In the corporate world, frequent communication is very important to get desired results from professionals. The personnel needed for discussion may not be present at the same place when required, and in such a case, the conference call facility can serve the purpose. There are some norms which have to be taken into consideration before and during the call, which are known as conference call etiquette.
Ensure that all potential participants are well aware of the matter that is going to be discussed in the conference call. This would certainly enable them to be prepared for the discourses. The agenda, pass-code, time, date, instructions, and considerations of the call should be communicated to them beforehand; and that too several times. Advanced planning is the key for productive discussions in a conference call. Before the call, familiarize yourself thoroughly with the communication technology. This would preclude any goof-ups with the phone during the live call. If you are the call initiator, ensure that you start the conference on time without any delay.
If it's a scheduled call, make sure you are in a quiet place few minutes before the call. If it's an unscheduled call, immediately rush to a place free from disturbance. Never take the call in a noisy place or in the washroom. After getting connected, you should introduce yourself before proceeding to the main discussion.
Use the mute button when it's not your turn to speak. During the call, simply ensure that you are not eating anything, or any children or pets are not nearby to trouble you or make a noise. Don't put the call on 'hold' if you have the background music facility. If you do, every participant will hear the music, which may be annoying to them and cause obstructions in the call. Don't use the speakerphone unless you are with other participants.
If you're using a landline phone at home for the call, ensure that you put your cell phone on silent mode to prevent any disturbances caused by loud ringers. Don't make unnecessary noises like tapping on the table, humming a song, chewing crunchy food, etc. When sharing your views, speak slowly and clearly, which would help the participants to understand what you are saying. Refer to the agenda of the business to be discussed. Keep a pen and paper handy if you don't want to miss out on important points to be discussed.
Avoid deviating from the theme of discussion and discuss irrelevant topics. It is also very important to pay attention during the call, as many participants tend to put the phone on mute and do their own work. Be polite in answering questions which may annoy you. After a participant has finished with his/her discussion, don't forget to thank him/her for sharing the required information. After the discussion is over, ensure that you end the call on time, as no one would like to extend the conversation unnecessarily.
As the need and usability of a conference call is increasing, it is certainly essential for a person to consider all these points before participating in it.