There are a lot of advantages that come from cloud conference calling, convenience and effectiveness being just a couple of the biggest ones. However, all too often, conference calls turn out to be neither convenient nor effective. Instead, they can often feel burdensome, boring, and barely useful. How, as a conference call host, can you set up and organize your conference calls for success? How can you reap the benefits of online meetings that everyone keeps talking about?
Our team at Veracity Networks Webex Meetings has put together this helpful guide that covers everything you need to know about organizing, setting up, and hosting conference calls properly. In doing so, you’ll finally be in a position to recognize all the various, sometimes unexpected but pleasant benefits that online meetings can bring you, your team, and your business.
How to Organize a Conference Call Meeting for Effectiveness
Here are a few key tips to help you know how to organize a conference call meeting to be an effective tool:
- Know Who Needs to Attend (and Who Doesn’t): Don’t send out a mass invite and expect everyone to be excited to attend your conference call just for fun. Know and invite the key players/decision-makers and leave it at that.
- Decide on a Meeting Time (and an Alternative): Refer to and be considerate of others’ published work calendars and shoot for a date and time that doesn’t have a conflict. Additionally, try not to schedule long meetings or too many meetings.
- Send a Formal Invitation (and Reminders): Making a formal meeting invite will give weight to your request. Don’t forget to send reminders as well because everyone gets busy and distracted and a meeting may slip the mind.
- Have an Agenda (and Email It): Sure, you can just scribble down a few notes, but that’s simply not good enough. Have a clear outline of main topics and subtopics to discuss, along with questions to ask and the goals trying to be achieved with the meeting. Emailing the agenda to the attendees ahead of time allows them to know what to expect and how to prepare themselves. It also shows others that the meeting is necessary, important, and that you, as the host, are prepared for it.
Why is doing these three things so important? Because no matter what else you do, if you don’t organize yourself before even requesting a conference call, you’ll struggle getting your thoughts together and getting people to attend prepared and ready to contribute to the meeting’s goals.
How to Set Up a Conference Call for Easy Participation
Here are a few things to keep in mind when wondering how to set up a conference call so that others can participate easily:
- Dial in Early: Join the call at least five minutes before the start time. This allows you to organize yourself, get refamiliarized with the process, and welcome others to the meeting.
- Access All Host Features: These can include attendee profile data, whiteboarding, screenshare, fileshare, etc.
- Know How (and When) to Mute: You should know where your mute button is, but also how to mute others. Not every participant will know how or realize when they should be muted, so take the initiative when necessary
- Refer to the Agenda: It’s incredibly easy to get off topic and let a meeting run long…really long. Refer back to the agenda often and stick to the specific topics on it.
- Take Notes: One big mistake is thinking you’ll remember everything that was discussed. Either record your call or take plenty of detailed notes, list questions to be answered, and note any feedback you received.
- Decide on Action Items: Assign specific people tasks, deadlines, and expected results for each item on the agenda. Reiterate them before ending the meeting.
- Email a Summary: Recap your discussion, tasks assigned, and any other important notes in an easy-to-read format.
Knowing how to set up a conference call correctly will ensure a glitch-free, heavy-participation experience so that work gets done and goals are accomplished.
How to Host a Teleconference Call for Comfortable Contribution
A conference call is only effective when you get the same level of contribution that you would get in a traditional, face-to-face meeting. The question becomes how to host a teleconference call, then, with attendee contribution in mind. Here are a few things to remember when wondering how to host a conference call to encourage others to contribute in a comfortable environment:
- Do Quick Introductions: This is especially important when conference calls include people who don’t know each other well. By acknowledging each team member and their key role, everyone will feel recognized, involved, and informed.
- Utilize Technology: With all the high-tech conference call tools at your disposal, there’s no excuse not to use them! Video conferencing, screen sharing, and whiteboarding lead to greater engagement and higher output from everyone on the team.
- Say Thank You: When people give you a portion of their day, it’s polite to thank them.
If you have an environment where participants feel needed, involved, and valued, the success of your meeting will be sky high.
The Benefits of Online Meetings
There are many benefits of online meetings. They are:
- Flexible and can be used for any number of attendees.
- Available to attendees no matter their location or if they’re mobile.
- Helpful for keeping team members connected and communicating with each other.
- Highly collaborative, with instant desktop sharing of files, screens, and messages.
- Manageable from a self-care portal with easy settings.
- Affordable, and can save money on long-distance phone calls and in-person meetings.
- Secure from listening ears outside the meeting.
How Veracity’s Webex Meetings App is Excellent for Business Communication
Of course you want to enjoy all the above benefits of online meetings, so what’s the best way to go about getting them? That’s where Veracity’s Webex Meetings, Calling, and Teams powered by Cisco comes in!
Imagine a single app that unifies all your communications–where sharing, creating, meeting, and working together all from the device of your choice is not only available, but actually very effective. With a virtual meeting room, you can have productive meetings anytime and anywhere. Webex Meetings makes all your conference calling instantly easy.
Are you ready to improve the quality of your conference call meetings and all your other business communication needs at the same time? Contact a Veracity Networks solution specialist today!