So you want to have a conference call? You can always start a conference call in minutes, however we suggest a bit more preparation for a conference between you and your co-workers. When inviting clients or customers to your conferences, there are a few extra things you will want to do.
First: Decide What Your Call is About
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.
Second: Decide Who
Once you’ve worked out when you want to have the call, decide who is going to be there. This is a good time to ask yourself if you’ll be having a guest speaker or if you need an operator assistance.
Third: Send Your Invitations
Now that you have all of the above worked out, it’s time to send out your invitations. 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 host a conference call 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.
Use this helpful conference call checklist before you plan your next meeting:
PREPARE YOUR CONFERENCE
__Choose the date and time.
__Determine if you need operator assistance.
__Will there be a guest speaker?
__Do you need a registration page?
__Do you want the conference call recorded?
__Will there be a visual element requiring web conferencing?
CREATE AN AGENDA
You need to write an agenda to send to speaker and participants so the know what to expect.
__Does it have a realistic timeline?
__Is there a need to have breaks?
__Will there be Q&A? How long will your Q&A session be?
__Do you need a different version for participants?
__Do you know how to mute your telephone?
__Is the sound quality on your conference good?
__Did you do a practice run to make sure that you know how to join the conference and the webinar?
__Do you have a backup method of connecting in case there is a problem with your connection?
Looking for ways to improve your speaking abilities? Here are four more resources:
- Our Book on How to Make Meetings Great – Lessons from the Bored Room
- Our eBook on Webinars – How to Plan, Setup, and Execute a Successful Webinar
- Non-Verbal Communication Resource
- The Everything Guide to Public Speaking