Whether you're running a business or on-staff at a company, one thing is inevitable: conference calls. But fear not! These meetings-by-phone are no reason to panic, even if you're the one leading the call.

Conference calls are an opportunity for an organization to strategize and plan. But even better is that these calls allow you the chance to shine and define your personal brand.

Read on to learn how to do a conference call like a rockstar, and shine on!

Preparation Is Key

The most important conference call tip? Always send an agenda before the conference call (three business days, at least) outlining specific goals for the meeting and a planned agenda. Business Conference Call Tips

Know the attendees, too, especially if you're leading the call. You should know the name, department, and title of each attendee, so you can direct questions to the right person as well as introduce speakers on the call.

Designate a Note-Taker

If you're running a large meeting, someone needs to take notes (and it shouldn't be you, because you'll be busy running the show!) You may have heard these referred to as "meeting minutes."

Note-taking is important because, as you'll read below, you're going to need to send a summary of the call. Without notes, you'll be drawing on memory and you might forget key points.

Keep Things on Track

If you have 5 items to cover and 30 minutes to do it, you need to watch the clock. If a speaker goes over their designated time, state that you need to "table" the issue or take it offline in order to cover the rest of the agenda.

Similarly, if a speaker goes off on a tangent, gently bring him or her back to the topic at hand. The other attendees will appreciate that you're respecting their time and purpose for attending the call.

Who's Playing Devil's Advocate?

When thinking about how to do a conference call, remember that it's key to seek feedback and healthy challenge on the ideas discussed. This is sometimes known as playing "devil's advocate."

Don't forget to ask whether anyone has any differing opinions or perspectives that haven't yet been discussed. This is especially important if some of the attendees are quiet or introverted.

Don't Forgot to Follow Up

The call doesn't end when everyone hangs up. Soon after the call (within 24 hours, if possible) send a recap of the discussion. This should include key takeaways and ideas that were gathered at the meeting.

Use this follow-up email to define action steps that came out of the meeting, who is responsible for them, and the expected timing. You may also use this time to schedule the next call on a platform offering unlimited conference call opportunities.

No More Fear About How to Do a Conference Call

After a few conference calls, you'll be a pro and understand why organizations love these types of meetings.

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