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How to Run an Effective Conference Call

March 26, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 83

Conference calls are very expensive no matter what their purpose. Whether they are run for the purposes of decision making, learning or information dissemination, they are expensive if only because of the value of the people who attend.

So being effective and efficient when running a conference call is important.

In this article, I'm going to share four of the keys to running an effective conference call. Being effective is to focus on the right things. After all, there's little reason to be efficient with your conference call if your call doesn't achieve what it set out to achieve.

1. Always have a facilitator. In a learning conference call, your facilitator is normally the teleseminar leader. However in the other forms, the facilitator must be independent of the leader. The facilitator's job is to make sure the meeting process itself runs smoothly. They are expected to focus on the meeting rather than the content of the meeting. Which is why they need to be independent of the individuals involved. Part of their job is to act as an arbitrator and to ensure that all participants are encouraged to participate.

2. Always have a detailed agenda or plan. While a typical agenda is better than nothing, a proper meeting plan is preferred. An agenda lists only the different topics that will be raised. However, it typically doesn't include the various parts of the meeting. A meeting plan on the hand expands on the topic to discuss when and how the topic will be initiated, and what the discussion process will be. In this way, the meeting is far more likely to remain on topic and progressing towards the desired objective.

3. Always begin with the meeting rules. Keeping on track toward the objective is one element of the effectiveness of the meeting. But having the meeting run smoothly without creating hard feelings is always a part of the objectives. This can best be achieved by following some simple rules. By stating those rules up front you are more likely to actually have the participants follow them. The rules generally are based on being positive and respecting the other participants.

4. Always keep people involved. Even one way communications requires effort on the part of both parties. By involving the participants you can help to ensure that the communication path is open. This involvement can take many forms including participation in setting the rules, asking questions or giving answers. Participation can help the facilitator ensure that the meeting is focused on intellectual discussion rather than degrading into an emotional explosion.

Do you want to learn how to create information products (learning content)? Check out my new free eBook "7 Myths and Seven Tricks in Nine Steps":

Do you want to read more free information like this? Go to my blog:

Glen Ford is an accomplished consultant, trainer and writer. He has far too many years experience as a trainer and facilitator to willingly admit.

Source: EzineArticles
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