How to prepare for a conference call

Conference call tech has been around for a while now, 1956 to be precise. It has become the go to platform when you want to gather several people in separate locations. Just like any piece of tech there are certain things you can do to get the most from it. We’ve written about conference call etiquette and making sure you’re prepared is a key part of this. So how exactly do you prepare for a conference call? Let us answer that for you.

Become one with the tech

Whatever platform you choose, become pals with it. This means understanding how to schedule and join a call. Scheduling a call is a piece of cake, all you need to do is share you details with the people you want to attend your call. To join, most platforms will require you to enter a PIN (not your credit card one, don’t worry) to get on the call. This will be a four-digit number that adds a layer of security.

You’ll also want to understand in-conference controls. You’ll realise that there will be points in the meeting where you or others will need to mute themselves. Background noise is a real concentration killer. There’s nothing to fear though, the controls aren’t rocket science and will usually require you to input a simple command. They’re also useful if you want to find out who’s on the call with you, want to record your meeting or just want to lock it so no pesky latecomers can join. If you must, join the call a few minutes before everyone else just so you’re comfortable with how everything works.

Craft a clear agenda

Just as you would for a face-to-face meeting, you want to schedule a conference call with clear goals on what you’d like to achieve. Come up with a solid agenda that covers everything you want to discuss on your call. The best place for you to outline this is in the meeting invitation. This gives everyone a chance to have a read over before the meeting and reduces the possibility of everyone hoping on the call asking, ‘so what’s the purpose of this call?’. An agenda also gives you something to refer to during the call and keep the meeting on track. A call that lacks focus will most probably be a waste of time, act before hand to avoid this!

Essential people only

This refers to the people you invite to your call. The more people involved, the more potential that your call will be a frenzy where everyone is fighting to get their point across. Ever had a few hundred people on one call? It’s not pretty. It’s common sense but only invite people who will be able to provide valuable input. The conference call will be much more manageable and much more productive.

That’s all there is to it

Not a very long list but that’s all you need to do to prepare for a conference call. Understand the tech, set out clear objectives and invite the right people.

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