Learning how to make a conference call is simple - if you know how to use the phone you should have no problem. Conferencing is a well known way to put together a meeting between people that are not in the same geographic area. Whether it be a meeting between co-workers that need to discuss a project or between you and a client to discuss a problem, if you know how to make a conference call, it can save both sides time and money.
Teleconferencing can be don through an audio conference call using only the telephone or through the web if you need to share files or visual aids. Since most companies have resources for outbound conference calls via the phone, that is what we will cover here.
First of all, you need to schedule the audio conference call for a time that is convenient for all parties. When you are teleconferencing with people in different geographic areas, it is key to remember that they may be in different time zones and schedule your call for a time that falls near normal working hours for all parties. Once you have your list of attendees and time you will find that it is not so much how to make a conference call but the etiquette of what you do on the call that matters.
Before The Conference Call
Prior to the audio conference call, you want to make sure that you have appointed someone to take minutes of the meeting. They might write stuff down with a pad and paper or type it right in, either way, you want to be sure they mute their phone so their not taking does not disturb the conference. You need to schedule the time with your conference call service - they will give you a number and a password that you will use for the call. Be sure to pass this along to all attendees in your invitation to the audio conference call. About 10 minutes before the conference call, you want to test this number and password to be sure it works and if not take the appropriate action.
During The Call
You want to be sure to be prompt for your conference call so login a few minutes ahead of time so you can be on the line when new people join in. Keep a list of everyone who is supposed to be on the call and check their names off as they join. Some of them may be gathered together in a conference room and it is a good idea to have them mute their phone until one of them needs to speak. This will block out excess noise from people talking and shuffling papers. Also, if people are teleconferencing in from home, have them mute their phones as well - there's nothing more distracting than trying to hold a business meeting while kids are screaming in the background!
After The Call
When ending the call, be sure to go over any action items and add them to the to-do list. Put these in the minutes from the meeting and send to all attendees. This is also a good time to schedule any follow up audio conferences if needed so all attendees can agree on a time.
So there you have it - easy steps on how to make a conference call!