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From a business perspective, teleconferencing makes a lot of sense: with a simple set-up, a company can host a meeting with employees, customers and suppliers from around the world at very low cost. However, the flip side is that teleconferences present significant challenges to participants for several reasons. Most companies still use audio-only conferencing, which means there are no visual clues to help us understand each other. On top of that, the call quality can sometimes be very poor. We also have to consider the fact that teleconferences can involve people from many different levels of English proficiency. All of these factors make teleconferences an efficient, but sometimes stressful, way to exchange information. Here are some teleconference tips and phrases that might help you feel more comfortable during your next call.
General teleconference tips
- Get familiar with the equipment. If you are responsible for the meeting, learn how to use the teleconference equipment before the meeting. If you have technical problems,, they will be easier to solve, which will save everyone time.
- Do a roll call. Take a moment at the beginning of the teleconference to allow everyone to identify themselves. This will let you know who is involved, but can also serve as a technical check: if someone is too loud or too soft, the problem can be addressed now. Also, make a note of the names and use them later to identify participants.
- Have an agenda and refer to it often. An agenda is a good idea for most meetings, and teleconferences are no exception. Frequent reference to the agenda can be a good tool for making sure participants keep their attention focused on the meeting and not on their text messages or emails.
Phrases to use in teleconferences
1. Phrases for managing people:
· Block an interruption: “Sorry Tatjana, could we let Karsten finish, please?”
· Nominate a speaker: “Adrian in Michigan, do you have anything you’d like to add?”
· Announce yourself: “This is Chad in Stuttgart. Could I say something?”
2. Phrases for managing technical problems:
· Someone is not loud enough: “I’m afraid we can’t hear you very well. Can you please speak up?”
· Technical problem on your end: “I think there’s a problem with the line. We’re looking into it now. Please give us a moment.”
· Technical problem on the other end: “Unfortunately we can’t hear you very well. Could you check the connection on your end?”
3. Phrases for various events:
· The next point on the agenda: “Could we please move to the next point on the agenda, production costs? John in Farmington Hills, could you tell us something about the proposed numbers, please?”
· Someone enters the room: “One moment please, Jessica from HR has just joined us.”
· A moment of silence: “Sorry everyone, we’re looking for the PowerPoint slides. Please give us a second.”
Using the tips and phrases above can help your teleconference run more smoothly. Do you have any ideas you could add to our list? If so, let us know in the comments section below. Also, see how you can further improve your teleconference skills by clicking here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Quick and easy recipe for ‘tasty’ teleconferences
- First aid tips and tricks for sickly teleconferences
- Teleconferences are not normal calls