So you want to have a conference call? No problem, you can start one in minutes. What if you wanted to use audio conferencing for a meeting? What if customers are going to participate? You can still start a conference call in minutes, but there are a bit more preparations than for just a conference between you and your co-workers.
The first thing to do is to answer the following questions: when, who, what, and where. In other words, when do you want to have the meeting, what do you want to cover, who is going to be there, and where is the best place for YOU to be when conducting the meeting. The "how" is the easiest part.
Once you've worked out when you want to have the call, decide who is going to be there. Also, will you have a guest speaker, or will you host the meeting and do the talking?
Next, decide how long the meeting is going to run. Once that's settled, write out what the meeting is going to be about and create an agenda, making sure to estimate how long each point will take. It's always good to give yourself 5-10 minutes of margin. Don't forget to budget time for questions!
Now that you have all of that worked out, it's time to do some inviting. Your email invitations should include:
- What the meeting is about
- Their call-in number and participant code
- When the meeting is and for how long
- An abbreviated version of the agenda
Your participants are taken care of, so where will you be? The beauty of audio conferencing is that you can do it from pretty much anywhere. So your only guidelines should be to conduct your conference call from a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. And—for absolute best quality—use a landline. One final suggestion: use a headset. It's much more comfortable than cradling the phone in your neck.
You're ready to go. Wasn't that easy? Have a great conference call!