10 tips for holding an effective conference call

Teleconferencing is a most valuable tool for reaching to a large number of people at the same time while being time-saving and cost-effective. In an age of global warming, a conference call is one of the most popular ways to exchange ideas over long distances without having to deplete valuable resources. You can opt for a video or audio teleconference according to personal need; some companies use a web conferencing option since it allows for a wide range of services (displaying graphs, maps, going through presentations) at the same time.

To make a successful conference call, one must bear in mind a few tips to avoid unnecessary expenditure of time and money:

  1. The first thing to bear in mind before making a teleconference call is to make sure that your service provider is suited for your own personal needs. Various providers offer various payment options-the Pay per Use charge or the fixed charge, Flat Rate or “Minutes” Charge-and you can customise according to your requirements. An important thing to remember while choosing your teleconferencing services is whether your service provider can match your specific need. Look into the detailed plan-specifics of the company before you commit.
  2. The efficiency of your equipment is paramount. It would pay to invest in a good quality phone for teleconference services before the commencement of the call.
  3. It would help to send the agenda, the date and time, the list of participants and the PIN number to confirm to all the participants before entering a conference.
  4. Send all documents relevant to the discussion, preferably in an e-mail, so that everyone comes to the meeting well-prepared.
  5. Having a call moderator is advisable. Most conference calls suffer from a lack of direction and aim, and digress, all of which waste valuable time.
  6. Whatever the nature or intention of the call, you must lucidly communicate the aim of the call, and also the specific issues it addresses. This would make the call more productive.
  7. The moderator must, at all times, objectively and fairly ensure that the meeting follows the agenda.
  8. It is advisable to have a person record the priorities and results of the conference.
  9. Before ending call, have the staff-person read out the call-data so that everyone is knowledgeable of the goal of the call.
  10. Remember to set the time and date for the next call before ending.
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