effective conference call meetings

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I have undertaken a new role and one of the major functions is to influence results with 5 Senior Managers in five locations across Canada running a line of business. On the communication side I have established a monthly conference call.I am aware of all the typical things to do for an effective meeting, agenda , desired outcome , minutes, time keeper etc. but I am intersted in knowing if there are best practices around this meeting format.Timing is approxiately 90 mins.(Long?) Thanks Ray

-- Raymond O'Kane (raymond.okane@bmo.com), April 13, 2000


This response if long after your meeting, but in case the information is useful for future meetings, here is my input. I've been facilitating a lot of conference call meetings. Some have all parties on different conference lines, some have groups calling in from conference room settings. There are two recurring challenges. 1)Body language cannot be viewed via conference call. In group settings a member of the group can communicate observable body language to the teleconferees. In individual settings, all you can do is to encourage everyone to verbally express what they feel (not always easy to do). 2)Many times conference calls are done on speaker phones, which allow talking or listening but not both simultaneously. This results in communication being cut off. It also makes it possible for one person to dominate the call while others are not able to break in. A solution to this is to encourage every one to pause to let others speak and to talk in single idea sound bites. Hope this helps.

-- Karl Chapple (chapple7@stargate.net), December 27, 2000.

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