Bad habits seem to be prevalent in phone conferencing because you aren’t face to face with the other individual. Showing up late, holding side conversations with others in the room and forgetting to put your phone on mute to avoid creating distractions are all common occurrences on a conference call. While most people are familiar with proper etiquette in situations, such as eating dinner or even attending a business meeting in person, where is the etiquette for audio conferencing? These audio conferencing best practices will bring good manners to your next call, while ensuring that you make the make the most of Onstream Media's services.
Designate One Person to Moderate or Lead the Call
The person you designate to moderate the conference call will ensure the meeting stays on track. Business professionals run busy lives so time is of the essence. It is important to keep the meeting within the designated time constraints to avoid conflicts with anyone’s schedule. This is especially important when there are a large number of people on the call. If everyone wants to talk, the call can easily run too long.
Early Is Always Better
Running late happens, but do your best not to be late for any phone conferencing appointments. It is always best to arrive about five to 10 minutes early so you can become comfortable with the audio conferencing software. This also allows the meeting to start on time and avoids the distraction of late entrants.
Don’t assume that everyone knows who you are by your voice. Audio conferencing best practices dictate that you should introduce yourself before you begin speaking so all attendees know who is speaking at any given time. In addition to identifying yourself as the speaker, this process also avoids interruptions.
Distribute a Clear Agenda Before the Meeting
If you are the phone conferencing organizer, put together a clear agenda for the meeting and make sure everyone receives a copy. Once the conference call begins, follow that agenda as closely as possible to keep yourself within time constraints. When other people will be presenting, make sure you delegate their roles ahead of time so all speakers can be fully prepared.
Reduce Background Noise
Background noise can be a major distraction during phone conferencing. Audio conferencing best practices tell you to put your microphone on mute when you aren’t talking. However, when you need to talk, make sure you eliminate as much background noise before you unmute yourself. Some common types of background noise include wind noise, other conversations in the room, noisy pets, active children and even typing on a computer. If possible, find a quiet place from which to attend the meeting.
Don’t Speak Up Unless You Have Something to Say
At the end of many conference calls, the leader or moderator will ask if there are any more questions or comments. If everyone in attendance chimes in with “not me,” “no” or any other similar response, it can create chaos and clutter. Unless you have a real question or comment relating to the meeting, it is best not to say anything at all.
Give the Call Your Full Attention
Attending a meeting from the comfort of your home or office often means plenty of distractions going on around you. You may be tempted to check email, answer a co-worker’s question, tackle the pile of work growing on your desk or any number of other small tasks. During conference calls, it isn’t uncommon for the speaker to ask an individual attendee an answer. If you aren’t paying attention, it will be obvious. You will have to ask the speaker to repeat the question, which can be embarrassing for you and frustrating for everyone else. Paying attention will avoid these problems.
Audio conferencing best practices are just important to follow as similar etiquette for an in person meeting. Not following the proper etiquette can create distractions for other people and will make the call less enjoyable for everyone. However, when everyone makes an effort, calls will go more smoothly and are more likely to run on time. Using these best practices will help you make the most of Onstream Media and Infinite Conferencing.