Conference call blunders

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Conference Calls Are Getting Out Of Hand

Ever been unexpectedly interrupted in the middle of an important conference call? Most people have. Today, a lot of important communication happens from the comfort of our homes. This may lead to difficulties when trying to find a quiet place to talk. Being interrupted by your kid running around in a dirty diaper could easily happen. When it comes to chaotic interruptions, life can show no mercy. The possibilities are infinite.

If You’re Home Make Sure It’s Alone

All is good when you’re working from home. Nothing beats using your laptop on a comfy couch with the snacks you want and a carefree vibe. But what happens if your family suddenly comes home? You’re kids barge in, run around, laugh, and throw pillows at each other while your dog barks. Plus, your partner yells out “I’m home!” in a funny embarrassing tone. Just imagine what the people on the other end of the call will think.

Even In The Bathroom

Comfort can be a double edged sword, and in some cases make you take things a little too lightly. Say you’re in the middle of a call and feel the urge to use the restroom. Some might not even think about getting up to do their thing, even while a conference call is still going! Think of a bunch of people in suits on the other end hearing loud flushing noises on the call. Do you really want that happening?

They Can Still Hear You

What if you have to go to the grocery store, and you stay on a conference call while you’re driving? Maybe all of a sudden some little girl on a bike flies right in front of your car, and you almost hit her. Of course she keeps going without a care, but you scream your lungs out and forget everyone can still hear you. You’ll probably sound insane.

Take Into Account

Unexpected things happen in life and that’s just how it is. Still, there are some things you should take into account before an important conference call:

  • Make sure there are no other people around to distract you.
  • Pick a quiet and private place to avoid external noises.
  • Get other things out of the way beforehand and fully engage with the call.
  • Take into account where you are and where people on the other end might be.
  • Stay in the same spot until the conversation is over.

Save The Flushing For Later

In the end, you can’t avoid all distractions. Just make sure your kids aren’t running in to your home office while you’re talking. Also, leave cooking, taking out the trash and such for later. You want to seem like you’re paying attention to the call, not unclogging a toilet filled with who knows what. Come on, at least be somewhat professional.

ECC

Lifehack Conference Calls Dial-In

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Nowadays, many of us dial into conference calls using a mobile or smartphone, and we all know that typing the local access code and the pin code takes a while (plus the frustration of having to look for the code in an email or calendar invite by switching applications etc… ). But that should not be a problem….

Insert a “,” when dialing a number for a 3~5 second pause

 Most mobile phones allow you to dial a number including “pauses”, this is usually done by typing a comma ( “,” ) between the numbers you wish to dial automatically. You can also save phone numbers into your contact list including “pauses”! (works on iPhone and Android too!)

(you gotta love the blackberry pics!, remember the BB 😉 )

For instance if you save number +390699268374,1234567 your mobile phone will dial +390699268374 first, then wait 3 seconds and then dial 1234567. This is very useful when you need to dial an extension after the main number of a company; but it can also be a very useful trick to dial into conference calls!

I recommend adding two commas for a total of 6 seconds of pause between the number and the pin code just to be on the safe side! Most phones support the comma (“,”), but many phones (Blackberry, iphone and many android smartphones) support the letter “p” or “x”. Check out your user manual or simply test it!.


Save your own conference favorite dial-ins and moderator pin code in your mobile’s contact list.

What I do is that I save my most used local dial-in numbers followed by two commas and my moderator pin code in my smartphone’s contacts list, so when the time comes to dial-in to my call, I just call up the saved contact and auto-dial into the conference! that easy!

The entry looks like this:

<Local dial-in number>,,<my conference moderator pin code>

(note that the comma might appear as a “p” in some phones)

I have one entry like this per local dial-in I frequently use (in my case Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy), and I add more as I need. That saves me a lot of time and hassle!

I hope you find this first tip useful,

have great conferences!

www.easyconfcall.com

5 Tips to Lead Effective Conference Calls

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When the recession hit in 2008, companies starting cutting costs by bringing down the number of face to face meetings. This eventually forced staff into using conference calls as an alternative mode of communication. However, most did not receive proper guidance on how to lead such calls and therefore have a lackluster approach towards them.

To be sure that your colleagues and bosses aren’t getting bored or multi-tasking during your call, these tips below will help you achieve the objective of your call.

Practice, practice, practice.

Always practice using the conferencing software that you intend to use for the actual call. Set up a practice call with yourself and learn all the features that come with the software. There is nothing scarier than not knowing how to use the software when you’re the host. Learn important functions such as muting and un-muting callers.

Always have a backup plan.

We all know how technology fail on us right at the very moment we need them. Always send the call’s agenda, dialing or webinar information way ahead of the actual call time. In the event that the software or hardware decides to fail on you, you can always guide your participants over to the documents you sent over previously.

If it’s a group, prepare a room.

If you’re part of a group that is supposed to be physically present together and host the call, prepare a room with a proper speaker telephone with enough speakers for everyone. Always test the speaker telephone one day before the actual call as well as other equipment such as projectors that you may need.

Be early.

Well, not too early. Start the conference call at least ten minutes ahead of the actual call time so that you can welcome each caller as they dial in and take their attendance. Always ask whether all participants have received the information that you sent over previously and have them ready it.

 Touch on basic etiquette.

To ensure that your call is successful, briefly run through some basic conference call etiquette to ensure that there wouldn’t be a caller who will unexpectedly derail it. Ask callers to put their phones on mute and avoid being in areas with a lot of background noise. They should only un-mute their phones when they have something to say and never ever put their phones on hold.

Mobile phones that are silent should be placed further away as any notifications will cause a loud buzzing sound. If the call requires strict attendance, let callers know that you will pause the call at any moment a person joins so that you can take their attendance. Inform callers to speak loudly and clearly with their name at the front so that everyone will know who is talking.

Use these five tips to lead an effective conference call and continue to build your knowledge by experiencing more calls. These tips here will help you kick off and ensure that your callers are engaged and actively participating in your call. Good luck!

Nigel Sim for ECC

conference-call-costs

How much does a conference call cost?

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We get asked a lot about the cost of an easyconfcall.com conference call. The short answer is “the more you use it the less it costs you”!

Indeed, easyconfcall.com is a “fixed fee” or “subscription model” conferencing system. You pay a monthly fee and can use it as much as you want, a bit like an “all-you-can-eat” buffet.

There are no other fees. Participants do not need to subscribe or download any app, they can simply dial-in and connect to your conference.

I hope this helps!

EB for easyconfcall.com

mute your conference call

Be kind: mute your conference call line

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We have all sat through conference calls that were difficult to follow… most likely reason? Noises on the line…

 Yes, we are on a conference call and hear background sounds, cracking sounds or booming sounds, other people talking and wonder what it is.
Well, its nothing more than sounds that are picked up by the microphones of the callers on the conference call. Some of us might be taking the call from an airport lobby, a car or simply from a public space with lots of ambient noises. Sometimes the office itself is noisy and the desktop phone picks it all up!
It is good practice to put yourself on mute when not speaking in a telephone conference. This avoids all noises to be passed on to the rest of the callers. When it’s your turn to speak, just un-mute yourself and talk. But don’t worry, because when you are talking, today’s microphones and recording technologies will suppress your background noise since your voice will be much louder than anyting else (its a matter of signal-to-noise ratio in techno-speak).
To put yourself on mute during a conference call, press the mute button on your phone, not the hold button
 
Most desk phones and mobile phones have a mute button, do not mistake it for the hold button! When you press “hold” a music is usually played to entertain the other person on the line… this means that if you do that during a conference call, everyone will be hearing the music!, moreover, when on hold you will not be able to hear anyone speak as the speaker volume is also turned off… so you will not be able to hear the complaints of the people on the line.
Easy!

EB for Easyconfcall.com