How to get the most out of your conference call

This current and thoroughly strange environment has forced many of us to become more acquainted with technology in a way we had never been before, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

One such development of this newfound reliance on tech is that those of us who can work from home are now communicating with our colleagues via conference call software such as Skype and Zoom. And while it may seem like a novelty at times, it’s important to know how to use this technology, and the time surrounding the conference call, to its maximum potential.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your conference call, even when your colleague’s dog keeps leaping up on screen.

Organize
For any kind of a meeting to be successful, it must be well organized. Think of all the things you’d usually do to prepare for a meeting; your agenda, your notepad, your notes, prepared questions and answers, etc. The agenda is most important here, and we’ll explain why shortly.

Familiarize yourself with the software
Don’t just jump into the conference call with a bare minimum understanding of the software. Put some time aside to learn about its features and fixes in case something goes wrong.

Whichever conference call software you choose to use, it will likely come with some additional extra features like recording capabilities (which we’ll cover again soon) or call reminders to make sure everyone is on time.

Encourage participation
Again, much like a normal meeting, it’s important to encourage everyone to speak up. However, you can’t prompt anyone with a simple wink or a nod when there’s miles between you. Keep it simple but clear, ask “Nora, what do you think?” and make sure everyone is participating.

Stick to the agenda
The agenda is all-important, especially when the meeting is taking place virtually rather than face-to-face. Nobody wants to stare at their colleagues on a computer screen for that long, so make sure you understand the topics of discussion so you can…

Keep it short
Yes, the best meetings are short and effective. You might be missing your colleagues so much that you want to stay on for longer, but you can contact them later on. So once the goal of the meeting has been met – it’s better to log off and tackle the meeting actions.

Record the call
Some conference call tech, like Zoom, will allow you to record your meetings so that you can easily pull up important parts and identify key information for future reference. But make sure that your colleagues know that they are being recorded before you proceed.
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Let us know in the comments if you found this article helpful, and keep your eyes peeled as we share more helpful tips on working from home.