The modern world of business incorporates vast amounts of technology. The more time goes on, the larger amounts of tech and more developed pieces of equipment is that we use.
This has naturally lead video calls becoming a rather prominent feature of the way we handle things, communicate with one another and make decisions in relation to business.
The one other factor has of course been the Coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in the vast majority of us working remotely or from home. This has led to conference calls taking place more often, becoming a normal part of the weekly routine for so many of us. However, it isn’t just a strong internet connection and a HD webcam which helps you to be an expert when it comes to video conferences.
Tips for Mastering Conference Call
There are many things we wish to revert back to after we manage to get rid of COVID-19 once and for all, but online conference calls probably aren’t one of them. They have worked surprisingly well over the past year or so and are rather convenient for people. As working from home looks set to stay with us for some time now across multiple industries, all solutions that stop people from travelling unnecessarily will continue to be relied on.
We are now going to run you through our list of top tips, so that you know what it takes to become an expert in the field of conference calls.
Tip 1 – have the right equipment
Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first of all. There are certain pieces of equipment you are going to need in order to simply take part in video conferencing, never mind master it. We are absolutely sure you’ll know this already, but just in case you don’t, here are the essentials:
- A laptop/ computer
- A webcam (many are built into laptops and PCs these days, so look out for that
- A reliable internet connection
- A comfortable seat to sit in (especially helpful for lengthier meetings)
Now you know what it is you’ll need; we can proceed to the less obvious points in this article.
Tip 2 – be confident in yourself
We know it’s much easier said than done and finding your confidence can be a very testing task for anyone. Though, as a business owner you should believe in yourself and the ideas you are putting forward. One thing that can massively help in giving yourself a large confidence boost during meetings is ensuring you fully understand exactly what you are talking about.
Do your research and make it extensive, so that you are prepared for anything that may arise during the meeting. This is particularly important if you are doing work on things such as presenting new business ideas, discussing your plans to take the company forward or presenting a progress report.
You could try writing down a list of possible questions other individuals in the meeting may ask you. This way you’ll know until you have a perfect answer to them all, you are likely still unprepared.
Tip 3 – Ask open ended questions
If you reach a point in a conference call where you are feeling the pressure a little bit too much, try putting the shoe on the other foot. Become the question master yourself and fire away some thought provokers that will at least by you some time, should you need to. The trick here, however, is to always avoid closed questions; instead opt for open-ended questions that will require much more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from the respondent.
You’ll also come across as more knowledgeable and appear to be somewhat of an expert in your field if you ask questions that prompt longer answers. Create wider discussions with your answers and act as a true business leader.
During a conference call, it is easy for individuals to lose focus and drift off. On the off chance that you talk without asking questions, different members will before long put you on off-line mode. An incredible method to start commitment and keep the meeting flowing smoothly is to pose inquiries and questions to your colleagues.
Furthermore, ask explicit people certain questions. This will force reactions from certain group members and get them instantly involved. It will also ensure that different members are prepared to face any upcoming questions that may be fired their way.
The host of the call provides the tone for the whole conversation and ensures everyone keeps focused to achieve your objectives. Taking part in casual banter and posing questions gets people to consider going on the right foot and establishes the pace for the meeting as a whole, allowing you to have gainful conversations about your business plans.
Tip 4 – Mention people that aren’t in the meeting
Sometimes people cannot make a meeting, due to other engagements they need to attend. Thanks to today’s technology, services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams can have their meetings recorded for future viewings. If your boss isn’t in the meeting, why not mention them, so that when they watch the recording at a later date, they’ll know they were still in your thoughts.
This could work well to motivate your co-workers or make them at least feel less awkward about not being there at the time.
Tip 5 – Offer to take notes on the meeting
One way to get in the good books of all other meeting attendees right away is by offering to take notes throughout the call. This saves everyone else a job and can work well to hide if you don’t have too much to contribute yourself on a particular topic.
You can suggest setting up a Google Docs page and adding in everything that’s said to it, so that people can view the key points later on. This once again works well for those people that can’t attend certain sessions.
Tip 6 – Send an email to wrap things up
Once the call has ended, why not send an email over to everyone that joined in that day and wrap things up for them. If you want to be more modern you can do this over social media, of course. Ensure that your tone is friendly and thank everyone for their own individual input during the meeting.
Here you can congratulate anyone that has achieved anything of noticeable importance, or simply state your thanks to the hardest workers. By sending out a message after the meeting has concluded, you’ll be displaying to your members of staff that their contributions are still in your mind and that you are grateful for them. This may even help workers to grow in confidence and contribute more during future calls.
When everything has been said and done
To conclude, you should now be ready to face future meetings full of confidence and ideas. You now know you need to research your chosen topic heavily before hosting a conference call to discuss it and appear as an expert in your chosen field. Beyond these points, you should also now be more aware of what to do when you run into a brick wall during conference calls and how to get out of a spot of bother by posing questions of your own.
Approach all meetings with positivity and be well-mannered when speaking to others; doing this will set a nice atmosphere for everyone, even when approaching the bigger topics at hand. Best of luck with your future online conference calls, it would seem that they are here to stay.