How to Prepare For Conference Calls as an Online Worker?

Your big conference call is only a few hours away, and you’ve done nothing to prepare; so where do you start? From planning ahead (which you didn’t do) to listening intently during the meeting, here are some tips on how to prepare for and properly execute a conference call as an online worker. These tips will help you stay more organized during the call and display a certain etiquette that the other callers will appreciate. Keep reading to learn where to start.

Plan Ahead

So maybe you didn’t follow this tip, but you still have time to do so. If your call is just a short while away, you can still do plenty of prep to get you ready for the meeting. First and foremost, what is your meeting about? A sales meeting will have a very different tone and topic of conversation than a disciplinary meeting. Depending on what information is to be discussed during your meeting, you’ll need to prepare differently.
While some meetings will require meeting-specific prep, there are some general preparations you can take that apply to any meeting. First, check your mic, speakers, or phone if you’re not using a computer. Be sure your battery is fully charged and you have the link or phone number to join the meeting at hand. If you don’t, ask the organizer before the meeting starts. It’s generally quite rude to interrupt a meeting due to your own lack of planning!
The best thing to do is to plan the night before your meeting. That way, you’re well ahead of schedule and won’t have to scramble to get your things together. This will not only help you stay on top of things but will also reduce your overall stress and anxiety (especially if you’re prone to procrastination).

Stay Organized

Staying organized before and during the meeting is important to the success of your input. If you’re giving a presentation of any sort, keep all of your materials well organized and accessible. With many online meeting tools, you can share your screen or files with other attendees, and if you’re showing a jumbled mess, the viewers will find it difficult to understand your presentation.
You can use simple organizational tools like Google Calendar and cloud storage to keep yourself in line with meeting times and your presentation materials saved in an accessible place. Using online meeting software like Vast Conference can help you have better, more organized conference calls as well.

Don’t Speak Over Anyone

This applies to the actual meeting, of course, but is still so important. When you’re prepping for an online meeting, remember that you’ll need to wait your turn to speak. It’s much more disruptive in an online meeting to talk over someone than it is in person, since it can be difficult to differentiate the two voices speaking.
This may seem like simple etiquette, but you’d be amazed at how many people tend to speak over their fellow participants. This can create a general sense of chaos, and make you seem rather rude and disrespectful. Generally, you should wait for everyone to finish speaking before you speak, and be sure to introduce yourself to any new participants. You can also opt for a video chat instead of audio-only for a more personalized feel to the meeting.

Minimize Background Noise

Nothing is more distracting or derailing to an online meeting than excessive background noise. Dogs barking, children playing, or a fan running can serve to distract (and even annoy, let’s be honest here) everyone in the meeting. Before the meeting starts, you’ll want to ensure your environment is as distraction-free and quiet as possible.
If you need to lock yourself in a separate room in your house, so be it! If you can’t possibly escape from all of the noise, be sure to remember that your mute button exists. Using the mute button will help minimize the interruptions that your background noise creates, and shows a general sense of respect for everyone involved in the call.

Listen Up!

Last, but certainly not least, you need to listen closely to the information presented in the conference call. When you’re planning for the call, include a notebook or notepad in your materials so you can jot down important points. Minimize your distractions so you can clearly hear everything that’s being discussed, and don’t be afraid to ask appropriate questions if you don’t understand something.
This way, when it comes time for you to speak, you’re well-informed and updated on the topic of conversation, so you’ll know exactly what to say about it. You don’t want to miss out on information and have nothing to add to the conversation! When in doubt, take notes and ask plenty of questions.

The Bottom Line

Online conference calls aren’t complicated. You simply follow the link or the phone number, join the call, and the rest is up to you. Be sure to minimize distractions and background noise, and always plan ahead for the call; especially if you’re a key presenter or the topic of discussion lies within your field of expertise.

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