Top 20 Tips of Conference Call Etiquette – A Cheat Sheet for Executives

30 Oct 2015

business meetings

Maintaining a suitable work-life balance has become a challenge for most people these days. The primary cause of this problem are pressing work demands that often than not come up at inopportune hours. The biggest example of which are those mundane meetings that you have scheduled practically every day. It’s no surprise then that such meetings often end up being inefficient or don’t generate the results you need.

Here are the top 20 meeting hacks or tips that’ll help you develop better conference call etiquette and get the most out of your meetings and enable you to be more productive and stress free.

Switch it up

Changing meeting locations stimulates new ideas and innovation. Meeting outside, over lunch, or anywhere new will exhibit instant results in the form of greater engagement and better ideas.

Be in the know

Have an agenda that covers the entire meeting and all the topics you want to cover, and stick to it. Use MeetingMogul’s enterprise version collaborative agenda and notes feature to collaboratively create the meeting agenda in the first few minutes of the meeting and help keep the meeting on track. Plus you can take notes against each agenda item and when you’re done, you can share the entire meeting’s minutes with every attendee.

Short and sweet

Aim to have just five items to discuss. Fewer than five issues is something that can be settled without a meeting. If you have more than five points to discuss, they should be spread out over multiple meetings. This’ll help you keep your meetings more productive and disciplined.

Use your hands

Studies show that taking notes by hand helps you understand and recall concepts much better later on. It’ll also help keep meeting participants from being distracted.

More is not merrier

Aim to have fewer than ten attendees at any meeting. This ensures that the only people who attend the meeting are the ones who need to and leaves other employees free to get on with important work.

A moment of silence

Although taking two minutes of silence may seem counterproductive, it helps encourage deep thinking during a meeting, resulting in better ideas and solutions.

On the clock

This is a no-brainer. Punctuality in starting and ending a meeting, is critical to keeping meetings on track. MeetingMogul provides a great way to help you ensure that you’re meetings start and end on time. It’ll alert you fifteen and five minutes before the start of every meeting, and lets you dial into conference calls with a single tap.

Everyone gets one

If every task is given to a Directly Responsible Individual (DRI), it creates accountability and ensures that things get done. With MeetingMogul’s collaborative meeting notes, multiple people can take meeting notes simultaneously, ensuring that nothing gets missed and each attendee is held liable for his/her task.

Know what’s up

Ask other participants at the start of the meeting to state what the meeting is about in fewer than five words. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the meeting is focused. If it’s not, that needs to be addressed.

Carrots and sticks

Create rewards and consequences for attendance. If someone is late, you can have them clean up after the meeting or buy everyone coffee. Those who joined early can get first dibs on a project of choice. Incentive is everything so make sure you use it well.

Spread the love

If you notice one person talking a lot more than others, call them out on it politely and suggest that they hear other people’s ideas or opinions as well. This will also show other attendees that you value everyone’s opinion equally.

Do it now

Don’t wait to get back to your desk before solving problems that arise. If necessary, call people who have the answers you need. MeetingMogul is great for this. The app’s direct dialing feature enables you to call any meeting participant with a single tap. If you need to talk to more than one person, you can use the app’s “favourite bridges” to set up and dial a conference call from your phone instantly.

Memos ‘n’ Minutes

After the meeting, document and highlight what was accomplished, including tasks, responsibilities and deadlines. MeetingMogul’s voice notes and collaborative, real-time notes are really helpful in keeping track of this. Plus, you can share your notes with all participants with one tap.

Don’t meet

If at all possible, handle problems and issues outside of meetings. This helps save time and ensures that meetings are taken seriously and not just as another staple of the workday.

Keep it simple

Don’t use too much technical jargon, especially in a meeting where there are cross-functional teams. Meetings are most efficient when everyone is up to speed and knows what’s going on.

Say what?

Make sure you ask questions that are important to business issues. Don’t sideline essential questions or ask irrelevant ones. Focus is key.

Stick around

Don’t leave the meeting right away. Chances are, people might need clarification on something or may not fully understand all the topics covered. Be patient and explain what you need.

The sky’s the limit

Especially in meetings where the purpose is to come up with ideas or solutions. Shooting them down is unproductive. It can dampen the creative mood, and discourage others who may have good ideas from sharing them.

Don’t leave them hanging

If you absolutely must be late or miss a meeting, make sure to let other participants know with some advance notice. MeetingMogul’s one touch calling, text, and email features are a great help if you want to alert people when you’re running late or have to re-schedule.

Close the loop

Feedback is essential, and anonymous feedback can be honest and helpful. It’ll give you great insight on what you’re doing right, what you may be doing wrong and what you could do better, which only improves the next meeting.

These meeting hacks are really useful if you’re strapped for time or ideas. They’ll help you keep your meetings efficient and focused, which is vital if you want to have a productive and stress free work day.

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David Lee

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