Conference Call Etiquette

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The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of a Conference Call

Do’s

Watch the clock. Make good use of everyone’s time.

  • Come to the call with an agenda, clear objectives, and role expectations.
  • Make sure to provide a quick overview at the start of the call as well as a quick summary at the end of the call.

Introduce all parties on the call. Always introduce participants to each other and acknowledge new attendees as they join the call.

Ensure participants are following along. When referring to slides during a presentation, number the slides and clarify as you move from one slide to the next so that all callers can easily follow along.

Pay attention. This may seem to be a given, but it’s not always that easy to do.

  • When you’re on a conference call at your desk, it’s often very tempting to check e-mail, work on documents or do other personal work. Typing on a keyboard is disruptive, however, and callers can hear you. In addition, you may miss the flow of conversation and progress in the meeting.
  • When you’re in a conference room, avoid using your mobile device to check e-mail during the conference call.

Forward incoming calls to voicemail. When joining the conference call from your desk, be sure other incoming calls will not cause a disruption.

Turn off your cell phone ringer, pager, etc.

Speak using a ‘normal’ tone of voice. Today’s conference phones offer excellent acoustic clarity. Yelling or speaking too quietly is distracting.

 

Don’ts

Don’t put the call on hold. If you have to step away, use mute hold because music is very disruptive to others on a call.

Don’t interrupt. Give others a chance to finish what they are saying before speaking.

Don’t have side conversations. They are a distraction to those listening from the other end.

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