Conference calls can be just as important and productive as in-person meetings, with the goal of helping teams meet their work responsibilities or collaborate on projects. From international business to remote team members, learning proper phone habits for conference calls is essential for any industry or field. In this article, we explore 28 tips for conference call etiquette to help make your next phone meeting a successful one.
10 conference call etiquette tips
Here are 28 tips for effective conference calls, whether you are leading the meeting or attending:
1. Make the group manageable
The more people on the call, the more challenging it can be to make it productive, so consider a smaller group of colleagues who are necessary for the project or discussion.
2. Be prepared
Check all of your connections ahead of time, including any device battery levels, headsets, video elements or other technology, particularly if you’re using new equipment or an unfamiliar phone system. This gives you time to fix any issues you might encounter.
3. Have a good connection
A landline is often more stable and clear for calls, though cellular service is sufficient if it has a strong connection. If you frequently use or lead conference calls, consider asking your provider for high definition (HD) voice quality or invest in a conference phone system.
4. Pick the right place
A quiet, indoor area that’s private and free of distractions is ideal and lets you better manage background noise.
5. Know who’s joining you
Review the list of attendees and those invited to help you prepare. The atmosphere of a meeting with two colleagues might differ from a call with 20 coworkers. Consider doing a roll call at the start of the conference call to note who is in attendance.
6. Set an agenda
An agenda helps everyone stay on topic and gives an estimated amount of time for each speaker or discussion item. Share the agenda ahead of time and review it as an attendee to prepare for the meeting.
7. Share a reminder
Whether it’s an email, calendar notification or reminder on your company’s messaging platform, share the details about the conference call at least once after the initial invite. Include dial-in information and numbers, the agenda, an estimated length of the call and the date and time, especially if there are colleagues joining from multiple time zones.
8. Log in early
Be the first one in the conference if you’re leading it and log in a few minutes early. Join before or at the start time if you’re attending. This shows respect for everyone’s time and prevents disruption at the start of the call.
9. Start on time
Give a moment for other callers to join, though not too long to respect those who joined at the appointed time. A delayed start to a meeting can affect productivity, so if you experience some latecomers, consider sharing what they might have missed with a separate follow-up.
10. Introduce yourself and others
Establish the leader of the conference call and any guest speakers by introducing yourself and others who will be talking. Also consider introducing those on the line listening, particularly if it is important for the speaker to know who will share insight later in the call. Say a brief hello once you’re introduced so others on the line can hear what your voice sounds like. Should someone talk without identifying themselves, let them finish their thought before politely asking them to say their name.