Regardless of the industry, regular team meetings are a necessary feature of every successful business. These sessions are essential for strengthening working relationships, establishing goals and generating new ideas, while effective meetings will typically improve the quality of work produced and provide better results.
In fact, recent studies from McKinsey show that 97% of employees believe that a lack of alignment will impact the outcome of a project, while Visix reports that 39% don’t think businesses collaborate enough. Now with remote working practices continuing to grow and 33% of millennials demanding more collaborative environments, innovative collaboration tools are becoming a key component of the modern workplace.
Businesses all over the world are now searching for the best conference call software available, hoping to keep remote workers connected from all over the world. However, hosting a successful conference call is by no means as simple as it sounds, and you’ll need to follow these beginner’s tips to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Set a Clear Agenda
Unproductive meetings are becoming a real problem for modern businesses. Last year, an extensive European survey found that over half of all sessions are generally considered unproductive, while a separate study showed 91% of attendees will daydream during meetings. Perhaps just as alarmingly, the majority of workers blame these unengaging sessions on the lack of a clear agenda.
When you haven’t outlined the purpose of your conference call beforehand, then attendees are bound to join the call feeling completely unprepared for the discussion. Ultimately, this means they won’t have the information required to truly participate, resulting in unnecessarily long sessions which don’t come close to achieving your goals.
The beauty of conference call technology is the fact it streamlines the entire meeting experience, making sessions much more efficient and significantly reducing any wasted time. When you’ve failed to set a clear agenda (or to share it with attendees) most of these benefits are inevitably lost.
Make the Introductions
A successful conference call always needs a great host. Of course, that means introducing everyone on the call at the start of the meeting, so all attendees know exactly who they’re talking to and can collaborate effectively. Perhaps more importantly, asking attendees to clearly announce their name will ensure nobody ends up sharing something they’re not supposed to.
Although this might sound like a fairly obvious piece of advice, recent studies from web conferencing provider, LoopUp, show that 70% of professionals will happily discuss confidential information over a conference call, while 50% will often be uncertain of who’s actually on the call with them. By making the proper introductions, however, hosts can protect the security of their projects and improve the overall efficiency of the session.
Stick to the Arranged End Time
Before starting the conference call, hosts need to define a clear end time. Although they’re nowhere near as time-consuming as traditional face-to-face meetings, conference calls can still prove incredibly obstructive to the working day. These communications are obviously essential for collaboration in the workplace, but they can also have an incredibly damaging effect on productivity if they run longer than expected.
Attendees will want to plan their day around the call, which means telling them exactly how long you expect it to take, and ultimately giving them a much better idea of which other tasks they can schedule in for that day. Once you’ve done that, you just need to make sure the session doesn’t overrun.
Find the Right Platform
According to the aforementioned LoopUp study, 63% of conferences result in delays of over 5 minutes when meeting hosts struggle to get the relevant tools set up. Without question, hosting an efficient and productive conference call is all about finding the right platform for your business.
Instead of simply opting for the latest (and most expensive) solutions on the market, you need to really think about how you want your teams to collaborate. Although your eye might be drawn to innovative video conferencing solutions, it’s worth noting that over-complicated technology can delay meetings by an average of 15 minutes, while 12% of conference callers actually feel less comfortable when using video platforms.
In fact, 71% of conference calls remain audio-only, though many businesses are beginning to implement screen sharing technology as well. By providing attendees with the option to share their screen with colleagues and collaborators, modern web conferencing platforms mean hosts no longer have to worry about sharing large files beforehand, meaning attendees will never turn up unprepared and everyone remains on the same page.
However, every business is different, and finding the right conferencing platform for your requirements can take a great amount of research. But once you’ve got this platform in place, you’ve taken the first steps towards hosting a truly successful conference call.