Whether it’s the first large conference call you’ll be managing or the 20th one, you’re likely to feel some sort of nervousness leading up to the call, which is perfectly normal. Large conference calls usually translate into important calls, and if it’s your responsibility to make the call run smoothly, you’ll want to do everything you can to make that happen.
Large conference calls aren’t hard to manage, but that’s only if you take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the call and know what you are doing. If you were put in charge of setting up and managing a live seminar event for your company, it’s probably not something you’d play by ear, you’d plan ahead of time to make sure everything goes according to plan; the process of preparing for a large conference call is no different.
In our experience working with clients who have managed large conference calls, we’ve heard all the stories imaginable, from corporate calls with nothing but commuter traffic in the background, to free for all conference call Q&A sessions where attendees are talking over each other. While these may be good for comedic value, it’s probably not the kind of call you’re shooting for.
We’re here to help you avoid issues such as this by providing tips and best practices for managing your large conference call effectively. To start we’d recommend running a few test calls with your conference call service before your scheduled conference to familiarize yourself with the service and features. Have some colleagues join you for a call to test out the features you plan on using, so when it comes down to game time you’ll be ready for it.
Mute your conference – We can’t stress this enough…
Large conference calls are usually a lecture type deal where you have the host and a few guest speakers talking while the rest of the conference is listening in. If you don’t have your conference muted, all it takes is one caller dialing in with a bad connection or from a high background noise environment to ruin your entire call. You can easily prevent this through use of our host telephone controls by pressing 1* to mute your conference or turning on the mute feature using the online conference manager.
There’s a purpose for your conference, so it’s important to have an agenda planned out so you get the desired end results. Whether you’ll be hosting a 40 or 4,000 person conference call; the preparation and end result should be the same, visualize how you would like the conference to go and use that to plan out your agenda.