For many people, they dread having to sit through a dull conference call because it seems like nothing is every accomplished. Here are 10 tips for having a productive call, regardless of which end you’re on.

So you’re an entrepreneur who’s getting their feet wet negotiating new deals or looking for more funding for your startup. Maybe you are on the receiving end of conference calls day in and day out.

You get tired of chatting with so many people and, trying to make every conference call count.

Having a productive conference call might be a difficult, but not impossible. Not sure how to do it?

Don’t worry. We’ve you covered. Want to learn 10 tips to take your conference call game to the next level?

Read on!

How to Have a Productive Conference Call?

Learning to have effective conference calls is a must skill in today’s market. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know you’ll be on the phone a lot trying to close deals or talking to investors. If you’re a business owner, you know that sometimes we can’t fly out to meet with a client or supplier so conference calls will be a necessity.

It doesn’t matter where or in what role you work sooner or later you’ll have to deal with conference calls. Nailing these calls can be the difference between success and failure. Here are 10 tips on how to take your conference call game to the next level:

1. Be on Time

Like when you’re interviewing for any job, being late for a conference call is a big no. Many people underestimate the power of tardiness. But, it can be the difference between closing a deal and losing it.

So if you’re running or attending a conference call, you should make sure to be punctual. Like they say you’ve to lead by example.

2. Follow the Agenda

A well-organized meeting always has an agenda. This applies to conference calls as well. If you’re running the conference call, you should make sure to write a concise agenda.

It should include all the points that summarize the purpose of the conference call is taking place. Now it’s a foul point if you don’t follow the agenda as an attendant or leader. Make sure to follow it and never lose track of it.

3. Make Your Own Set of Points to Discuss

Many people don’t have successful, and effective conference calls because they don’t prepare for them. You might take these calls wearing flip-flops at home, or at a coffee shop but this doesn’t make it less important than any other meeting.

It’s good etiquette for conference calls to prepare for them like you would for any meeting. Write your own set of points using the agenda or the purpose of this call as your guide.

4. Make Notes

A good practice to not lose track of your conference call is taking notes. Yes, you read that right. It might sound as if you’re going back to middle school.

If you aren’t doing this, you’re probably getting lost in translation. Besides it being a great way to keep track of the call, you’ll have your notes for future reference. If your boss talks later about the call, you can read your notes as a refresher.

5. Record Your Conference Call

This option might not be available for everyone. Because some people don’t like their conference calls to be recorded. If you’re an attendee, ask the organizer before recording the call.

If you’re the person running the conference call, don’t forget to inform everyone that you’ll be recording the call. Recording it will be a great way to keep a record of everything that’s said during the meeting.

6. Stay on Topic

If you’re the call runner or attendee, don’t lose track of what’s being discussed during the call. Many people hit and miss when it comes to staying on topic. If you make your set of points, you won’t have a problem.

It’s recommended that before and during the call you review your notes so you stay on point. Another good practice is reviewing your key points before speaking.

7. Schedule Everyone

If you’re having guests make sure to schedule them. This way everyone will be on the same page when it’s their time to speak.

If you do this, you won’t have to deal with the far too common we’ll call in when we get to the office. Also, it will help you keep everyone from getting lost during the call.

8. Keep Your Attendance List Small

Sometimes conference calls lose track because too many people were invited. Every call has its purpose. This mean that when you organize a conference call, you should only invite the people who will work on these issues.

If you make your list too long, this will open the call to losing its way. Because some guests might use the opportunity to talk about unrelated issues or points.

9. Keep Your Conference Calls Short

We’ve all listened in on those 2-hour conference calls. These aren’t fun at all. So do yourself and your attendees a favor by keeping your calls short.

If you do this, everyone will be focused on the agenda. Also, this will help keep the conversation going because everyone will be relaxed and alert.

10. Run the Conference Call, Don’t Let It Run You

Running an effective conference call can be challenging but not impossible. If you’re the organizer or an attendee you’ve to bring your A-game to every call. Your preparation should be similar to how you prepare for every meeting.

The organizer should lead the call at all times. If you’re an attendee, the way to run the call is by keeping the conversation going and not losing track. An effective call may seem next to impossible but, by sticking to the basics you can take everyone to productive Conference Town in no time.

Can You Conduct Productive and Effective Conference Calls?

Yes, you can conduct productive and effective conference calls. This might scare you more than it’s supposed to. Remember that to run a productive conference call, you should stick to the basics.

These basics come down to preparation. If you do your research, make your own guide of points to discuss, and keep or stay on the loop of any changes in scheduling or the agenda. You’ll take your conference call game to the next level.

Want to learn more about effective communication in business?

Check our blog post to learn how.