Managing Conference Calls

Conference calls are increasingly becoming the default meeting methodology. The increased use of home-workers, the number of cross-border working teams and simply the lack of meeting spaces have meant that more and more people are regularly participating in large, complex conference calls.

We all know that running an effective meeting is difficult when all the participants are in the same room but it is even more difficult to run a conference call effectively when the participants are in multiple locations, in different geographies, come from different cultural back grounds and speak different languages.

Conference calls lack the personal touch. You cannot see people and assess their reactions to issues. You lack the visual stimulation you get in face-to-face meetings. There is no body language to rely on, you can’t see people’s faces and it is really difficult to judge their tone of their voice.

No wonder then that many people complain about spending far too much of their valuable time in seemingly pointless and unproductive conference calls!

Conference call needn’t be a disaster. They can be made to work effectively. The key to all this is organization and active conference call leadership. The onus is on the conference call leader to make the call work. If it doesn’t, the leader hasn’t done his or her job properly and has just wasted a great deal of the company’s resources.

This section looks at the active steps any conference call leader needs to take to ensure that the conference call meets the business objectives they have set for the meeting. Follow these simple steps and you will improve the quality and effectiveness of conference calls dramatically.
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