We have all been a part of conference calls where people show up late and then become distractions by forgetting to place their phones on silent mode. Most will end up having sidebar conversations while others are also on the call. We know the etiquette rules for the dinner tables. Now here are the etiquette rules for conference calls:
- Keeping tracking of conference call dates and times: ensure you are aware of when the conference call is, and ensure you keep the conference call number and pin nearby in order for you to not be scrambling around at the last minute looking for it. Your meeting reminder does not need to arrive from a call or email who is already on the call and is being held up by you.
- Call in to the conference call early: do your best to avoid being late. Avoid being late especially when you are aware you must contribute to the discussion. No one wishes to be the reason the conference call talk is being held up due to them waiting for you to arrive.
- Mute your speaker or calling in device when you are not speaking: in order to minimize distracting sounds, conversations or noises which are irrelevant to the call, place your end on mute. By muting your phone you help avoid embarrassing sounds such as sighs, munching sounds or other background noises.
- State your name prior to speaking: as all the conference call attendants are not in the same room, it is key for everyone on the line to be aware of who is currently speaking. This is for them to better understand the context of your dialogue. In most cases, you should aspire to stating your role, location and company after mentioning your name. This is most relevant upon your call including people from other groups or companies which have yet to meet you in person.
- Be prepared to discuss the currently discussed topic: along with all meetings, you need to do a bit of prep work by jotting down questions or topics that you might like to bring up on the conference call. This is in order for the meeting to be productive while not spawning a range of different meetings due to lack of preparation.
- Keeping background noises to a minimum: when you take your end off mute and start to speak, ensure you are not being distracting to the other callers. This noise could be generated from standing outside in windy conditions, typing on the laptop, children in the background or even pets barking.
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