First of all, a quick brief about what telephone conferencing is all about. A teleconference is nothing but a telephone call where you speak to three or more people at the same time. Vendors providing conferencing services host something called a conference bridge which is basically a server that has the capability to connect multiple telephone lines at the same time. There are many call conferencing solutions available to suit any budget or volume of calls.
Guide to phone conferencing
Follow the instructions below to master call conferencing:
- Join the call on time by dialling the number and punching in the access code that the service provider has given you. If you are the one hosting the conference, it is a good idea to join the call a few minutes before everyone arrives and greet each caller as they join.
- Join the voice conference only from a room that is relatively quiet and where you will not be constantly interrupted. This is especially true if you work from home.
- If you have a speakerphone, it may be great for you to relax hands free, but most speakerphones pick up all the background noises and do not have the sufficient clarity. So during a call, speaker phones are best avoided. Speak into the handset and when you are listening, put the mute button on. If you are on a cordless phone, make sure that during the duration of the call you stay as close to the base as possible.
- Dial into the call on the scheduled time. The bridge number is a special number and is allotted to you only during the scheduled time, not before. When you dial in, you will be greeted by a message asking you to enter the access code. This will get you connected to the call.
- During the call, speak only when prompted by the leader. If you wish to speak, you may always indicate that to the host by saying something like, “Steve, this is Michelle from XYZ.” The host may ask you to go ahead and that’s the cue for you to share.
- If you join late, wait and listen for a while to catch up on what is being discussed. If you get disconnected, simply dial back into the bridge.