Let’s face it, conference call are even more of a necessity in many industries today.  When managed properly, they are an effective means of communication and a valuable business tool because they decrease travel costs and increase the speed of decisions.

Below are some of the  key tips on how to run a proper conference call.

Click here for our guide on how to improve communication skills

E-mail a meeting reminder

about a week in advance that includes an agenda with time limits, the call’s objectives and the call-in number.


 Dial in on time

or a few minutes early, if you are the organiser. A lot of conference calls waste the first 5 minutes with constant beeps and interruptions from latecomers.


  Introduce Yourself

on a conference call, people tend to either rush through or over-elaborate on their bio. Many don’t even say who they are.


 Mute your phone when you are not speaking

To help avoid distracting sounds, conversations, or noises that are not applicable to the conference call, the mute button can be your friend. Muting your phone will help you avoid embarrassing sighs, munching noises from eating your lunch, or other background noise.


 Take Notes

Your mind can easily wander in face to face meetings, and it can take a marathon hike during a conference call. You must take notes to ensure you stay on track.


  Be Aware of Your Location

Choose a phone in a quiet location with a minimum of background noise.Your location is critical during a conference call. If you are in a loud area, you may have a difficult time hearing the conversation over the phone line.


 Share the agenda with all participants

With an agenda, you’re less likely to forget what you need to discuss. They are far more effective if participants are aware of the agenda in advance.


Give instructions

on how people enter and leave the conversation to prevent people from speaking over one another or someone dominating the discussion.


 Take a note of the names of people as they join and keep a list

This way you will know when everyone who is expected has arrived and when you can begin.


 Record decisions

You and most people on the conference call will not remember the decisions that were made, even 30 minutes after the conference call.


 How to prevent sound quality problems

  • Avoid speakerphones as they will introduce background noise into the call.
  • Avoid mobile or cordless phones as they tend to pick up static.
  • In the event that a cell call is required we recommend a stationary location where the signal strength is high.
  • Electronic devices (such as Blackberries, iPhones, or cell phones and associated hands-free devices, laptops, etc.) can interfere with line quality if located too close to the phone. If possible, place such items a good distance away from the phone you are using for the conference call.


 Engaged and be engaged

The host should ask questions and invite comments to keep everyone involved and engaged. Use people’s names when asking questions or inviting comments.


 Wrap Up and say thanks

At the end of the meeting, restate all major action items and allow for any final questions/comments.  Explain that notes will be forthcoming.  Be sure to thank participants for their attendance.


What is your conference call tip?


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Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


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