Conference calling is great – we all know that. It’s a universal truth that it is the best way for businesses to establish good communication with their clients and colleagues, and that modern technology is the source of the convenience behind its use. Endorsements claim that connecting with people from across the globe can happen with just one click; conducting meetings will not be as hard as doing it in person.
Such promises are the root cause of the false expectations many conference call users develop about this technology. They imagine that they can demand for a meeting any moment they feel like it and the communication will be splendid, even if you are accommodating ten to fifteen participants.
The results of such misconceptions usually end in tragedy of varying degrees. Nonetheless, you can be sure that it will all lead to strained business relationships and degraded reputations. After all, communication is the means by which you reach to the world and project yourself to them; do this badly and for sure your business will blow rather than grow.
Do you want to take the risk? If not, then read the couple of facts we gathered about conference calling that will ground you to the truth behind it.
1. As Many as You Want?
Wanting to accommodate fifty to a hundred people in an instant conference call is beyond wishful thinking. Depending on the preparations you’ve made beforehand, a conference call that utilizes basic devices can only cater to a maximum of six people without causing glitches. Any more than that and you can expect the quality to go down.
Emergency conferences cannot guarantee to match or be superior to predetermined conferences. Minimize the number of participants if you can. Doing so will ensure that your communication will be smooth and fruitful. There will be little chance of confusion, especially if you are using audio conferencing.
2. As Long as You Want?
Yes, the internet doesn’t sleep and computer hardware takes time to overheat, but people’s attention span isn’t so pliable. Impersonal interaction, even with interesting desktop sharing applications, makes it difficult to hold the attention of the participants for as long as needed.
Time your conference calls to sixty to ninety minutes only. Any longer than that and you will drift from productivity to futility. Make every second count.
3. A Variety of Clocks
If you’re opting to have a conference call instead of meeting in person, then chances are that you are geographically separated from the people you need to converse with. Bear in mind that location isn’t the only enemy that conference calling bridges – it takes care of time differences too. Since most conferences happen with the help of the internet, it doesn’t matter much when and where you conduct these meetings. It does, however, matter that the host and the participants agree on a time that is convenient for all.
As the host, don’t decide on this alone. You may convene an online meeting and waste your time waiting for a participant that is still sleeping on his side of the globe.
4. Road Signs to Follow
A conference that lasts for more than an hour does not reflect your productivity. Before you start a conference, send the participants an outline of your agenda. This will allow them to prepare better and give input that counts.
Keep the outline in view while you host the meeting. When you feel as though you are drifting from the agenda, grab the outline and put yourself back on track. The participants can do the same thing.
5. Safety Nets
Unless you’re a technical genius, you’d want an expert to facilitate the conference. Fixing glitches while hosting an important meeting is not the ideal situation you had in mind; in fact, it’s far from ideal. Technical difficulties can give the participants the wrong impression about your capabilities and that will cause them to hesitate the next time you invite them for a conference.
If you prefer visual interaction, having a reputable web conference calling service like Uberconference is a must. Web conferencing and online meetings are both vulnerable to technical disruptions.
6. Unwanted Noise are Considered Noise
Be careful with your choice of location. Background noises are annoying to those on the other side of the line. Instead of focusing on the discussion, they’ll be thinking of the best way to tell you that you have too much noise going on around you.
Choose a quiet place that is far from children, traffic, and booming music. While a cafe sounds perfect, it isn’t. An empty conference room in your building is better than your office; basically, you won’t want to be somewhere people can find you in the most inconvenient moments.