Instantly Improve Your Conference Calls With 6 Tips

    We’ve all been there. Straining to hear someone on the other end of a conference call or, even worse, having to pass the conference unit around the table so the other party can hear what’s being said, er, shouted. Then there’s the employee working from home whose dog you can hear persistently barking in the background, or the traveling employee who is behind the wheel while on the road. It’s all frustrating, to say the least.

    Here are 6 ways to instantly improve your conference calls:

    1. Send out an agenda. It’s Meetings 101 to always have an agenda, but oftentimes we overlook this important step when it comes to conference calls. Put one together and share it with the attendees the day before your call.
    2. Stick to said agenda. As the moderator, it’s your job to keep everyone on task and wrangle tangents. Most importantly, don’t be the one to sidetrack things.
    3. Offer visuals. You don’t need a formal PowerPoint presentation, per se, but giving participants something to look at during the call can help them stay focused on the meeting and less likely to check Facebook or do laundry.
    4. Make a mute point. Speaking of laundry (and barking dogs, crying kids, etc.) ask everyone at the start of the call to make sure they’re on mute unless they’re speaking.
    5. But encourage participation. The most successful calls are the ones where participants are engaged and contributing. But getting people to unmute and speak up can be more challenging during calls than in person. Instead of the ole “Does everyone agree?” try calling out specific people/teams to give input. For instance, “What is marketing’s feedback on this plan?”
    6. Get the right equipment in place. Even the most organized calls can quickly go south when you’re working with subpar equipment. For team-to-team calls, the right conference unit is key. For instance, the Mitel MiVoice Conference Unit keeps every call crystal clear, easy and efficient. Its high-definition audio capabilities and embedded 16 microphones enable users to adjust the unit’s audio to their exact liking or specifications to talk directly to those on the other line, drowning out all side conversations so that the words, “Can you repeat that please?” never have to be awkwardly uttered again.