A professional conference call should be the litmus test for all conference calls. When would a person not want to appear professional with their employers or prospective employers? No matter your situation with the other people on the phone, we can assist you with appearing professional and keep you from committing career suicide.
The first lesson is to test out your new headset before attempting to do a conference call. There is nothing more annoying than a person breathing heavily into the microphone, sounding as though they are stalking all the other callers. A professional conference call should attempt to be courteous, respectful, and informative. If you drop your headset and everyone hears the clattering then it is disrespectful and makes you look like a fool. Test out the headgear, make sure you sound clear through the phone, and learn all the other buttons on the headset.
This brings us to our other point, many conference callers try to multi-task while on the conference call. A professional conference call should be done with attention and poise, making you ready to leap with a response or suggestion. Digging around under your desk for the pen you lost last week can not only distract you from the conversation but could cause you to miss a valuable opportunity. A professional conference call should give you a good idea of your communication skills. However, if you are talking to the sandwich delivery guy, thinking you have the headset on mute, then others will know how much or how little you paid for lunch. Be sure you know what is mute and what is not.
If you use a speaker phone for a professional conference call, know that others can hear even the littlest of sounds. The tapping of a loud keyboard can resound to the ears of your project manager and cause annoyance. Be sure to have a pad of paper and pen to take notes. Also, be sure to turn your cell phone to vibrate. You do not want the latest ring tone bellowing out for the rest of the conference call to hear. By being professional, you think about the little things that would annoy you on the other end of a phone, and make sure you do not do those things.
A professional conference call propels your image to others on the call, causing them to see you in a different light. We only have our voices and our behavior on calls such as this, so we want to accentuate our wise ideas and take away from any annoying habits or circumstances. For this reason, we practice with our new headset, understand its functionality, and know what we are doing when on a speaker phone. With these simple precautions, a professional conference call will cast you in a positive light.