1. Make Sure All Parties Involved Know Who Is Listening

Conference calls usually take place over the phone and not all participants can see or know who is on the call. Important information may be revealed during these phone calls. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that everyone involved in the call is aware and informed of whoever is on the call or in the room listening to the conversation.

As meeting leader, it’s also a good idea to introduce the meeting participants and whoever is present in the room so everyone is aware of who is listening to the information being discussed.

2012.03.22 Jabra01 23482. Do Not Include Accidental Listeners

Invite only those people who have reason to participate to your conference phone call, especially if sensitive information is being discussed. A conference call is like any other private business meeting, and only those people who are required to attend or who can contribute to the meeting should be included. This prevents passersby and other employees from overhearing details they really don’t need to know.

2012.03.22 Jabra01 21073. Keep It Professional

Treat the conference call as you would a face to face meeting with a client or business partner.

Conduct the call in a professional manner and make sure that your attention does not wonder simply because you are not sitting in the same room with the other meeting participants.

4. Prepare In Advance

Conference calls are no different than any other business meeting. Preparation is a key ingredient to a successful meeting. All participants should be advised as to when the call will take place so that they can prepare for the meeting and be available at the appropriate time.

If you are the meeting leader, send out the meeting details, agenda and any appropriate meeting materials well in advance of the meeting so the participants can prepare. If you are a participant, make sure you have the meeting call-in details at hand before the meeting starts.

Take the call seriously, just as you would any important face to face meeting, and be sure to be prompt and ready when the time comes.

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5. Respect Confidentiality

Conference call courtesy also includes respect for the other call participants. For example, do not allow unauthorized people to listen in on confidential information without the other party's knowledge.

Also, if you are the meeting leader, use proper names and allow everyone to speak or give their input during the call. If you are a participant, listen to the other participants and wait until it’s your turn to speak.

In a conference call, you don’t have the benefit of seeing the other participants face to face. That’s why the meeting needs to be well organized and managed – to avoid disruptions and misunderstandings.

Conclusion

With a little planning, preparation and common courtesy, conference calls can be a valuable asset to your business. Imagine the time and money you can save by meeting remotely.

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