1. Tips for a sucessful teleconference
  2. The teleconference meeting agenda
  3. How To Prepare For Your Teleconference
  4. Conference Moderator Tips

1. Tips for a sucessful teleconference

Teleconferencing Tips for effective meetings

Speakerphones are a distant last for delivering an effective teleconference presentation. Regardless of the quality of the speakerphone, it sounds tinny and captures background noise and echoes. Most importantly, it sounds more impersonal. And is that the impression you want to make after all that effort in creating your event and attracting an audience?
Tips For A Successful Teleconference

Are Your Meetings Productive?

Only 22% of participants rate their meetings as extremely productive. To make the most of your next meeting:

Plan Ahead

Determine the date, start time and number of participants. Be aware of time zone differences.
Reservation-less accounts offer conference access 24/7 and do not require a prior reservation.
Use operator assisted services if you have over 50 attendees in an interactive meeting

Notify the Participants

Let all conference participants know the date, and, how they can access the teleconference.
Provide them with your dial-in number and participant PIN number to enter the conference, include in your notification e-mail: moderator’s name, start and estimated end times, subject and agenda. Also, let participants know of any preparation needed prior to the audio conference.

Determine Equipment Needs

In a teleconference presenters should always use a headset for superior audio performance. After all, in a teleconference, your voice is your body language and takes on a larger roll in the communication process. Using your regular handset is the second choice if a headset is unavailable If there are multiple participants in the same room at a site, then, high quality speakerphone equipment is recommended. Full- duplex equipment ensures clarity and avoids clipping of words when two or more people speak at once. Also, we recommend that you discourage the use of cordless or cellular phones, as these may cause static or other interference.

Provide Visual Supplements when audio conferencing a group in a conference room.

Providing slides, videotapes, and hard copy documents to participants in advance enhances any audio conference. Also, be sure participants have the equipment (slide projector, VCR, etc.) necessary to use the material
* A more effective method of conducting a meeting with visuals is to integrate audio with web conferencing.   learn how to integrate your teleconference with a web presentation

Set the Audio conference Goal

  1. Pinpoint the objectives you wish to accomplish for the meeting.
  2. Provide an agenda in advance
  3. Try to limit the agenda to three or four topics, and let the participants know how much time you intend to spend on each.

Develop an Outline

  1. Develop an outline or script for opening remarks, special announcements and closing remarks.
  2. Pinpoint Meeting Objectives ( See The teleconference meeting agenda below)

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2. The teleconference meeting agenda

Teleconferencing Tips for effective meetings

The Teleconference Meeting Agenda
Meetings are windows on the soul of business: they reveal the quality of its management. Well-organized, well-conducted meetings highlight an effective organization. Meetings afflicted with sloppy planning, flimsy agendas, and fuzzy expectations indicate a not-so-effective one.
Here are some tips for tightening and energizing your meetings:
Creating an effective agenda is one of the most important elements for a productive meeting. Here are some reasons why the meeting agenda is so important.

  • The Agenda communicates important information such as
    1. Topics for discussion.
    2. Presenter or discussion leader for each topic.
    3. Time allotment for each topic.
  • The Agenda provides an outline for the meeting (how long to spend on which topics) and can be used as a checklist to ensure that all information is covered.
  • The Agenda lets participants know what will be discussed if it’s distributed before the meeting. This gives them an opportunity to come to the meeting prepared for the upcoming discussions or decisions
  • The Agenda provides a focus for the meeting (the objective of the meeting must be clearly stated in the agenda)

How to Create an Effective Agenda

You’re responsible for planning your project meeting this month. Arrggh!! What to do? Now you understand how important an agenda is to the effectiveness of the meeting, but don’t know how to create one. Breathe easy! All you have to do is follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Send an e-mail stating there will be a meeting, the goal of the meeting as well as the administrative details such as when and where it will be. Ask those invited to accept or decline the meeting. Make it clear that once they have accepted the meeting, they are expected to attend.
  2. Ask participants requesting an agenda item to contact you no less than two days before the meeting with their request and the amount of time they will need to present it.
  3. Once all of the agenda requests have been submitted to you, summarize them in a table format with the headings Agenda Item, Presenter and Time. It’s your responsibility to ensure that each agenda item is directly related to the goals of this particular meeting. If an inappropriate request is made, suggest that person send an e-mail or memo instead or recommend that this agenda item be discussed in another meeting. Also, you must be realistic in the amount of time you allocate to each presenter. Don’t cram an unrealistic number of agenda items into an hour meeting. When people accept an hour meeting, they expect to be finished in an hour. When meetings go over time, people generally tend to get uneasy. It’s better to schedule 50 minutes of discussion into an hour time slot. This way you have 10 minutes to spare and if you get done a little early, people will be pleased
  4. Send the agenda to all the meeting participants the day before the meeting with a reminder of the meeting goals, location, time and duration. At this time, ask the presenters if they are happy with the order in which they will be speaking and the amount of time they have been allocated.
  5. Of course, the most important part of creating an effective agenda is to follow it during the meeting!

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3. How To Prepare For Your Teleconference

Teleconferencing Tips for effective meetings

How To Prepare For Your Teleconference

Basic Presentation Skills

Leaders make presentations to a wide variety of audiences, for example, Board members, employees, community leaders and groups of customers. Usually there is a lot that can be quickly gained or quickly lost from a presentation. A little bit of guidance goes a long way toward making a highly effective presentation.
The following guidelines are intended for general presentations. These guidelines can be applied to face-to face meetings, teleconference meetings, and desktop video conference meetings.
Basic Guidelines For Designing Your Presentation

  1. List and prioritize the top three goals that you want to accomplish with your audience. It’s not enough just to talk at them. You may think you know what you want to accomplish in your presentation, but if you’re not clear with yourself and others, it is very easy – too easy – for your audience to completely miss the point of your presentation. For example, your goals may be for them to appreciate the accomplishments of your organization, learn how to use your services, etc. Again, the goals should be in terms of what you want to accomplish with your audience.
  2. Be really clear about who your audience is and about why is it important for them to be in the meeting. Members of your audience will want to know right away why they were the ones chosen to be in your presentation. Be sure that your presentation makes this clear to them right away. This will help you clarify your invitation list and design your invitation to them.
  3. List the major points of information that you want to convey to your audience. When you’re done making that list, then ask yourself, “If everyone in the audience understands all of those points, then will I have achieved the goal that I set for this meeting?”
  4. Be clear about the tone that you want to set for your presentation, for example, hopefulness, celebration, warning, teamwork, etc. Consciously identifying the tone to yourself can help you cultivate that mood to your audience.
  5. a. Presents your goals for the presentation.
    b. Clarifies the benefits of the presentation to the audience.
    c. Explains the overall layout of your presentation.

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4. Conference Moderator Tips

Teleconferencing Tips for effective meetings

As the moderator/host, there are several steps you can take to lead a successful audio conference…

Be more effective in what you say by:

  • Varying the tone of your voice
  • Speaking clearly and avoiding background noise

“Do Not Disturb”

Make sure you lead the audio conference from an office or meeting room where you won’t be disturbed.
If you are the leader:

  • Stick to the agenda – see how to create an effective agenda
  • Control interruptions
  • Anticipate problems and be prepared with solutions
  • Stay enthusiastic

Share Your Enthusiasm!

Your voice accounts for 78% of your effectiveness on the telephone. Be sure to project your enthusiasm and interest from the moment you begin the audio conference.

Introduce Yourself

Begin the teleconference by introducing yourself and your location, stating the objective of the teleconference, and giving instructions for audience involvement.

Set the Rules

Remind every one of the ground rules during an audio conference:

  • State one’s name before speaking
  • Keep background noise to a minimum; use the mute button when not speaking
  • Keep comments concise and focused on the topic
  • Keep It Interesting

To hold everyone’s interest, make frequent changes in speakers by calling on specific participants for their input or questions.

Keep It Simple

Present the information clearly in an easy-to-understand manner.
Remember this simple, 3-step rule:

  • Review the agenda – see how to create an effective agenda
  • Summarize decisions and action items
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Pause

One of the most common complaints about teleconferencing is the fast pace of the presentation. Using pauses can lead to a more effective presentation.

Be Direct

“Please look at the next page and we’ll discuss the diagram…” is more direct and effective than, “The next diagram we’ll discuss is found on the following page…” Using active, direct language will stimulate and hold your audience’s interest.

Q and A

In general, effective presentations allow about one-third of the time for interaction with the audience. Let the participants know if and when you want interaction. You can request the operator to conduct a Q&A session for you.

Name Names

Call on people by name and location (“Chris in Chicago, what do you think…?”) when asking questions or soliciting their reactions. With large audiences, call on groups of people by their site (“Let’s hear from New York on this one…”) or company role (“How does the marketing department feel about that…?”).

Be Democratic

Take note of the people and sites that participate, and those from whom you haven’t heard. Use this information to lead a balanced discussion.

Stay on Schedule

Be respectful of everyone’s time and try to end on schedule. Remember that not all discussions have to take place during the audio conference. You can agree to call someone after the conference for a more in-depth conversation.

Reach Closure

  • Ask for summary statements
  • Recap action items
  • Thank everyone for their participation
  • Use a formal sign-off to end the conference
  • Review Your audio conference meeting
  • Obtain a recording of the program and review it to make improvements in future audio conferences.

After the Meeting:

Maximize productivity by forwarding to all audio conference participants:

  • Minutes of the meeting
  • The Replay dial-in number and PIN
  • And any other pertinent material

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Manage your meeting online

Manage your audio from your phone keypad or from the web with Live Conference Viewer

  • Record the Conference
  • Lock the Conference
  • Conduct Q&A Sessions
  • Determine the Active Talker
  • Mute Noise
  • Control Volume
  • Hang up Participants

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