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Conference Call Etiquette

More and more people are recognising the benefits of using conference calls to replace face to face meetings.

But as with any meeting – whether a training session for staff or discussion with clients – there is a certain amount of etiquette to be aware of to ensure it is not only polite, but effective and productive.

Keep the following rules in mind and your conference call will be a smooth success:

1. Be on time – Arrive in plenty of time as you would to any normal meeting – for those who are chairing the discussion, this is doubly important. If you’re a couple of minutes early you can catch the names of people as they enter the conference call plus they won’t have to hear the ‘on hold’ music while they’re waiting.

2. Introductions – In the absence of visuals, allow everyone to introduce themselves and if you’re the chair, make a note of all attendees’ names. As no one can see who is speaking, it’s helpful to say your name before you talk – doing this should also stop people from speaking over one another.

3. Kill the noise – There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to have a productive discussion about something than hearing a noisy distraction in the background. This is where the mute button comes in handy – see here for more tips.

4. Dial back in – If you have to step away from the conference try not to use the hold button as the background music can be distracting to other participants. Instead, exit the call and dial back in at a more convenient time.

5. Be attentive – Give the call your undivided attention just as you would a regular meeting – resist the urge to be distracted by the interne