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Conference Call Etiquette: Setting up the Conference Call Facility
While conference call meetings bring many benefits when compared to face-to-face meetings, it is important to understand that a conference call can bring its own set of unique issues. Not being able to see the face of the person you are talking to means that your verbal communication skills need to be spot on, allowing no room for misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
Setting up a conference call also requires a certain degree of organisation, and some important communication activities should be done before, during and after the event.
Here is a checklist of four tips on planning ahead to ensure smooth running of all your conference calls.
(1) Conference Call Facility Management: System
If you have set up the teleconferencing facility at your organisation, you should set up a conference call facility management system. The management system should include a schedule and bookings system for managing its use. Having colleagues dialling-in on another conference call while the call is in progress is unprofessional and embarrassing. Make sure this doesn’t happen by having a system in place to book teleconferencing facilities usage.
(2) Conference Call Facility Management: Access
Once your system is set up, you should be clear about who has access to the account, perhaps delegating the bookings to the manager of each team who will be using the account. If you have multiple lines, be clear about who has access to each phone line, and keep the passwords for the accounts secure.
(3) Conference Call Facility Management: Training
Having mastered the use of the teleconferencing facility, ensure all colleagues who will be using it are fully trained both on using the conference calling account and using the scheduling and bookings system.
Once up and running, colleagues will undoubtedly see the benefits of conferencing calls and want to use the account regularly. But while it is fantastic that everyone is enthusiastic about the conference call facility, remember that the calls are invitation only. Make sure colleagues who use the facility are aware of the etiquette of not dialling-in to other people’s calls. Keeping dial-in passwords private should be common practice.
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