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12 Most Common Mistakes in Conference Calling

November 14, 2006 in Conferencing Mistakes

3-Part Series, Part 1. Author: Shawn Frey, Industrial Recruiter/Industrial Sales Trainer for Harper Brush Company. I have actively facilitated and lead conference calls since November 17, 2003. During this time I have researched and perfected the use of this technology by discovering 12 key concepts. I’d like to share 4 of those concepts with you today. These concepts will make your calls more effective, inspiring, and productive.

Mistake #1 – Failing to use a good toll-free reservation-less service.

Solution: Use a good toll-free reservation-less service. Why? Because you want to ensure maximum caller participation and you want to make it easy for your callers to participate. Why? Real simple, you want to make your callers feel good and nothing does this quite like using a good toll-free reservation-less service. I have used Conference Calls Unlimited since I began conference calling. Their service is awesome. Think of it as you and I going to breakfast at your favorite local restaurant and me picking up the tab.

Mistake #2 – Not having an agenda and/or not letting your callers know the agenda in advance.

Solution: Plan your agenda in advance and let your callers know what it is. Why? Because you want your callers to be prepared to discuss the conference agenda. We aren’t flying by the seat of our pants here. We’ve all made a commitment to participate on the call and an agenda helps everyone stay on track. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes your callers will go off on a tangent… that’s ok, just think of it as the beagle chasing the rabbit. Just make sure the beagle comes home again.

Mistake #3 – Not giving each participant a personal reminder.

Solution: Pick up the phone and call your participants.I cannot stress this enough. You must remind each caller when your next call is going to be and what the agenda is. Ideally you want to remind them a day or two before the next conference call. Do not email them. Pick up the phone and call them. Why? Because it shows that you care, that they are important to the conference call and that you value their time.

Mistake #4 – Failing to take notes and distribute after the call.

Solution: Pick up a good digital recorder or old school tape recorder and record your conference call! When the call is finished have your scribe (more about scribes in my next article) type and distribute the call notes. You want the call notes to recap and highlight the call and to remind participants of when the next call will be and what the agenda will be. This is very important, especially for training calls.

Now, let’s recap these four solutions:

1) Use a good toll-free, reservation-less service.

2) Have an agenda and share it prior to the call.

3) Give each participant a personal reminder.

4) Take notes and distribute after the call.

Next time we will discuss:

1) Conference call participants; 2) Facilitators & scribes; 3) Call testimonials; 4) Creating conference call decrees.

Until then if you have questions, advice or just want to say hello you can email me here: shawnsue@iowatelecom.net. You can listen to Shawn's audio presentation of Pt. 1 of this series. Here's the ink; You can stream it live or download it for later listening. Disclaimer: Shawn is Industrial Recruiter/Industrial Sales Trainer for Harper Brush Company, a customer of ours located here in Fairfield, IA.

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