“Write It Down” & Other Teleconferencing Tips

In my daily search of the internet for knowledge I encountered an article on AllBusiness.com that, at first glance, seemed to just have some basic teleconference tips.  However, mixed in were a few I'd like to share with you:

Speak Slower – It can be easy sometimes to forget that sound works differently in a conference call than in a conference room.  Speaking slowly and clearly will ensure everyone understands you.  And even though you may speed up to save time, you lose the savings when you have to repeat yourself.

One at a Time – Interrupting or talking all at once is universally annoying.  Since you can't point in a teleconference, designate the order people should respond, or read off their names.  You can also use lecture mode to let your participants queue up.  Then you can cycle through their "raised hands" at your leisure.

Repeat Important Information – This might be a good idea in any meeting, teleconference or face-to-face.  I was going to say that repeating vital points in a teleconference is especially important because you can't see faces, but I recall many times around conference tables where what was said was not exactly what was meant, and it took repeating aloud for them to realize it.

Write it Down – Ideas can strike at any time, but usually when it's not your turn to speak.  Instead of blurting it out loud-and interrupting someone, see above-write down your killer idea.  Doing this prevents, "Uh, I forgot what I was going to say!" as well as gives you a chance to expand on-or trash-your brilliant thought.

AllBusiness.com suggested taking detailed minutes and notes of each teleconference, to be distributed immediately after.  I wholeheartedly agree… somewhat.  Lose the pen and paper and make sure your "Automatically Record" box is checked.  Then allow people to dial-in after the conference to listen to the recording, or just download it for emailing or uploading to the company website.