7 Tips on Phone Conference Call Etiquette

The stage is set, you have that fateful interview with Van Morrison. You know fine well that he’s a grumpy and does not suffer fools gladly, if there is any issues he will probably hang up. So how do you make the call go as smooth as possible?

1. Remember the ‘holy couplet’ of conference calling. Dial the right number and be on time/early! Furthermore remember to familiarise yourself with the phone conferencing system you will be using beforehand.

2. Introduce yourself and encourage others to do the same. Participating in a meeting on the phone is a little un-natural to some people and a little introduction will help them get involved from that start.

3. Names are extremely important in a conference call. Learn everyone’s name beforehand and use them regularly. This will help to prevent callers answering the same question at the same time and talking over one another.

4. Use a quiet, undisturbed room with no background noise. A quiet room is exactly what it says. The only thing that should have the capacity to make unrestrained audible noise is you. In an ideal world your audience will find it amusing to hear you tussle with Fido screaming expletives at him. However in reality your audience would find it much more amusing to watch Hamsters surfing on You Tube but can’t because their boss said they have to talk to you.

5. If at all possible do not use mobile or cordless phones. Remember when the 3G network was being touted about with people proclaiming that everyone would have crystal clear connection wherever we were. It didn’t happen. If your goal is to trick your fellow callers into thinking you are Stephen Hawking in the midst of a sneezing fit go ahead, otherwise use a land-line.

6. Be cautious with the mute button. If you must use mute in order to make a private comment to the people in the room for your sake be careful. The reality is that a conference call, like everything else we encounter in our lives, follows sod’s law. You may be well versed when it comes to how to mute conference calls effectively and you may even have done it before. But you know as well as I do that when you use it in order to have a moan about one of your callers it won’t work. So, if you must use it be careful.

7. If you must nip out to relieve yourself during a conference call make sure that using your hold button does not commence your novelty on hold music. Everyone loves a novelty jingle but it may be distract Dave from accounts in his final year financial analysis. He doesn’t participate in much human interaction, so be nice and don’t ruin his time in the sun.

Take these tips on board and go forth and conquer phone conferencing in all its glory.