We’ve all been on conference calls or WebEx meetings where participants are speaking over one another, questions and comments lead to off-topic conversations or that run over the allotted time. You only have a handful of “tools” at your disposal when you’re running these types of meetings: How well you’re organized, the words you use, your voice tone and the command/control you bring to the effort.
These 10 tips will help you better manage conference calls and WebEx meetings:
- Treat it like it’s a radio show: You’re the host, in control. Listen to your favorite news/talk radio host (think NPR), and that will give you a hint as to how to move conversations forward with nothing but words and voice tone.
- Review your agenda, objectives and expectations up front; emphasize time limits to help keep things moving.
- Speak more slowly and clearly than you normally do, as well as a little louder.
- Use numbers a lot (“There are two issues on the table. One…and two…”); they help people follow where the conversation is going.
- Use names. Have people introduce themselves before they speak.
- Don’t ramble. Speak in short, clear and concise sentences.
- Be simple and clear in slide presentations — one point per slide.
- Use tone of voice to emphasize your key points.
- At the end, summarize conclusions and next steps.
- Make the clock the enemy; start and end on time.
Below, watch excerpts from one of our most popular ClearPoint training videos, Leading Thru Tech: Mastering Electronic Communications.