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Conference Call Etiquette Tips

Written By ABC Consultants
  • Do get comfortable with the fact you will be talking in front of a group and receiving no visual cues or feedback.
  • Do use the right phone in a quiet, undisturbed room.
  • Don't use cell phones or phones that pick up background noise. Calling from an open plan office is the equivalent of having a conversation in a nightclub. If you really can't find a quiet room, use the mute button until you are required to speak.
  • Do learn to use the mute button and other phone technology to avoid a Homer Simpson style “Doh” moment. Your intelligent contributions mean nothing if no one can hear them.
  • Do set up the meeting in advance and communicate the dial in number, passcodes and other information.
  • Do start the meeting absolutely on time; don't reward latecomers' bad behaviour by waiting for them. Take a role call at the start of the meeting, highlighting the missing attendees.
  • Do treat the conference call as if it were a meeting. You know the routine; prepare and circulate an agenda, take notes.
  • Do get each caller to say hello and introduce themselves. Even though you may never meet in person, it's a good relationship builder and gets the shyest of people to at least say their name.
  • Don't assume everyone recognizes your voice. Unless you are disrespecting the boss and want to stay incognito, say your name before you speak. This is particularly important for the person taking meeting notes.
  • Do ask for input by using a person's name. People will pay more attention to avoid the embarrassment of needing the question repeated.
  • Don't shuffle papers; scrape chairs, pencil tap, hum or other distracting, noisy activities. It….drives………… people…………mad!
  • Do close the meeting formally, thanking everybody for their time. That little bit of recognition will make them feel good about talking to you again.
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