The business world is full of tips and rules to help create a good first impression. But what if that impression isn’t made in person?
Conference calls are a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with your colleagues and partners around the world. But on the other hand, no one ever really teaches conference call etiquette.
So how can you make sure you leave a good impression? For inspiration, check out these conference call tips:
1. Introduce Yourself
Think of your conference call like any other type of formal business meeting.
It’s simply polite to greet everyone and introduce yourself when you first hop on the call. This rings especially true if you’ve never spoken to several other members of the call.
Furthermore, it also gives whoever is leading the call a clear idea of whether or not everyone is present.
2. State Your Name before Speaking
This may not be necessary all of the time (mainly if you’re leading the call), but it’s a good idea to clarify who is speaking. Especially if you’re on a larger conference call, it may be tough to have everyone’s voices and opinions heard.
Conference call etiquette suggests that identifying the speaker is a great way to keep things on track.
3. Take Notes
It isn’t uncommon for receptionists or assistants to be present during a business call. This is precisely where the additional clarification becomes helpful.
Taking notes is a great way to keep a record of what was discussed in the process of the meeting. Additionally, it shows an extra level of attentiveness. You can use the notes to formulate follow-up questions.
Of course, make sure that you’re still paying attention. The last thing you want is to get so wrapped up in your notes that you lose track of the speaker’s message.
4. Confirm the Correct Time
There’s no guarantee that everyone on the conference call will be in the same time zone. Make sure that you have the right date and time so you’re not accidentally late.
In many cultures, being late, especially to a business meeting, is a sign of rudeness.
Send a quick confirmation e-mail to everyone on the call a day or two ahead of time.
5. Don’t Eat or Drink into the Phone
This is typically a given, but it never hurts to reiterate. Even if the conference call takes place during your lunch period, resist the urge to eat while on call.
6. Mute Your Phone When Not Talking
On a similar note, there are tons of office distractions that many of us don’t even realize are a problem. For example, you may not notice that noisy air conditioning unit, but the other callers may.
Make sure to place your phone on mute when you’re not speaking. This will minimize distractions and make sure your voice is heard.
7. Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone
Finally, thank everyone for taking time out of their busy days to participate in the call. Conference calls, even short ones, can be a distraction from work.
Last Thoughts on Conference Call Etiquette
Above all else, be courteous and patient. Follow these rules and you’re sure to impress everyone with your communication skills.
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