The need for virtual meetings in the digital workplace is an inevitable reality. However, it comes with a pretty high cost. While conference calls have become a crucial part of daily business activities, the challenges haven’t changed.

The best ways to carry out better conference calls include starting and ending the call on time, getting straight to the point, using positive language, making sure everyone has a clear and detailed plan beforehand, and meeting less frequently. Continue reading this article to learn more.

There are many ways to carry out better conference calls, including:

1. Start and Finish on Time

Taking too long to start a meeting can lead to a few minutes of lost time per call which can demoralize those who are already present. Most times this leads to loss of focus and initial energy brought to the meeting. Research shows that, after any distraction, it takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to get back to where it was before a person was pulled off track.

So, you want to connect and ask if everyone is there. However, do not wait for everyone to be present before starting the meeting. Reward those present instead of punishing those that come late, and take advantage of the benefits of a fresh start.

The human attention spans are ten to 18 minutes. So, the first moments of a conference are very valuable for productive results.

Also, finishing on time is as essential as starting on time. If there are unaddressed points, postpone them for a future meeting. Rounding up on time will help your team understand that they need to go straight to the point. This is because, whatever does not fit, will not fit. Doing this will also help people feel like their obligations, priorities, and time are respected. This is essential to keep them motivated and engaged.

2. Get Straight to the Point

During conference calls, people may become more enthusiastic, fun, and personal to make up for the missing face-to-face vibes. One may want to ask for the specifics of everyone’s holiday plans, weather, and time zone to kill time until everyone is present.

However, spending 15 to 20 minutes discussing trifles will make people feel less productive and more tired. There are more effective ways to break the ice.

3. Ensure that Everyone has a Clear and Detailed Agenda in Advance

The final version of the call agenda must be sent to all the participants at least a day in advance of the meeting. One way to make it a success is to make sure that the call’s primary objectives and points are clear to everyone. This helps individuals prepare any questions beforehand.

4. Use Positive Language

You want to use positive reinforcement such as “good idea,” “okay,” and “that’s right.” Because nobody can be seen nodding during a conference call on a phone, there is a need for reaffirmation. It reassures people on the agreement of the ideas being discussed and provides a feeling of progress. You want to keep it positive because people are more prone to focus when they have a feeling that things are going the right way.

5. Meet Less Frequently

The modern work culture usually confuses meetings and time with productivity. Conducting many conference calls is a very easy way to show your work as proof of time well spent and progress. But conference calls that are too frequent can be one of the primary causes of your attention deficit.

Instead of carrying out these calls too often, save meetings for when you need feedback and participation from others or when you have urgent and new information to share. Save the previews, alignment, and recaps for emails.

Make Conference Calls Effective

Using the right tools and preparing ahead of time can lead to successful and productive conference calls. This should be a time for your team to collaborate and grow. Cut out unnecessary agenda items and make each call better than the one prior.