If you have spent enough time in any realm of business, you have most likely encountered situations where you have had to conduct conference calls with colleagues, business partners, or clients. But when you do this on a regular basis, you will recognize the opportunity you have to fine tune your conferencing methods and create a more successful, productive experience for everyone involved. So how can that be done? Simply by implementing a few useful tips. In this post, we will introduce five straightforward and effective ways to make conferencing even more productive.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Noise: Nothing is more annoying than hearing people text or cellphones going off during an important conference call. This is one of the surest ways to disrupt an important call and potentially lose a partner or a client. Before beginning any video or web conference call, silence all phones and anything else that might distract everyone in the meeting.
- Don't Forget The Importance of Eye Contact: This is easily overlooked because when you are on a video conference call, it doesn't feel the same as being in a meeting face to face. But don't forget that the other people you are in a conference call with can see you (unless you aren't using a video call) and that eye contact in necessary. Don't forget to maintain this when you are speaking or when someone on the other line has something to say.
- Keep Side Conversations Out of Conference Calls: Think of it this way: if you wouldn't do it during an in-person meeting, don't do it during a conference call. High quality audio will most likely pick up that extra noise which is not only a distraction from the main topic, it can be taken the wrong way or seen as rude by anyone else you are on the call with. Whether it's a side conversation with someone sitting next to you or a separate conversation through email or text, all of it will make it hard for you and others to focus on the important points being discussed. Save any extra conversations for after the conference call.
- Dress For The Occasion: If you are conducting your conference call in the office you are most likely already dressed up professionally. However, wearing office appropriate attire simply isn't enough when you are video conferencing someone. Why? Because clothing such as striped shirts or patterned outfits are very visually distracting. And colors such as red, black, and white do not show up well on video. So if you are conducting a video conference call, make sure to dress correctly and leave certain colors or patterns behind that day.
- Keep it Lively: This might not seem like one of the most pressing matters to address when it comes to a conference call, but it certainly does have a huge effect on the entire experience and the outcome. During your video conference, keep everything as relaxed as possible. Though you will most likely be discussing serious business matters, the key to making it an enjoyable process for everyone involved is to keep it lively and have a good time. Don't let yourself tense up or shy away when you have to speak about something or present a point. Interject, speak confidently, and simultaneously keep the energy productive, but relaxed. This will put everyone else at ease as well while also keeping everyone's attention and making it easier to focus.
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