Revolutionise the Dreaded Conference Call
Dreading that meeting? Then make a call
At 10am (GMT) on Thursday the 16th July 2015 Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch leader of the Eurozone confirmed a bail out for financially unstable Greece.
The decision to offer a bridging loan of £5 billion was discussed via a conference call between Greece ministers and the Eurozone which includes 19 countries.
Traditionally the Euro group meet in Brussels to discuss all financial decisions but this vital decision was undertaken via voice call. It was announced via a Tweet from Dijsselbloem’s spokesperson, Michel Reijns, on Twitter.
We have all been there, dreading an important make or break meeting. So perhaps this is why the Eurozone minister choose a conference call to break the (good) news. Or was it simply a matter of budgeting, after all flights are coming in at €200 and banks are still closed in the city.
Just six months earlier the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis meet with the euro group finance Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem and held a press conference. This recent meeting, which was equally if not more important, was however conducted via telephone.
Matthew Brown from Network Telecom, business telephone systems suppliers in the UK says; ‘I think in this day and age it is not practical or best use of time for ministers or for that matter any business person to be spending most of their time travelling. A conference call can be just as effective especially with new technology in telephone systems.’
Just recently Jersey MP Steve Pallot took a tax payer paid flight to Bucharest only to find he was 500 miles away from his intended destination Budapest for the Dance World Cup. He admitted it was a combination of errors between admin’ staff and his own neglect to research the event. So with an estimated £1,000 spent on a return trip to the wrong country would MP Pallot have been better of calling?
On the other hand an estimated 27% of UK workers admit to falling asleep on a conference call.
‘You work at an international bank doing a gazillion dollars’ worth of business, yet you’ll waste 3 hours on a remote meeting where no one is engaged, some selfish **** hogs the limelight and bores the pants off everyone else and no meaningful business gets done as a result?’
“I can’t stand it when I have to be on a conference call….it’s sooooo long and boring and half the time you can’t even hear Belgium!” – Source
What can make the conference call more interesting and engaging and ultimately worthwhile. If businesses can get as much out of a conference call as a face to face meet them it may be more beneficial and the best move forward financially.
Here are my top tips for making a conference call more engaging;
Tip 1: Set an agenda prior to the call. It is not use holding a call for over an hour to have no final decisions or program made. Set a structure to the call with points to cover.
Tip 2: Nominate one person to take charge. They can give the intro to the call, introduce each person and get the conversion going. They will also be in charge of making sure all points are discussed. In essence they are the conference call referee.
Tip 3: It is tempting to slouch, hunch over the desk or simply relax and put your feet up on a conference call when no one can see you sleeping. Walk around, be animated and stand up when you are speaking. Your voice projects far better and you will feel like you are more involved. A headset is a great edition is you make regular calls.
Tip 4: Treat your call like a face to face meeting. Do not eat, drink, play with your mobile or read / watch something un-related. Give the call you undivided attention.
Tip 5: keep the meeting to a time scale. If participants know the call will be 30 minutes then things stay on agenda more accurately and also participants are less likely to get bored.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net