How to Talk in a Conference Call Meeting

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Now more than ever you are likely to work with a variety of people from across the country or around the world. The increasingly international presence of companies and telecommuting have virtually guaranteed that at some point in your career, you will participate in a conference call. For new employees, conference calls can be stressful because the rules and etiquette of the conference call are different. However, common sense and courtesy are all you need to successfully complete a conference call.

  • Ask the participants if they can hear you the first time you address them. Some voices are more difficult to hear than others, or you might have a bad connection.

  • Enunciate your words carefully so that all participants can understand you.

  • Introduce yourself and your position or title clearly. Don't assume that the other participants recognize your voice, even if they know you. If there are many participants on the conference call, identify yourself each time you speak.

  • Discuss only the topics listed on the agenda. While small talk is permissible at the beginning, do not stray off track or the meeting will run over or you will not be able to cover all of the topics on the agenda.

  • Indicate when you are moving on to the next topic by identifying the topic and its number, if applicable.

  • End the call by recapping key details and explaining what will come next. Say goodbye clearly so that everyone knows that the conference call is over.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the mute button when you are not talking, if you have background noise in your location. This will prevent the noise from annoying the other participants.
  • Avoid using the hold feature on your phone because it may play music which will interrupt the meeting. Use the mute button instead.
  • Silence your cell phone and other electronic devices that are not used for the conference call before you begin.
  • Refrain from shuffling papers or scraping chairs during the conference call. These actions may make noises that are distracting to the other participants.

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