Message From Your Region 4 Representatives | Kiosha Forston & Norma Panther

Conference Call Etiquette & Tips

Kiosha T. Forston and Norma A. Panther | Region 4 Regional Representatives

Conference calls are a way of life in today’s business world. As technology advances, people are working remotely more than ever. This means at some point of your day you will have to endure a conference call. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid committing some of the most common conference call etiquette mistakes.

Use the mute button strategically. People forgetting to mute their line is one of the biggest complaints about conference calls. Make sure you are calling from a quiet location free of barking dogs, honking horns, flushing toilets or chatting baristas.  If you get caught in a noisy location, it’s respectful to let people know right away that you’ll be on mute unless you’re speaking. If you use a headset, remember that if  it is held too close to your mouth it can lead to you having Darth Vader breathing, which is annoying to those listening in. If you aren’t talking, keep yourself on mute. Conversely, when you begin to speak check to be sure you have unmuted your line.

Stop multitasking and pay attention. Act as though you are actually in the conference room. If you’ve been invited to a conference call it’s for a reason. Avoid using all platforms on social media. While you’re commenting on photos, tweeting, texting, or IMing, your colleagues are commenting on how to solve problems and work more efficiently. Don’t be the person who’s checking email and needs to ask for a question to be repeated it wastes time and productivity.

Always identify yourself before speaking. It’s frustrating on a conference call when you don’t know who’s speaking. Unless you are late, when joining a conference call immediately announce yourself.

Avoid side conversations or making noise. When several people are talking, even as a side conversation, it can be very hard for those who have dialed in to hear what’s being shared. They usually won’t know if what they hear is a side conversation or the topic being discussed. When you’re on a conference call and someone shuffles paper or drags a coffee cup across the table next to the speaker phone it sounds like a thunder storm. Be aware of how simple things like passing paper, pulling a chair in or clicking a pen are amplified by the speaker phone and sound a lot louder to those listening in.

Let other people talk. Keep your sentences short, to the point and pause regularly between ideas. This will allow people to jump in or ask questions.

Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley is AAPC’s senior marketing communications manager. Prior to his work at AAPC he worked in the tax and accounting industry. He received his bachelor's degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations Emphasis) from the University of Utah.
Alex McKinley

About Has 128 Posts

Alex McKinley is AAPC’s senior marketing communications manager. Prior to his work at AAPC he worked in the tax and accounting industry. He received his bachelor's degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations Emphasis) from the University of Utah.

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