Etiquette for Conference Calls
Conference call etiquette is very important to the success of any meeting held over the phone. Good manners during such a meeting ensure that the agenda is tackled fully, all members take part and the meeting is concluded in time. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when attending a conference call meeting.
Stay in a silent place
Background noise can distract all members on the other side of the line. It is best to choose a place that is quiet so you can hear and be heard better. Shut down any music and reduce the movements in the area if you can. If you are unable to get to a silent place in time for the conference do not be rude. Apologise before anyone asks and give a brief reason why you could not make it to a quiet place.
Be on time
Just like a physical meeting, calling in late for a conference call is very annoying to other participants. You will also miss out on what is shared before you join in the conversation. The best you can do is note the date and time when the conference meeting is to be held and not forget it. Call in a few minutes before the set time. It is better to wait for others than be the one everyone will be waiting for.
Mute the call when you are done giving your contribution
There is a reason why there is a mute button on your phone. It is meant to help you listen better. After you are done talking, mute the call so the background noise does not distract the other members of the conference call. Even if you are in a quiet place like the office mute the call in case some sudden noise is made.
Always introduce yourself
Before you contribute to the discussion, state your name clearly. This will help others understand the context of your contribution. If the other people in the call come from organisations different from yours and do not know you state more than your name. State your company, location and role after stating your name. In some instances, another member may introduce you. After the introduction, greet the others so they note what your voice sounds like.
Prepare what to say beforehand and say it loudly and clearly
The conference leader will send the agenda of the meeting in advance. Once you receive it, prepare in advance and stick to the agenda. Arrange your notes well such that they are within reach and you can refer to them when the time comes. When you start talking be loud so everyone can hear you and also be brief and to the point so as to save time.
The other people in the conference cannot see you. You may therefore be tempted to do things other than listen to the call. From social media to co-workers to pending work, there are very many distractions. Good conference call etiquette however requires you to be disciplined and pay attention. You may be caught off-guard by a comment or question addressed to you and you will have nothing to respond. Pay attention just like you would in a physical meeting.