10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Organising Conference Calls
Caulder is under a lot of pressure this week. They have a lot of deadlines and deliverables cluttering up their to-do list. The familiar ping of their email app heralds the arrival of a conference call invite for Tuesday at 8:30 am. Caulder’s heart sinks as they calculate how much valuable time they’ll lose to another unhelpful meeting.
As much as you might like to believe that this trope couldn’t possibly be true of your conference calls, it probably is. However, if you take the time to be ruthless with your conference calls and answer these 10 questions before you put together the invite for your call you’ll swiftly become the office darling.
What is this conference call about?
Having a concrete idea of what you need to discuss in your meeting can help keep it on track. Share the agenda of the meeting with your Guests (here is an agenda template you can adapt). It will be easier to spot when it goes off on an unhelpful tangent and help you steer it back on track. Keep waffling out of your calls.
What do I want to achieve with this conference call?
This might seem similar to the first question but a call where you need to disseminate information and where you need to make a decision will be chaired completely differently. Knowing this will help you chair your meeting effectively, keeping your meeting useful and constructive.
Is a conference call the best medium for this agenda?
Do you need to support your discussion with presentations or graphs? Should you be using web conferencing instead? Is the topic particularly complex and nuanced that a face to face meeting is called for? Be sure to carefully consider how you collaborate for the best results.
Who needs to be on this conference call?
Having to muddle through a topic on your call because the people who have the required information are not present, or due to technical reasons don’t join the call, can be really disruptive and undermine a constructive meeting. Ensure all relevant stakeholders to the call have been invited and have the technical support and resources to join the call. If in doubt you can use our conferencing call mobile app to call your participants for a smooth call.
Who doesn’t need to be on this conference call?
There is no worse feeling than coming off a 2hr conference call and not having been able to contribute or gain anything useful from the call. Ensure everyone invited is absolutely crucial to your call. You are not being respectful or polite by inviting more colleagues than required.
Where are the participants going to be joining the call from?
Are they joining from another office, or from somewhere with poor network coverage or strong background noises? What options do you have available to prevent these factors disrupting your call? Also, consider the 247meeting Mobile app as a backup plan.
Where will I be holding this conference call?
What is the environment I’m holding the call in? Is there anything I need to do to ensure Audio Quality on my conference call? Do I know that there is good coverage and/or internet connectivity? Will I have everything I need during the conference on hand?
What resources do I need to hold my conference calls?
Ensure you are aware of any technical requirements that your conferencing solution requires prior to the start of the call. Make sure any company resources, such as conference rooms you require are booked in advance to avoid delays due to resource issues.
What action points should people have done before the call?
Make sure your participants know at least 2-3 days ahead what action points or other deliverables they need to bring for a successful conference. This will ensure you do not have to skip over or double back on essential topics during the call.
What information should people know before the call?
Aside from the dial-in information, which should be clearly distributed with plenty of time where possible, you should also ensure everyone is briefed on any information points where it is possible to do so prior to the call. This ensures the call will be as brief and as constructive as possible.
If you don’t know the answer to one of these questions or if emails can achieve the same goal as your conference calls, then delete this invite. Your schedule and your team will appreciate.