When you are arranging a conference that is composed of participants from all around the globe, it can get fairly tricky. Conferences need to go on in one way or another- and it is not uncommon for the budget limits to eliminate any possibility of an in-person conference between several people. Travelling costs are higher than ever, so many businesses and professionals are resorting to a cheaper form of communication: VoIP conferences. With a global conference however, more time and care must be taken to ensure everyone is aware and in attendance.
Planning Your Conference Call
When planning a call to many people, you should ensure that you plan it well ahead of time. 1 to 2 weeks before the intended meeting is a good idea. Since the time zones vary greatly across the globe, you must allow for those who are ahead of and behind you to get the memo and ensure they are free. When arranging the conference call and deciding on the participants, you should limit the participants to 10 people or less. When a conference call gets much larger, it becomes very difficult to manage. Therefore, if you can maintain fewer participants, it will be easier. You should be prepared to send out a detailed agenda of the téléconférence a few days before the meeting, so that participants can read it and become familiar with the purpose of the meeting. You should send the conference number and pin to all conference participants at least three times: 1 week before, 2 days before, and the day of the conference. Testing your software and calling devices is important too, as you do not want them to malfunction during the conference.
Important Tips and Etiquette to Utilize During a Conference
As with a normal conference, etiquette applies to a conference call too. As the manager of the call, you will also be the voice traffic controller. You will be addressing the points of the meeting as stated in the agenda, and will also be directing participants. You should be sure to keep the call brisk, to avoid losing the attention of participants. Be sure to state your name when speaking, as many participants can become confused when voices change quickly. Everyone should be allowed plenty of time to wrap up when going silent, as you never know if they may still be in the process of finishing a thought. Silence is not to be feared during a conference call; it can be good manners, especially when it means you did not interrupt someone midsentence. Be sure to avoid background noise, and to keep it to a minimum. Other conversations, televisions, music, and any other noises can make it hard to understand your voice during a conference call. Every participant should take note of the agenda, as they will need to be a part of the discussion and make their opinion known. When you practice good organizational and etiquette skills, conference calls can go very smoothly and become highly productive; especially when operating on a global scale.
Courtesy - French conference call site Powwownow.
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