There are so many smartphone and desktop applications out there that it can be easy to find your devices completely cluttered up with tools that you rarely use. Many of today’s apps are designed to make life easier and more efficient for us in some way, and a significant proportion of them are geared towards working professionals. But are any of these apps really going to make your job easier?
Well yes, some of them certainly can, because they address very real problems in the work place, like keeping all your notes and ideas organised. But it can be hard to know which apps are reliable and useful without trying them first. It’s also important to realise that any application requires time and attention before you’ll get anything out of it, and this is something that many people struggle with.
Teamwork is almost always crucial to achieving something in business. Even the most experienced, successful professional would tend to confess that two heads are better than one, and three better than two, and… you get the idea. A group of productive people working together will generally achieve a huge deal more than just one or two could have.
Sometimes when there is a challenging problem to solve (whether it’s staff or customer based), a co-operative approach is required. And this is where we think many organisations could be making more use of conference calls. Conference calling, because it’s so simple, can be very easily integrated into any company’s support systems.
Using conference calls for interviews – particularly in the preliminary stages – can be a really great idea with a whole host of benefits for both interviewers and interviewees. Thanks to the availability of genuinely free conference calls, a great deal of money can be saved on the cost of commuting and renting appropriate meeting spaces. It can also be a really good way to help good applicants to feel slightly more relaxed and able to talk comfortably, as they will be in an environment familiar to them.
Holding screening interviews over the telephone is constantly becoming a more common practice. It comes with many benefits, as it saves both the interviewer and the interviewee time and money otherwise spent on travelling to and from the interview, waiting for any possible delays in arrival to the interview and so on. Nonetheless, it is a relatively new and growing technique, and as such conference call tips can be extremely useful, to make sure you get the most out of your telephone conference. To help you hold the most successful conference call interviews possible, here is a list of handy ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s to keep in mind.
Done badly, conference calls can end in disaster, but use them properly and conference calls could be one of the best business tools in your arsenal – particularly when you can use them completely free. Using a conference call to discuss your company’s earnings with investors, partners, analysts and so on can be an extremely efficient and beneficial practice, particularly if done on a regular basis – such as at the end of each quarter. Still, conducting a teleconference of this nature successfully isn’t always completely straightforward; certain techniques could work really well, while other practices might leave a bad impression and hinder the conversation. Of course, this is true in any conference call, so looking at some tips for voice meetings in general and common teleconferencing mistakes may be a good first move.
Conference calls can be a wonderful and deeply beneficial tool for your business, helping things run more smoothly and efficiently. They can also, however, be hugely disrupted by certain bad habits and common mistakes that many frequent users will be familiar with. To help you out, here is a list of 5 bad conference call behaviours to avoid on your next audio conference.
1. Not muting yourself when you should
The mute button is so beautifully simple, so wondrously easy to use and so woefully neglected by many. It’s there for a very good reason. If you’re conference calling from home, travelling, or even just in a bustling office, it can be a really good idea to mute yourself while you aren’t contributing to the discussion. The sounds of wailing children, barking dogs, chugging railways lines and your midday meal deal going down are not only going to interfere with the attention you pay to the call, but distract and irritate all the other participants too. Make sure you choose your environment wisely, and if it’s not possible to be in a quiet area, make good use of the mute button – it’s your friend, and everybody else’s.
The question of how many participants to have in a conference call can be a tricky one to answer. With all of the different uses for conference calls, there are all kinds of different teleconferences happening. Each will have its own parameters. But there are some general guidelines which apply in almost all cases.
Another thing to consider is that conference calls have a maximum number of participants, set by the conference call provider. To learn more about how many participants you can and should have in a conference call, read on.
Conference calls have the potential to have awkward hiccoughs and even become disastrous, if used by people who have not properly researched conference calling and have little experience. Below are 5 ways to ensure you have a smooth teleconference experience.
1. Schedule in advance
Before you even start the call, make sure that you send clear invitations, with start and end times, as well as the PIN number and conference room number participants will need to access the call. Some teleconference providers can do this all for you, sending out automatic email invitations to your desired participants, and even creating a calendar attachment. This way, you avoid the problems that come with a participant forgetting about the call, or joining late because of confusion regarding the call’s start time. It also means people should not have difficulty in gaining access to the call, as the numbers they need are stored for them. And not only will you help ensure all the necessary people are present in the call, but by giving them an idea of when the call will end, you raise your chances of them creating enough time to stay for the entirety of the call’s duration.
Conference calling isn’t always easy or straightforward. For many, it’s an unfamiliar social situation, and comes with its own difficulties, as well as its own benefits. One thing that can make teleconferencing a unique – and sometimes challenging – experience, is that you speak to people who you have never, even now, met face to face. So, the first time you get together a group of people who don’t know each other, via a conference call, you might like to use some of these ideas to break the ice, and create a comfortable environment where people are eager to share their thoughts and come up with ideas together.