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How To Be On A Conference Call

by Katie Beckett

Being asked to be on a conference call for the first time is really intimidating for a lot of people. Will you call the right number? What should you say? Will you say something stupid? Will people criticize you? I will try to guide you step by step on how to make your first conference call as painless as possible.

When you are first asked to be on a call get the name and telephone number of the person hosting that call and their assistant’s name and number if they have one. Be sure to ask if the conference call is a free call and if not who is going to pay for it (and how!). Write down the conference call number and the pin number needed for the call right by your phone or in another place where you can easily find it

Call the morning of the phone call the contact person you have been given to make sure the call is taking place and check the number and pin number you have been given.

Be on the call at least five minutes early because that way you will not be late. Introduce yourself and ask how people are doing. There should be a moderator of the call who might set some ground rules for the call. Some ground rules you might set for yourself are:

  • Say your name before speaking - the more people on the call the harder it is to keep track of voices - if you say your name before you speak this helps the moderator and everyone else a great deal.
  • Be conscious of how much you speak - make sure you are not dominating the conversation. If you notice that people aren't talking ask them what they think - the moderator should do this but it never hurts to help.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions someone might have the same question.
  • If you are late apologize to the group.
  • Say goodbye before you hang up (not a rule set in stone but some people think it's rude if you don't)
  • Don't be bashful about your ideas if they didn't want them they wouldn't have asked you to be on the call.

A follow up call later in the day or the day after to the moderator is helpful because then you can share how you think the call went and other ideas you might have thought of.

I hope this has taken the scare out of the conference call process. The only other advice I can give is have fun.

If you have additional tips you would like to share, send them to info@fvkasa.org. Feel free to distribute widely, with attribution. Thanks.

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