Conference calls have essentially become a way of life in the business industry amid pandemic.
With Coronavirus taking over the world, the number of conference calls has shot up manifold. Setting up a conference call is very simple, which further adds to the demand for this human invention. Contacting teammates has become easy, and there is no longer any obligation for your physical presence every time.
People schedule and hold conference calls almost every day without even thinking twice about the technology being used or how their fellow conferees understand them over the other end of the line.
Hosts or Moderators of conference calls take it for granted that the call application will work fine and that everyone hears their voice correctly.
Because these critical issues on conference calls keep happening, I decided to create a small, concise article that would cover each problem and propose simple solutions for each one that could quickly be followed to reduce any future “disconnects.”
Here is how you can lead your conference calls effectively.
- Do not choose free conference call services:
Free conference services began around the year 2000 to utilize the telephone companies’ way of revenue division. Revenues from long-distance calls were shared between the parties that carried each call from the issuing party to the terminating party. The starting party would be billed for the call, and the telephone company that collected that bill had a way to pay the other companies that checked that call. It was called the division of revenues. However, with the evolution of technology, entrepreneurs were able to develop numerous plans to provide free-internet conference call services. This looks very good on paper. However, the free providers caused so many millions of minutes each month that they had problems keeping up with conference bridges to take care of the traffic. This is why you face a delay in free conference calls. Go for paid options, and you will never have to face the voice lags.
- Never Multitask.
You may be attempting to save time or get more jobs done. Alas, neither works as you end up just losing your own time and others as well. This is because you are forced to get engaged with the other work and lose track of what people are speaking at the conference. It gets uncomfortable when someone has to ask you to give your input or, even worse, ask someone to repeat a question that was asked to you!
What’s more, the sound of shuffling papers, typing, or even chewing can carry over the airwaves, and everyone will know that you are doing something else while the call is in progress. If you lead a call and multitask, others will follow you, and productivity will reduce. Never multitask.
- Don’t fail to Mute Conferees.
Most leaders have learned this the hard way, by having it occur on a live call. It absolutely can be confusing, and if the moderator doesn’t correct it and decides to soldier through, the call can become a hazard with many conferees fleeing the scene—Unmute people only when they want to ask questions, or if you have any queries.
- The speakerphone is a strict NO.
Some leaders love using their speakerphone on their mobile phone. This is just fine if you put your mouth within a close distance to the phone’s speaker for the span of the call. However, some mediators love to walk and talk. This presents a dilemma because when anyone walks away from the microphone, their voice disappears. When you add multiple parties in the same room around the speakerphone, the microphone will pick up random sounds within the room, disrupting the call.