Tips for a Hosting a Teleconference

Being on Your Best Behavior

Teleconferencing makes it easier than ever to do business with people around the world. However, that doesn't mean you can afford to be slipshod when you're conducting a teleconference. The way you speak and behave yourself during a call can either dazzle your associates or leave them shaking their heads in dismay.

Before the Teleconference

  • Test the equipment. This is particularly important if you'll be using a new headset. You should try it out first to make sure it doesn't sound make scratchy static noises or amplify your breathing. Few things are more annoying than breathy noises over the phone.
  • Make some notes ahead of time. Write down all the topics you want to discuss and the questions you'll be asking. This way you won't forget anything important.
  • Keep a fresh pad of paper and pencils on hand. This is in case you'll be taking notes. Keep a few pens and pencils on hand, just in case. If your pen ran out of ink, it would be embarrassing if everyone had to listen to you scrounge around for a new one.
  • Familiarize yourself with the mute button. You might need it, and you want to make sure you're pushing the right button when you do.
  • Eliminate distractions. Don't put anything in the microwave. Turn off your cell phone and close the door. Try to make sure nothing will need your attention during the teleconference; make sure other people know that you'll be busy with a call.

During the Teleconference

  • Introduce yourself. Unless of course there will be a small number of callers and you all know each other. If not, take a few minutes to tell everyone who you are.
  • Take notes with pencil and paper. It might be tempting to type information into a computer, but everyone will hear the clackity-clack noises. They'll assume you aren't giving the call your full attention. Use old-fashioned paper instead.
  • Don't multitask. Watching TV, playing solitaire, or surfing the net demonstrates that you don't care very much about the teleconference. No one will see it, but they will hear the other noises or at least sense your distraction.

Voice Etiquette

What you say and how you say it is extremely important during a teleconference. The quality of your voice will affect the way people see you. Here are some tips for sounding your best:

  • Avoid "word whiskers." These are annoying filler words like "uh," "um," "like," and "you know." It's OK to simply pause and collect your thoughts. You'll sound much more poised and professional.
  • Speak clearly. Take the time to enunciate. Don't make your listeners strain to figure out what you're saying.
  • Don't talk too fast. If you have a habit of talking as fast as Mighty Mouse, make an effort to speak more slowly. If you talk too fast, people will have a hard time keeping up.

For even more helpful articles and information about teleconferencing, stop by Affordable Conferencing.

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