Conference calls sound like a great idea – they’re meant to be fast and effective for colleagues and clients to stay connected. But often, it is cacophony of new arrivals, small talk and people struggling to hear one another, which completely defeats the original purpose of adding value and helping people be more productive.
From mildly awkward “oops” moments to painfully embarrassing I’m going to kill myself after this call incidents, here’s a list of things people should avoid doing on conference calls.
“Hello, hello, can you hear me?”Who hasn’t done this, right? Now imagine 10 people doing the same thing, sometimes at the same time. To avoid the chaos, please come prepared, test your setup, connect, introduce yourself and greet the other callers. Then, mute your call and wait for others to do the same.
“Oops excuse the no pants situation”If you’re on a video call, treat it like a real meeting and conduct yourself appropriately. That means no picking your nose or burping loudly. It also means you’ve got to be dressed like you’re in the same room as the other callers. Last thing you want is a room full of people knowing what kind of boxers you prefer.
“Nom nom nom nom”Eating during any meeting (unless it’s an arranged lunch meeting!) is rude and totally avoidable. Conference calls are hard as is, don’t make them worse with your munching and potato chip bag crinkling. If you’re absolutely famished and can’t wait a few minutes, then please use the mute button – it’s there for a reason.
“Sorry the line isn’t very clear, I’m outside”You obviously knew there was a call scheduled, so why not prepare ahead and find a conducive location! Loud background sounds can be a distraction to everyone else on the call, and you don’t want your internet connection to act up. If you’re at home and need to shuffle to another room, mute yourself first. If it can’t be avoided, make sure the other people on the call are aware in advance.
“&^%$&$8”Most calls today are recorded, so don’t be the guy who forgets to mute the call and then goes on to swear like a sailor. The use of R-rate language in a conference call probably won’t cost you your job, but it’s inappropriate and unprofessional.
Basic prep work and etiquette are key to acing regular conference calls. With minimal effort, it will help you stand out and position yourself as an asset to the firm.