An audio conference, also commonly referred to as a
, is not just for large companies, but for any size of company that wants to have an online meeting to either offer educational training or share information about company business.
However, since it is such a fluid and dynamic medium, conference calling can also be easy to mess up. With that in mind, here are ten steps to follow to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
1. Schedule the call in a way that is mindful of other people’s busy lives. Figure out the times when people in your business are most available so that the call does not interfere with their normal working routines.
2. Research collaborative
audio conferencing providers
. Find one that is flexible enough to serve the technological capabilities of a wide range of individuals, communities, businesses, or organizations locally, regionally, or around the world.
3. Once you have figured out when you should call and what provider to use, draft a meeting request to attendees. In your
email requesting a conference call
include call in numbers, passwords or codes, and the agenda for the meeting. Be brief, clear, practical and positive.
4. Make a list of attendees, collecting general information. This will be useful when deciding who to invite and how to chat with them during the conference call.
5. Send your initial message and then follow it up with a reminder a few days later. If the call is scheduled in the morning, send it the day before. If the call is scheduled at noon or in the afternoon, send it on the day of the call. This is also a good time to send any necessary reports that will help the attendees follow along during the call so that everyone is on the same page.
6. Before the call, make sure that everything is lined up. If others are helping you, whether as assistants, collaborators or live interviewees, contact them to make sure that everyone is ready. Also, review the information you will be presenting, making any last minute changes or final edits.
7. Log on ten minutes before the call if the conference system will permit you. Use this time to familiarize yourself with the teleconferencing equipment or test the bridge.
8. Don’t begin the call immediately on schedule, but have a five minute delay to give late attendees a chance to be present. Use the time to chat with those who have come on time. Then begin as soon as the five minutes are up even if all attendees have not yet shown up.
9. Do not deviate from your carefully planned agenda during the call. It is easy to be distracted by a question and derail the entire talk. Also monitor the time presenters take and the scheduled ending time. Your job is to keep track of everything and make sure all the information is covered in the time allotted.
10. Close out the call to ask if anyone has questions or to schedule the next meeting. Make sure to leave enough time in your agenda for a question and answer period. Thank everyone for their attendance and wish them a good day.
Following these ten steps should ensure that everything runs smoothly. Connectivity is easy with conference calls and it increases engagement saves money, increases efficacy, boosts productivity and makes collaboration a breeze, including sharing graphs, charts, and other visual documents. Finally, all information can be recorded for repurposing, like selling an educational product at a later date.