As part of my job i am joining conference calls quite frequently, although whenever i can I stay away from them as mostly they aren’t productive, especially when there is more than 5 people in a call, as mostly you have 3 people having a dialogue and the rest stays quiet anyway even after the call ends 🙂
But what I find most annoying and impolite is when people join that don’t understand some basic rules for participating conference calls. Noise, speaking in the background, hungry dogs are things that should be avoided when people join a conference call.
So here we go:
- Pick a quiet place to take your conference call.
- Be mindful of nearby babies, animals, lawnmowers, and swimming pools (Yes, it really happened).
- Close the office door or window before taking the call.
- Don’t join conference calls from public places. (This is a noise and privacy thing)
- If you have to join a call from a car, use the mute feature.
Reduce Personal Noise.
- Don’t play with the microphone or shuffle papers near it.
- Position the microphone correctly, close enough to pick up your voice but not your breathing. (Yes it’s nice to know you are still alive, but how do we know you are not asleep.)
- Don’t eat while on the phone! (it sounds gross, and look at your phone… Ewww!)
- Don’t hold other conversations. (Multitasking doesn’t really work.)
- You must have a mute button and know how to use it quickly
- Avoid wireless phones and cell phones. (You are not that important)
- If you are alone, do not use a speakerphone.
- Invest in a good wired headset with adjustable boom microphone.
- Never put a conference call on hold. (No matter how nice the hold Muzak™ is.)
Mind Your Manners
- Start on time – This is a good rule for all meetings.
- Introduce all call participants at the beginning of the call
- State your name before talking. Don’t assume people will recognize your voice. (This works in reverse too, don’t assume people won’t recognize your voice, so think before speaking.)
- Avoid interrupting other speakers
- Be concise
- End the call properly – Wrap up the meeting, sign off and hang up. (I was once in a meeting where everyone in the room simply got up and left without saying goodbye or hanging up the phone.)
Reduce Environmental Noise
and here some fun on Conference Calls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUASw4Kg6PI