03 tips (1) tricks & tips of teleconferencing


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03 tips (1) tricks & tips of teleconferencing

  1. 1. Tricks & Tips Of Teleconferencing Contents About this presentation Before the conference We’re pretty convinced about the advantages of teleconferencing or ‘conference calling’. The Basics In comparison to traditional ‘face to face’ meetings, where participants sometimes have to travel long distances to Best Laid Plans attend (and take additional time out of their already hectic schedule to allow for that travel), conference calling can Well Prepared save both time and money. During the Conference Getting Started Our experience shows that organisations that conference call more tend to travel less and collaborate more. They Call Etiquette work smarter, make decisions faster, free up more time and help save the planet. Speaking Easy But how can you get even more out of your conference call? With Tricks and Tips of Teleconferencing from Being Occupied, Not Distracted 03TIPS at your side, you can reap all the benefits of conference calling and more. Ending the Conference We honestly believe that there doesn’t have to be pain to be gain! Final Touches Close The Call About 03TALKWHY PAY? Why pay for conference calls when you really don’t have to? That’s the question we try to answer. With the response, “You shouldn’t!” Unlike other “free” conference services which are operated on special rate 0844 and 0871 numbers (excluded from bundled minutes and often charged at a much higher rate), calls to 03TALK are included in your free minutes allowance - whether you’re calling from a fixed or mobile telephone. 03TIPS It’s quite simple... We’re as good as anyone. And cheaper than everyone. from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 1
  2. 2. WHY PAY? Before the conference The basics1. Choose The Right Service Conference calls still cost money, depending where you’re calling from. Consider where your participants will be when choosing a conference service provider. If most of your callers will be dialling in on a mobile, ensure they won’t be hit with massive charges when they get their next bill. Look for a provider that offers mobile-friendly dial-in numbers such as local rate 01, 02 and 03 numbers.2. Be Clear About Costs Whichever provider you choose, be sure that your participants are aware of what it’s going to cost them to call into the conference.3. Don’t Overcrowd Who do you need to talk to and when? Some providers allow unlimited participants, but that’s not a reason to invite everybody all at once. Think about what you want to achieve and who you need to achieve it. What’s the most effective way to get those decisions made? It might make sense to hold multiple calls with different participants than invite everyone to one big teleconference.4. Decide Who’s Doing What Just because you’re organising the conference, doesn’t mean you have to chair it. Be clear about who’s doing what and make sure you have back-ups just in case somebody has to leave early. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 2
  3. 3. WHY PAY? Before the conference, cont... Best Laid Plans5. Send An Invitation Let everybody know well in advance when the call is due to take place. Some conference providers such as 03TALK provide a scheduler online to save you the hassle of sending invites and reminders. Make sure it includes the access number and any passcodes needed to dial in.6. Create An Agenda Be as specific as you can about what you want to talk about on your conference. Set goals, timings, responsibilities. You don’t have to stick to it like glue, but everybody will appreciate knowing what you want to get out of the call. And remember to send it to your callers well in advance (and ask them to read it!), so they feel prepared.7. Be Realistic About Timings Meetings overrun, and teleconferences are particularly prone to this. It’s probably because people tend to want a decision to be made before they hang up, whereas face-to-face meetings often end with an agreement to regroup later. Whatever the reason, be realistic about how long it’s going to last. Think of a duration, and add 10%.8. Consider ‘Local Time’ When scheduling your conference, be aware of time differences affecting international callers. 3pm sounds like a reasonable time for a meeting but the callers from the Japan office might not be feeling too productive at midnight. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 3
  4. 4. WHY PAY? Before the conference, cont... Well Prepared9. Be On Time Don’t dash off to make a cup of tea or visit the ‘facilities’ 2 minutes before the call is due to begin. Plan your time in advance, make sure you have everything, including the requisite dose of caffeine, in place 5 minutes before you’re due to conference.10. Sit Comfortably Meetings are noisy by their very nature. Don’t add to it by dialling in from a busy coffee shop or the midst of a hectic office. Find a quiet place, so you can hear the call and more importantly the call can hear you. And make sure you’re sitting comfortably, you could be there a while.11. Know Your Technology Using a mobile to dial into the conference? Make sure you know how things like mute and on-hold work on your device, and more importantly how they’ll affect the other participants on the call. For instance, if you put your phone on-hold while you go make a sandwich, the other callers will probably hear ‘Greensleeves’, which might be somewhat disruptive to the conference.12. Be Well Prepared, Prepare Well Make sure you send out any documents or files well in advance, and list these in your Agenda. Ask your participants to print them out or have them on screen when they dial into the conference. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 4
  5. 5. WHY PAY? During the conference Getting Started13. Get In Early If you’re chairing the conference, dial in a few minutes early so you can be sure no-one’s waiting on their own. Put the call on speakerphone so you can get on with other things while you wait for people to join you.14. Say Hello Greet everybody who joins the call and introduce yourself. It’ll set a precedent for other callers to greet new arrivals.15. Don’t Wait If a couple of minutes has gone past and you’re still waiting for the last person to dial in, get on with your conference. It costs money to sit on-hold, and you might as well get on with being productive.16. Start As You Mean To Go On You created an agenda in TIP #6, so stick to it. Help everybody settle in by running through the agenda and asking if anybody has any particular time constraints. Ask people to bring up any queries they have with the agenda, but ask them to leave any other questions until the end. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 5
  6. 6. WHY PAY? During the conference, cont... Call Etiquette17. Introduce Yourself & Call Others By Name When speaking, start by saying your name. And if you’re speaking in response to something already said, call others by name too. It’ll make the call run more smoothly if people know when they’re being addressed.18. Be Polite, Keep Calm General meeting etiquette, such as not interrupting, not talking over other people and not raising your voice, is even more important on a conference call. A few ground rules set out at the start can work wonders. Establish a protocol for deciding who’s going to speak next, and specify a ‘time out’ signal if things get out of hand. Most importantly, remember to keep calm if it gets heated. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 6
  7. 7. WHY PAY? During the conference, cont... Speaking Easy19. Slow It Down Sounds simple. But remember to speak slowly. You’ll all have a lot to say, but avoid talking too fast, especially with the aim of speeding up the call. It’ll only take longer as people constantly ask for things to be repeated.20. Och Aye! Be aware of your accent & dialect, and those of your fellow callers. If you’re struggling to understand someone on the call, then politely ask for them to slow down or speak more clearly. And don’t take offence if someone asks the same of you.21. Don’t Get Lost In Translation As in TIP #20 above, adjust your speech accordingly for any international callers. You don’t want anything to be misunderstood.22. Take Care With Tone The number of senses in play on a teleconference are fewer than a face-to-face meeting. Those that remain are heightened. Other callers will pick up if you’re sounding bored, so try to sound enthusiastic. And don’t be boring either - avoid being monotonous, use your voice to get across what face & hand gestures can’t. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 7
  8. 8. WHY PAY? During the conference, cont... Being Occupied, Not Distracted23. Pay Attention If everyone’s talking but you, it’s easy for focus to shift. But try to pay attention - no playing with games on your phone (especially if you’re calling from it), no shuffling and rustling papers, no fiddling with pens (particularly the clicky sort). Find something to keep your focus, see TIP #24.24. Take Notes Some conference call providers offer call recording but taking notes is a great way of staying focussed and also ensuring you understand what’s being said. A word of warning though - don’t try to transcribe the call as you’ll quickly lose track of the conversation, keep notes brief. And use a pen & paper. The tapping of computer keys might be annoying for other callers.25. Take A Break Make sure that at regular points during the call, you stop and ask for any feedback or questions. If the call’s going to take a long time, you may also want to agree to all hang up and call back after a short comfort break. There’s no problem doing this with providers such as 03TALK as you get your own dedicated conference room to call anytime you like.26. Stay On Track It’s very easy for the topic of conversation to shift to other issues. Become adept at returning to the item on the agenda at those times, but remember to make a note of what the side issue was so you can return to it at a more appropriate time. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 8
  9. 9. WHY PAY? Ending the conference Final Touches27. Leave Time For Questions It’s OK to have “question and answer” time during the call, but make sure you set aside a few minutes at the end of the call specifically for this. And make sure everybody knows there’ll be time for Q&A on the agenda, so if a question can wait then it should.28. Check The Agenda Have you achieved all you set out to? Are there any unresolved items or unanswered questions? Go through the agenda and make sure you’ve covered everything. If necessary, schedule another conference there and then to resolve any outstanding issues. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 9
  10. 10. WHY PAY? Ending the conference, cont... Close The Call29. Get Back Feed Back Whether you ask for feedback as part of the call or ask people to drop you an email with their thoughts, it’s important that everybody’s allowed to have their say. For one thing, it’ll make them feel like they’ve contributed even if they didn’t speak much during the call. And it’ll also help improve future calls so they’re even more efficient, and save even more time and money.30. Say Thank You! And then say it again. End the call by thanking everybody for their time. And include ‘thanks’ again in any follow up emails you send or conversations you have. Conference calling may be cheap, but time isn’t, so show your appreciation. Your callers will appreciate it too. 03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 10
  11. 11. WHY PAY?We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this edition of 03TIPS, and have found it useful.If you haven’t conference called before, then why not head to www.03TALK.com? Grab a freeTALKNOW account and try it out! Our TALKNOW accounts are yours to use, wherever, whenever.Free. Forever.If you’re a regular teleconferencer, then we’d love it if you used our Cost Saving Calculator to findout how much you could save if you 03TALK. Find out more about 03TALK, and get more handyhints & tips, from our website www.03TALK.com.Or contact us anytime by emailing info@03TALK.com or calling 0330 330 3366.It’s good to 03TALK.03TIPS from 03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 11
  12. 12. 03TALK Limited Metropolitan House Station Road Cheadle Hulme Cheshire SK8 7AZ © 03TALK Limited Company Reg. No. 07179973WHY PAY? Follow us on twitter @03TALK TALK 0330 330 3366 WEB 03TALK.com 12