Communication Skills

Conference Call Savvy: 16 must know tips

How good are your conference call skills? How do you keep the group’s attention, make your points powerfully and persuasively and still keep the call short? Check these ideas:

  1. Designate a call leader/group facilitator.
  2. Create an agenda if you’re the leader. Ask for an agenda if you aren’t.
  3. Be prepared. Know what points you want to make.
  4. Announce yourself immediately. Don’t lurk.
  5. Pre-sell your ideas. If you need allies, call them before the call. 
  6. Say your name before speaking. Speak to a point only when you know who made the point.
  7. If you don’t recognize the voice and if they weren’t courteous enough to say their name, clarify, or stay quiet.
  8. If you know you need to leave the call early, ask the leader to announce it 5 minutes before you have to leave. 
  9. Don’t make apologies and waste time if you need to leave the call early. Just go. 
  10. Make your points quickly and only once.
  11. Let people finish their sentences.
  12. Use the words yes and to move to another thought. 
  13. Keep control. If someone asks a question off topic, ask to discuss it at the end of the call.
  14. If you multi-task, don’t let them hear you or your other activity. That’s what the mute key is for.
  15. If you need a break, announce that you’ll be back in 5 minutes. Don’t gamble that no one will want your input while you’re in the bathroom. 
  16. Ask the leader to send a follow-up email with action items and next steps. 

And as someone once said, “don’t make me reach through this phone and slap you.” 

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