As join.me went pro last week, I realized we haven’t talked about those other types of meetings – the conference call. I pinged our friend @MeetingBoy on his thoughts on how to have conference calls that won’t put everyone to sleep. Plus, he gave us some of his past tweets to accompany his expertise.
I also gave some #joinmetips on how join.me could make conference calls better. Because it can.
If there’s anything less productive than a conference call, I have yet to see it. Their record for time wasting is worse than meetings. Yes, meetings. So I’ve compiled a list of things I want you to do before you schedule that next conference call.
You have to earn my attention. When you hold a meeting, you can see me and I can see you, so I have to at least pretend to pay attention or I’ll look bad, or you could make me look bad. And that’s no matter how boring you are. But on a conference call, I don’t have to pretend, so you better have something to say.
If it weren’t for conference calls, I’d never catch up on my Words With Friends games.
Send any materials ahead of time. Shouldn’t this be obvious? If you want to go over your PowerPoint, make sure you send it to me.
I don’t have your presentation in front of me, but I’ll take your word for it that it’s not as pointless as everything else you’ve ever done.
#joinmetip: You can still send your PowerPoint ahead of time – but you can also just share it during the call on join.me
If all you’re going to do is read, just send it. I know how to read.
You made me get on the phone so you could read me your damn PowerPoint? Well, I hope you know I’m mocking you on Twitter right now.
#joinmetip: There’s no need to read your PowerPoint – everyone can see it on the screen you’re sharing!
Get to the point, and make it quick. Once you lose my attention, you aren’t getting it back.
Beginning 2nd hour of conference call. Or I’ve died and am stuck in Limbo for eternity. Someone remind me how to tell the difference.
If some of the people are in a room together, they need to remember people are on the phone. The worst conference call is when eight people are in a room and two people who are traveling have to call in. Why? Because everyone in the room forgets about the people on the phone.
Why did I call in if you won’t acknowledge me? I’m a person too!
Stop talking over each other. In a room people can see each other and they choose to interrupt each other. On a call, because of the way phones mute out the other end, people often can’t tell, and so no one hears anything.
People keep interrupting. We need a new system for who has the floor. Robert’s Rules won’t do – we need a conch!
#joinmetip: You can also utilize the “chat” feature in join.me so no one gets lost in the mix.
If you schedule it during lunch, people are going to eat. And that’s your fault, not theirs. Sure it would be nice if they were polite and didn’t eat on the call, but people have to eat.
Thank you for taking the conference call from the busiest deli in town.
It’s OK to multi-task; it’s not OK to make it obvious. If you don’t have a mute button on your phone, you shouldn’t be allowed on the call.
Sorry, could you repeat that? Someone was slurping soup.
Just because it’s a conference call doesn’t make it OK to hold it after hours.
Sure, a conference call at 8PM on Friday doesn’t require people to be in the office, but it’s still a crime against Weekends.
#joinmetip: Agreed – but if you have to, your meeting will go much quicker with join.me – everyone will be on the same page – literally!
@MeetingBoy: But can’t your software just shut down at 5PM on Friday?
(That’s a “no”, by the way.)
Any other other tips for making conference calls better? Leave them in the comments.