As technology marches forward it often leaves etiquette behind. Remember the days when people were discreet when using their phones in public? Well now it seems that everyone has a mobile phone and all those good manners have gone out the window.
The same holds true for teleconferencing online. Due to the recent popularity of companies offering free teleconferencing online, it seems everyone is doing it. Perhaps communicating virtually makes some people feel that since they aren’t really there, they don’t have to take the teleconference seriously. So here are just a few tips to keep your teleconference professional.
Just like in real meetings, don’t get distracted by your phone or email, set them aside for the duration of the teleconference. Also, it is very important that people be patient and don’t speak over each other during a conference call. In a face-to-face meeting, everyone is present and everyone can see who is talking. However, in a teleconference, it is very easy to lose the meaning when you don’t know who is doing the talking. So wait your turn and don’t interrupt.
Also, make extra sure that you are prepared. There is nothing worse than attending an online teleconference where someone doesn’t know how to use the technology or is clicking around trying to find that spreadsheet that was ‘here just a second ago’. Also, make a point to use people’s names and address them directly when speaking. It sounds strange, but others won’t know who you are talking to and this just leads to more confusion. Be clear.
Finally, many free teleconferencing online services allow you to record your meetings. This is a great advantage that allows you to review the minutes of the meeting, but remember, you might be recorded, so be careful what you say.