Preparing for a conference call? Five key pointers

With conference calls becoming increasingly popular as a means of conducting business meetings and making presentations, it’s important to pay some attention to the basic preparations before the actual voice conference is carried out.

Inform all participants

First of all the participating members need to be informed about the meeting. Depending on the conferencing solutions provided to you by the conference call service provider, you may have the participants informed about the date, time and agenda of the teleconference by the teleconferencing service providers themselves.

All you need to do is communicate your requirement to them. This ensures that all members are present at the scheduled time and have all the related data and files ready with them. In case any member is unavailable at the scheduled time, they must inform the host.

Access codes

Phone conferencing typically involves a conference bridge, where the members are given a toll-free access code and a personal identification number which allows them to participate in teleconferencing by independently dialling into the bridge at the specified time. In such a case, all members must be communicated with and issued the conference room number and access pin – this is the same for every participant on the conference call. It is also a good practice to provide alternate or support contact numbers that participants can call in case anything goes wrong.

Call recording

Among other conferencing services, one which is very useful is the call recording service which is typically activated with the help of the service provider. It records the proceedings, and then the recording of telephone conferencing session can be played back for future reference. It may also be sent to those members who are in a completely different time zone and therefore not be able to attend the meeting.

Test the conference bridge

In order to avoid any technical glitches during call conferencing, the conference bridge must be tested for the number of lines that can be connected, audio and video clarity. This is important because the entire procedure of the conference call depends on the performance of the conference bridge. Usually, a good service provider should be able to set your mind at ease about the number of participants the bridge can accommodate. However, if you are planning a massive conference, it is a good idea to reconfirm.

Appoint a moderator

A person must be appointed as the moderator just as in a personal meeting. This helps the meeting to be conducted smoothly especially when a large number of participants are involved.

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