So you’ve hosted dozens of conference calls so far, but no matter where, when, or why you host the calls, your attendees simply don’t seem to be paying attention. Not only is this counter-productive for the business itself, but it can be incredibly frustrating for you as the host. It’s likely that the reason behind your attendees’ disengagement is one of the following: distractions, disorganization, boring content, faulty equipment or apps, or poor planning.
Luckily, each of these reasons has a solution. Keep reading to learn why your callers don’t pay attention and how to fix it.
One of the main reasons your conference calls aren’t successful is because of distractions. Distractions take many forms in a conference call, from side conversations about sports, politics, office gossip, and more, to distracting participants who don’t need to be there to begin with. Reducing, or better yet, eliminating distractions from your calls can improve their efficiency and help keep callers engaged throughout the call’s duration.
Inviting the right people to the call is an important step in this process. The right people joining your call can mean the difference between needless chatter and meaningful conversation. Some people are simply prone to getting off-subject, and that can derail the entire call. Keep your calls open to only those who need to hear the information or add valuable content to the discussion.
Trimming the guest list will help you better understand who has important things to say and who usually serves as a distracting voice. You’ll notice meetings stay on track better, end quicker, and provide more useful information to the participants.
Disorganization is another component of an ineffective conference call. If you’re not keeping your calls and your content organized with an agenda, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Organize everything with a meeting agenda, including the guest list, date and time of the call, the content to be discussed, and any other pertinent details. Your guests will appreciate a more organized call, and are more likely to stay engaged with information that isn’t all over the place.
An organized call has a better chance of remaining within that crucial one-hour time window that’s best for meetings. Meetings that stretch longer than one hour are often ineffective, as people tend to grow bored and disengage after about 45 minutes.
Online conferencing unfortunately can’t make your content more engaging, but it’s important to understand that there’s a way to present things and there’s a way not to present things. Keeping boring information short and concise is the best way to get your point across while retaining everyone’s attention. We’ve all been to a meeting where the speaker was using a monotone voice and was discussing content that was so dry it made the Sahara Desert look like an ocean. After a few minutes, sleep starts looking better and better.
Keeping your content engaging starts with knowing the content in and out. Once you know the content well, you can eliminate the need to talk about certain aspects of it. These details are usually not necessary and can end up taking up a lot of the call’s time. Only include the details you need, and try to speak in a voice that doesn’t sound like a lullaby.
Faulty landlines or conference calling apps can cause callers to become frustrated and disengage from what’s being discussed. About the third time a call is dropped, people start to become agitated and want to leave the call altogether. This is where using the right software comes in. Using online meeting software instead of relying on costly landlines can save you some trouble and some money in the long run. You’ll be able to talk to anyone anywhere in the world, and you’ll have a solid connection to depend on for the duration of the call.
Don’t waste your money on an outdated system; landlines are just about on their way out, making way for more streamlined and efficient digital means of communication. Digital conference calling apps are making their appearance and earning the trust of businesses all over the world. Ditch your old landline and try one today for an improved call experience.
The Bottom Line
Conference calls don’t need to be long or overly-detailed in order to be successful. If you find that your calls are lacking the ability to keep callers engaged, follow these simple tips to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of your meetings. Agendas are necessary, as is organization and eliminating distractions. Keep your content engaging, and use the right equipment or services to ensure a good connection for the entire call. Having better conference calls just takes a little planning.