Although conference calls are done virtually, that doesn’t mean they’re void of any manners or formalities. Aside from the common meeting etiquette, conference calls also have various unwritten rules that will make the session a better experience for everyone. If your business utilizes large virtual meetings regularly, make sure you and your employees are well aware of the unwritten rules when participating in conference calls:
In the first two minutes of the call, introduce yourself as the host and state the reason or purpose of the conference call. You can also state the agenda of the call, so everyone’s mind is refreshed.
If you’re a participant and you know you’re going to be late for the call, let the host know. This way the host and other members won’t be confused or they won’t spend time waiting for you to dial in.
Location matters when it comes to conference calls, so don’t ever take a call from a noisy location. Not only will it interrupt you, but it will also interrupt the others and the discussion. If it can’t be helped, apologize to everyone and mute yourself when not speaking.
If you have team members scattered in different states (or even countries), it’s going to be a lot tougher. Consider the timezones and the time differences when scheduling a call.
More likely than not, your conference call will experience bouts of silence. Don’t let these last too long. Keep talking or encouraging people to take part. Prolonged silence can lead to uneasiness among the teams.
Other large conference call providers let you utilize screen sharing or slide presentations in your conference meeting. However, you must be sure that your tools are working perfectly. Check it before you proceed to the call.
Don’t spend a significant amount of time recapping the discussion whenever someone’s late. Remember to respect the time of everyone else who came on time. You’ll only be losing time and these stragglers might think it’s okay to keep coming late.
Before dialing in and participating in a conference call, make sure you know how your phone operates, whether it be your personal mobile phone or the office phone. It’s also a plus if you can set a run-through or training with your conference call provider so you know exactly what to do.
Introduce yourself before speaking. This is particularly important when it comes to large conference calls with more than 20 guests. Not everyone knows who you are, and not everyone knows your voice.
Having remote employees in other countries means working with people with different cultures. Remember to be respectful and polite to everyone and their cultures in the conference call.
The conference call is a time for corporate conversation. Using slang would be unprofessional and can cause confusion among the participants.
A conference call should be a smooth conversation between the host and your participants. Don’t talk for more than half the time, especially if there are more than 10 people in the call.
Don’t check your emails while on a conference call. This simple distraction can cause confusion and disrupt the conversation.
Before you wrap up the conference call, ask your participants if they have questions. This way any uncertainties can be straightened out and you can be sure that everyone understood everything in the call.
It is precedent that you record the conference call. Recording helps you take good meeting minutes and document official business progress.