If you, like many, have a strong aversion to conference calls, gird your loins. They're not going away. Sue Shellenbargar sites research in a recent WSJ article that the number of conference calls in the U.S. is expected to grow 9.6% a year through 2017. Ugh!
Though conference-call loathers can rattle off many reasons for their feelings, 75 percent of businesspeople polled on the topic said that it's hard to build rapport with participants on a conference call. Makes perfect sense, especially in light of Albert Meharabian's famous study of non-verbal communication. When we can't see gestures and body language, we miss 55 percent of what’s really being said.
Since they're not going away, Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of Hightower Advisors, offers four tips on how to maximize productivity on conference calls. He suggests:
- Manage expectations
- Set a clear agenda
- Go around the horn
- Use face time wisely
A good fifth tip would be from James 1:19: “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.”
Watch "A Conference Call in Real Life" by Trip and Tyler for a good laugh. Use it for discussion with your team about how to improve your conference calls,
What do you do to maximize conference-call effectiveness?
How do you stay tuned in?