This definitely falls in the “pet peeve” side of my blog. There are so many things about a conference call meeting that can be incredibly annoying and crazy. However, it tends to be the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to get business done, especially for organizations and boards at far flung locations. We all know that. But geez…come on everyone.
There are plenty of good sources on the web to give you the low down, but Miss Manners would be appalled to discover the lack of common sense that reveals its ugly head during a conference call. But am I preaching to the choir here, because things don’t seem to be getting better, which means the ones that should be reading this are not. So here are a couple sources I found that you can look on an email to everyone scheduled to join in on the next meeting.
10 Conference Call Etiquette Tips You Should Strive To Follow: A little kinder than I would be and some of these are for the call leaders. But pay particular attention to numbers 2, 3, 6 (oh, my gosh, number 6), 7, and 8 (yes!!!).
Conference Call Etiquette — Dos and Don’ts: This is a good, concise list. But you don’t even have to read the entire article. Just looking at the headers should fill you in. “Don’t Chew, Smack or Crunch” is a thought-grabber right there.
There are plenty more—just Google (maybe search “why do people’s brains disappear when on a conference call? Is it out of sight, out of common sense?”). The precis for these articles would boil down to a few biggies: have a good connection and preferably on a land line, eliminate background noise, don’t click away on your computer or have side bars with others in your office, and just be professional about the whole thing. If you do need to file your nails, sneeze out the big one, or run to the bathroom, hit that mute button before you flush.
And finally, this video has been out for some time and has made the rounds with over 15 million views. Although a bit long and you may have seen it already, I think it perfectly captures a typical conference call with a real-life interpretation. A definite hoot the first time you check it out. Anyone who has been in on one of these calls can certainly relate. So, state your name and join the conference!
Happy meeting and say hello to Trip!