Conference calls are an integral part of everyday business life and if you're not careful, you can spend more time on the phone and less time actually being productive.
Getting value from a conference call relies on preparation to reduce the amount of time wasted when setting up and dialing in to remote meetings.
There's a number of tactics you can employ to make conference calls more productive. Actively using and referring to a call agenda is the first step to keeping calls productive and on topic.
It can be all too easy for the conversation to go off topic, so make sure there is a designated person to administer the call and oversee the agenda.
The administrator can make sure the agenda is being followed properly and ascertain a time limit for the call at the beginning. This person can also offer time markers throughout so people know how long is left.
Cutting down the guest list can be an advantage. Keeping the number of participants to an absolute minimum will speed up the process and ensure the right issues are addressed.
Recapping at the end of the call to make sure everyone is aware of the action points they will need to meet is also an effective tactic for getting value from conference calls. Follow up by writing notes and distributing these to whoever needs them.