Suggested: Conference Call Script: 5 Tips For Your Next Meeting
No one really enjoys disorganized conference calls, yet these meetings are very common in the business world, both online and over the phone. Knowing how to lead a conference call effectively can save participants on the call both time and frustration. You should prepare in advance so the meeting goes more smoothly for everyone involved, and following a few key conference call tips can help. From knowing how to start a conference call to understanding conference call etiquette, you can enhance communication and get better results for your business.
In this article, we offer example scripts and additional conference call tips to help you keep your next conference call moving along properly. You do not need to follow these exactly; you can customize each conference call script for your business, industry and meeting purpose.
- Setting the Stage
- Speaking Order
- Directing and Refocusing the Discussion
- Summarizing the Call
At the beginning of your phone or internet call, you need to introduce yourself, the speakers and any other important participant your listeners are not familiar with. This helps everyone become acquainted and also become familiar with one another’s voices. Keep this part brief and focused.
“Hi, John. This is Javier from Garnetstone Associates. I’m calling in with Lauren Haliday, Rob Chandler, and Mackenzie Donovan. [Pause to allow everyone to greet each other]. We also have the Chief Compliance Officer, Grace Walker, calling in over the phone from our New York office.”
2. Setting the Stage
Open the conference call with a short summary about the call’s purpose and goals so that participants know what the meeting is about and can begin contributing right away.
“The reason we’re meeting today is to create a game plan for the Black Friday shopping event this year. We need to figure out how we’ll manage traffic through the store, set up displays beforehand and distribute the special sale merchandise during the event. We also have product to order and staffing schedules to plan. This is going to be a team effort for everyone, so I need you all to pay careful attention during the call and be prepared to speak up if you have ideas to share. We’ll save questions and non-event topics for the end of this call or for our next meeting.”
With this script, you introduce the phone or internet call’s purpose in the first sentence and then elaborate with details afterwards. Provide a short listed summary of key points to hit during the call, and then set parameters for what you will discuss later or offline.
3. Speaking Order
You can minimize confusion and misunderstanding during the conference call by deciding who will speak and in what order. It can be helpful to have anyone who is not scheduled to speak to mute his or her phone or microphone. This can reduce disruptions and help keep you from talking over each other during the conference.
“Let’s get started with our Chief Compliance Officer, Grace Walker. She’s been in conversation with the client for the past week.
Grace? What can you tell us?
Thank you, Grace. The next speaker is our Creative Director, Mackenzie Donovan. Mackenzie? What are the next steps here?
So, for now, that’s all we know. Let me close by saying a few words about what else Garnetstone is planning….
It’s generally a good idea to introduce each speaker in order and say a short sentence updating everyone on what that speaker will contribute to the discussion. Then, ask the speaker to begin. After giving the speaker enough time to share their input, begin introducing the next speaker. At the close of the call, be sure to end with your own input.
4. Directing and Refocusing the Discussion
It can be easy to become distracted during a conference call and end up sidetracked. Your participants’ time is important, and some conversations and topics can wait until after the call. You can politely redirect the conversation without denigrating the participants.
“These are all really great ideas, but we should focus on the main goal.
Bob, we can save that discussion for the shareholders’ meeting next month.
Mandy, can you hold off on that for a moment? Sandra is going to bring that up.
That’s a good point. But there’s no reason to worry. It’s a shareholders’ issue.”
You can shape the conversation nicely by acknowledging what your participants say and then refocusing the call.
5. Summarizing the Call
As you close the call, be sure to summarize accomplishments made during the conference and highlight the positive contributions of the group. Briefly mention the next steps so everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected. Assign any tasks here so no one is surprised, and be sure to mention when the next meeting will occur.
“Okay, everyone. That was a great call. Ashley will be ordering product, so department managers should submit their requests by Tuesday. Bob’s in charge of in-store traffic planning and we all love what he’s done so far, but if you have traffic questions be sure to get with him later. Maria, he can help you and Alex with the rest of the scheduling when he’s done. We’ll meet again in one week. Thanks, everyone. Talk to you all soon.”
Use the end of your call as an opportunity to keep momentum going on the project and remind everyone of their responsibilities. If necessary, you can also let everyone know how to reach you, and you can provide them with a list of tasks you plan to accomplish before the next meeting.