Uncharted waters: Top tips for getting the best out of a conference or video call.
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Is this familiar to you?
'The new normal': an interesting statement I heard on a podcast recently. 'That's it', I thought. We are not on pause. This is it for a while. This statement eased me into a comfortable acceptance which has prompted some really positive feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
Last week felt bonkers. I found myself saying "this is so surreal" at least 10 times a day. One minute, I'd be laughing at a whatsapp video, the next saddened when I saw an image showing an exhausted nurse, the next inspired that I'd discovered how to make good meringues, the next cautious while making the most of my exercise allowance.
We haven't experienced anything like this and it's difficult for many of us to know what to do and how to respond.
Quite suddenly many of us had to abruptly change our direction.
What's crucial now, more than ever is staying connected and communicating effectively at home and in business.
I've supported many conference calls and this is one area I can support you with right now. Recently I spoke to a client who compared her work conference call to "a bunch of 4 year olds either fighting for attention or too unsure to speak"
Many people are not used to conference, zoom or skype calls.
So here's my top tips...
1. Check all equipment is working beforehand. It's astonishing how many people don't do this simple task. Don't be the person that hasn't checked.
2. Pre plan. If you are hosting the call and you expect someone to speak let them know beforehand by sending out an agenda. Many people go on to a call and they don't know if they are expected to communicate messages or not. Waste of time.
3. Start with sizzling positivity. This goes further than you think. Inject some energy right at the start, you'll need to turn it up more than you think or people will switch off.
4. Make sure one person is facilitating and holding the ground, keeping time, allowing people in and stopping people going off at tangent. For example saying "Right we've heard from you, Lara, and now on to you, Ben" and, "We'll be wrapping up in ten minutes" . Lack of facilitation causes messy communication.
5. Avoid rambling. Be clear and concise.
6. Repeat key messages. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I've often heard "I did let everyone know on the conference call and they still didn't get the message"
7. End with a plan.
Look out for my supportive communication tips and all the very best,