12/6/2011 1:13 PM

Conference calls is the most underused but powerful and cost-effective method of bringing a distributed team together. When executed properly, it allows people at different locations to join a meeting without having to travel. On the other hand, there is the risk of a phone meeting falling into chaotic babble. With proper planning, this risk can be avoided.

Quality phone lines

The first step in creating an effective and successful conference calls is to ensure there are reliable telephone lines. Find a reputable phone provider to ensure quality of calls.

Establish goals and expectations prior to conference calls

When sending invitations for a meeting by phone, include all pertinent information, such as purpose of the call, agenda of the meeting, number to dial including the PIN, time, list of participants, and moderator. Attach handouts so participants can study them in advance; the more prepared the participants, the better the outcome of the meeting. When possible, distribute visuals such as outlines, product brochures, graphs or blueprints prior to the conference calls. Visuals are useful in illustrating and explaining topics, as well as giving participants a quick point of reference.

Keep the group small

The larger the group, the more difficult it is to accomplish an effective conference calls. The optimal size for a meeting by phone is three to six people. A group larger than that can be hard to manage.

Keep the meeting short but to the point

The ideal duration for a phone meeting is a half hour to 45 minutes. This is because people’s attention easily drifts after this amount of time. Be sure that everyone focuses on the issue so it can be resolved quickly.

A phone meeting is not just any phone call. It is a business activity designed to resolve an issue or achieve a goal. With proper and detailed planning, any objective can be met.

Conference Worldwide is a low-cost teleconference service provider that offers high-quality conference calling facilities to help organizations achieve successful phone meetings. With features like multiple connection options, auto-rechargeable accounts and multiple phone commands, clients are guaranteed quality conference calls at all times.

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