Mastering Professional Etiquette in Conference Calls

Mastering Professional Etiquette in Conference Calls

Mastering Professional Etiquette in Conference Calls

How many times have you been on a conference call with distracting background noise,  lack of engagement, and technical issues that caused communication breakdowns? We've all been there! In this blog, we'll share tips to help you navigate conference calls smoothly and ensure they are productive from start to finish. Whether you're leading the call or participating as an invitee, incorporating these etiquette practices will improve the overall experience for everyone involved. Let's dive into the before, during, and after stages of a conference call to discover how to make them more efficient.

Before the Call: Setting the Stage for Success 

  • Select the appropriate participants based on the agenda. How many times have you attended a meeting you didn’t need to attend? It’s a waste of time, and time is money!
  • Consider time zones when scheduling the call to accommodate most participants. For example, 8:00 am Eastern Time is 5:00 am Pacific Time. No, thank you!
  • Notify the host in advance if you anticipate being late or unable to attend. You don’t want attendees waiting for you and delaying the meeting.
  • Send out an agenda at least 24 hours in advance. It helps the discussion to be more focused and structured.
  • Provide any necessary pre-work materials ahead of time. This way, all attendees will be better prepared.
  • Set a time limit for the meeting in order to stay focused on the agenda.

During the Call: Practicing Engaged and Respectful Communication 

  • Introduce participants who are unfamiliar with each other and their respective roles.
  • Encourage participants to mute themselves when not speaking.
  • Be cautious with the mute button to avoid accidental muting or side conversations.
  • Stay attentive and respect the time of those leading the call.
  • Share airtime and allow speakers to complete their thoughts.
  • Announce your name before speaking on audio-only calls.
  • Address individuals by name when asking questions.
  • Stay on the agenda and note any issues for follow-up discussions.

After the Call: Consolidating and Maintaining Momentum 

  • Send a follow-up note within 24 hours summarizing the next steps and assigning responsibilities.
  • Schedule any necessary follow-up meetings while the participants' attention is still focused.
  • Consider emailing attendees in advance of future calls with etiquette tips.

Practice active listening, and maintain professionalism and respect for all participants. These practices will help create smoother, more productive conference calls, and foster effective communication among team members.

Elevating Your Video Presence during Conference Calls

Have you ever attended a video meeting where an unexpected background or missing participants detract from the overall experience? When appearing on camera during virtual meetings, it's important to maintain a professional and engaged presence.

Video Greeting

"Dos" for Appearing on Video:

  • Test your video and audio settings in advance to ensure clear visibility and sound quality.
  • Dress appropriately, adhering to the same standards you would for an in-person meeting.
  • Maintain good posture and sit up straight to convey attentiveness and engagement.
  • Position the camera at eye level for a natural angle.
  • Ensure proper lighting by facing a light source or using soft light to illuminate your face evenly.
  • Make eye contact by looking directly into the camera rather than focusing on your own image.
  • Minimize distractions in the background by selecting a tidy and neutral environment.

"Don'ts" for Appearing on Video:

  • Avoid multitasking or engaging in unrelated activities during the call. Stay focused on the discussion.
  • Refrain from eating, chewing gum, or engaging in any behavior that may be distracting or unprofessional.
  • Minimize excessive movement or fidgeting, as it can be visually distracting to other participants.
  • Prevent background noise by muting yourself when not speaking and selecting a quiet environment.
  • Steer clear of appearing too close or too far from the camera. Find an appropriate distance for a clear view.
  • Refrain from interrupting or speaking over others. Practice active listening and wait for your turn to contribute.
Conference call

By enhancing your video appearance, actively engaging in meetings, and optimizing your technology setup, you can significantly impact the quality and effectiveness of your virtual interactions. Remember to prioritize professionalism, maintain an engaging presence, and be mindful of your technology settings. 

Stay tuned for more valuable insights in our series on professional communication etiquette!