When you are planning a conference call, whether you are a seasoned conference host or a new comer, there are always important guidelines and tips to follow for the call to go smoothly. However, you do not find a “what not to do” list very often. Planning conference calls, especially international calls (due to the extra efforts required in planning), can make individuals very nervous and worrisome. Conferences can be a stressful situation, whether they are via conference calls or physical meetings, no matter what line of business you may be in. By avoiding these common issues, problems, and mistakes, you can help to avoid a disastrous conference.
1. Booking Your Conference Within Time Constraints Of The Provider : To be honest, it is not advisable to sign with a provider that provides time slots instead of pay per minute plans. If your provider simply requires that you reserve your call beforehand, that is alright. However, if you must book a particular time slot, and be pressed for time, you should avoid that provider. All conferences should be restrained to their original beginning and ending times, but you should never risk the conference being cut before reaching your closure. This could be detrimental, and incredibly aggravating for all participants. Ensure that your conference will not be ended early by the provider in case, it does run a little long. Providers like Powwownow can offer great calling packages and services, so do not confine your business or meeting to silly mandatory time constraints.
2. Being Unprepared : If you are not prepared for the meeting, it could leave a bad impression with the rest of the participants. Not only should you be aware of #3 below, but you should be very well acquainted with all points of the meeting. You should know what you are discussing, why you are discussing it, and your opinions on the different stances that could be taken on particular situations.
3. Skipping Out On An Agenda For The Conference : This can not only affect you negatively; it will leave participants lost and confused, and result in a very poor conference. An agenda lists everything to be discussed within the conference. Without this agenda, you have nothing to send to the participants so that they know the topics of the conference. No-one will be able to prepare efficiently.
4. Forgetting To Assign A Meeting Chair Holder : This is an important position. Without one, there will not be anyone to ensure that there is not a singular person taking control of the meeting, or taking the meeting off topic. It is important for someone to police the meeting. This will keep it timely, fair, and productive.
5. Allowing Participants To Fall Back : You should never let conference participants sit back and stay quiet. If they were assigned to the conference, chances are they are important to it. They should be coaxed to speak their own opinions, and contribute to the meeting effectively. With cooperation of all participants, solutions can be reached quickly and easily. If there are disagreements, follow the argument closely- do not dismiss the insight of others as it could be quite valuable.