There are many ways in which a conference call can go wrong, and even though they’re not all devastating, you should try to prevent any problems. Learn from these common mistakes people make in conference calls and make sure that none of these things happen to you.
1. Not sending reminders
Sending out just one message regarding the conference call isn’t enough. Even the most time-conscious attendees are going to forget about your conference call if you don’t send out reminders. The best choice would be to send out 3 reminders because the odds of everyone showing up will highly increase. Send the first email a week before the call, the second one the day before the call, and send the third one the morning before the call. Mention the date and time in the emails, and don’t forget to include time zones. Add the agenda and access information, and you’ll successfully avoid one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls.
2. Not paying attention to the time zones
Virtual meetings help connect people from around the world, yet we often forget about the time zones, and this is one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls. Be mindful of the various time zones because the time that works great for you might not be convenient for someone from another side of the world. Don’t schedule the call too early or too late because you don’t want your attendees to be sleepy. Timing is very important, and it often determines how engaged the participants are going to be. Choose a reasonable hour that is convenient for everyone. There are a lot of time zone converters that you can use online to avoid making a mistake.
3. Not turning off sounds for notifications
Your phone might constantly beep because you’re getting notifications on social media networks. This is one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls, which could distract and annoy the participants. If you’re using your phone to make a cool, make sure to disable all notifications, or turn off the sound. If you don’t do that, others will get the impression that you’re not focused.
4. Not taking care of the background noises
You might need to access the call from your car, a coffee shop, or some other not so quiet place. Speakerphone mode, background noise, using VoIP services, and cell phone usage all contribute to extra noise whenever your line isn’t muted. The best thing to do would be to use a headset and stay in a quiet location where there’ll be no distractions. Naturally, we can’t always have these conditions, but if you’re hosting the call, you should make a plan to do this. If you’re a participant, at least make sure to use the mute option whenever you’re not talking. Not taking care of the background noises is one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls, but it really shouldn’t happen. Using the mute option is one of the tips for successful conference calls, so make sure to use it when you’re not speaking.
5. Not acting professional
Sipping tea, cuddling a dog, and hearing the barista ask for your order might sound great, but not if you’re in a conference call. In that case, it sounds like you’re not acting professional, which is one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls. These things sometimes happen, but do your best to bring them to a minimum and, again, use the mute option whenever you’re not talking.
6. Not stopping to make sure everything’s understood
You should always pause for a minute to make sure that everyone has understood your message. Talking in person is easier because you can notice visual signs. In conference calls, all you can do is pause every now and then and ask if everyone can follow.
7. Not recording or taking notes
Recording the call or taking notes might slip your mind, and you’ll end up losing valuable information that was shared during it. Try to always use the record option or assign a participant to take notes. The recording or the notes should be available to everyone involved for a few days after the call. This is always a good idea because a lot can be forgotten, and this way everyone will be able to have a reminder.
8. Not preparing the screen
At some point, you might need to share your screen with all of the participants. Not preparing the screen before that happens is one of the common mistakes people make in conference calls, which leads to everyone seeing your Facebook messages or online shopping carts. Pay attention to the screen before the call starts and close any applications and windows that you’re not going to use. When only relevant items can be seen on your screen others will think of you as more professional.