Teleconferencing is fast becoming the most preferred method of communication for businesses. But as call conferencing is becoming more common, so are the frustrations due to long and unproductive calls. How can you make effective conference calls? How do you ensure that all your expectations of a voice conference are met and you get your time back for other tasks?

The first step in improving the quality of phone conferencing is to ensure that you are with the right teleconferencing service provider. Check whether the technology that he uses is the latest and that the conference bridge is robust enough for your purposes.

Once you have established that you are with the right conference call service provider, you can get into the intricacies of the call itself.

Once you decide to host a teleconference, it is important to communicate expectations of the call to all participating members. Send out detailed information such as the purpose of the call, number to dial and the PIN, date and time, list of participants and the agenda. Also send all relevant documents so that participants can prepare for the call well in advance. One of the most common reasons why telephone conferencing can seem never ending is because participants are busy rummaging through their briefcases or computers for pertinent information. If everyone comes prepared, the call can be made very productive and completed on time.

There are many conferencing services to choose from such as audio, video and web conferencing. Depending on the nature of your business and volume of calls, you may choose the best one from all the conferencing solutions available.

Whatever be the type of conferencing that you prefer, the purpose of the call must be communicated to all in a clear and succinct manner. By defining one or two specific objectives of the call, you will be able to stay focused and keep the call short and productive.

Circulate the dial in number and PIN on the invitation and all scheduled reminders. Let the number be where it is easy to find. You do not want people dialling in late because they could not find the number.

A conference call must have a moderator. The moderator is responsible for ensuring that the call starts and ends on time. He is also responsible for keeping the call on track by steering back the conversation to the agenda items and by maintaining a professional demeanour at all times.

Once the call is over, decide on the time for the next call. Circulate the minutes promptly and follow up on actions.

Follow the above tips and you will be able to host a productive, short and effective call every time.