There’s no way around it, poorly managed conference calls are a waste of time. In fact, the vast majority of participants are likely doing something else during the call.
To combat lethargy and sheer boredom, management needs to be smarter about how they plan and execute conference calls.
Are you struggling to get your team to pay attention? Here are some great tips to help your team stay on track during your next phone meeting.
Set an Agenda
A lack of clear direction is the primary cause of overly long telephone meetings. To keep your meeting as brief as possible while setting expectations for your meeting, create an agenda beforehand.
List the meeting’s start and end times, meeting participants, and meeting objectives.
Don’t forget to send out the agenda to all meeting participants. Give them at least a few hours to look over the document so they can prepare to contribute.
Allow Time For Chatter
The first few minutes of most conference calls are introductions and general chatter. It’s a fun way to catch up with coworkers you haven’t heard from in a while, but it can be too easy to get distracted and lose sight of your objective.
Include a few minutes at the beginning of each meeting for introductions and ice breakers. If new employees are on the call, this is a great way to help them feel more comfortable.
Take Care of Technical Issues Beforehand
Setting a meeting start time doesn’t guarantee immediate productivity. The first 15 minutes typically involve ironing out technical issues.
Ultimately, this is a huge waste of everyone’s time.
To keep the meeting on track (and as short as possible) give yourself 20 minutes before the meeting to take care of pressing issues. That’s more than enough time to turn off noisy appliances or replace damaged tech. Any leftover time is a great chance to go over your notes.
You may have an unlimited conference call provider, but that’s no excuse for a needlessly long telephone meeting. Don’t keep your coworkers on the phone longer than necessary.
If you notice people getting off topic, politely bring it back to the subject at hand. People have places to go and work to complete. The sooner you address the meeting’s objectives, the sooner everyone can continue with their day.
Whenever possible, aim to end earlier than the meeting time listed on the agenda.
End With Questions
Interruptions and questions disrupt the flow. Instead of encouraging people to chime in whenever they have a question or comment, leave time at the end of the meeting to clear up any fuzzy details.
This should allow you to get through your objectives uninterrupted while still addressing concerns.
Make Your Next Phone Meeting Count
Nobody likes an overly long phone meeting. But you’re in luck. These tips will help you conduct more efficient, productive meetings in less time than ever before.
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