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Six suggestions to make conference calls more effective

A post on a blog of Legal Week, reprinted in Legal Week, Vol. 9, May 24, 2007, at 20, reminds us of four ways to improve conference calls. The first: call in on time. “More often than not, the first 15 minutes of any call are spent waiting for other participants to join, trying to contact them by e-mail or on another line.”

A second suggestion is to respect the role-call function of the host. Don’t announce yourself when you come on line and don’t assume that others are not on the line; they may be silently waiting. Third, don’t waste everyone’s time by engaging in a semi-private conversation that interests only one or two. Take it off-line.

Finally, speak loudly and clearly, directly into the microphone or handset. I will add two bonus recommendations: people on conference calls should frequently use their mute button and people should also be aware that paper rustling and ice cubes clicking creates background cacophony for others.