Conference calls seem simple, but if you've ever called in when people are chatting and wondered how and when you're supposed to introduce yourself, then you know there's a lot more to sounding professional during a conference call than most people think. If you want to make the right impression, then you need to know the proper etiquette to these calls, starting with how to introduce yourself in a conference meeting on a phone or video call.
Setting Up the Meeting
When organizing a conference call, try to limit the number of people to only those who are necessary. The more people who are on the line, the harder it will be to ensure the necessary people have called in, and it's more likely that people will get distracted or that the conversation will get off track. Also, schedule the call-ins to take place five to 10 minutes before the call is actually supposed to start if you have three or more people calling in so you can make sure everyone who needs to be on the call has already called in when you are ready to start.
The organizer should make sure the logistics of the call are set up before the call is actually scheduled. This means not just who will be on the call and what time it will take place but also who should call in and how. If you're using a third-party service, make sure everyone has the information and knows how to use it ahead of time. No one should be left Googling "How do I make a conference call using an access code?" five minutes before your meeting.
If you want to use a conference call service and are wondering how to find a conference call number, look up different providers online and compare their prices and offerings. Some services are free, while others are somewhat expensive, but some of the paid services are worth the money because they allow you to do screen sharing so you can all look at the same materials on the computer, and they offer many ways to call in, whether through your computer, a cell phone app or a traditional phone call.
Calling In to a Conference Call
If you're calling in to a conference call, always try to call in a few minutes early to make sure you're on the line when the discussion begins. If you know you'll have to be late, call the other person or send an email to let her know that you will be running late and give an estimated time for when you will be ready to talk.
When you call in to the conference call, if you're the first person on the call and are left in a digital "waiting room," then just wait until everyone else calls in. If you're calling in to someone's regular phone number and he does not answer and your call goes to voice mail, do not leave a message the first time. Call back again a few minutes later, and if he still doesn't answer, leave a message and also email him stating what time you called and how much longer you'll be available to talk. Don't call back again unless he tells you to do so.
Always try to call from a quiet area with a good signal if you are not using a landline. If you can't help having noise in the background, put your call on mute when you're not talking.
Introducing People on a Call
As for how to introduce yourself on a conference call, immediately say "hi" and introduce yourself, even if it seems like you're interrupting a discussion. Otherwise, you might seem like you're eavesdropping. When introducing yourself, give a quick overview of who you are and what role you play in the matter at hand. If the call is a large one with a lot of participants and you're calling in late, this is the one case where you can skip introducing yourself unless you're a key participant.
When there are more than three people on the line, the organizer should always take time at the beginning of the call to do a roll call to make sure everyone is present, especially the people who are critical to the discussion. Be sure to mention the names, titles and if it's not immediately apparent, why someone is part of the call.
Jill Harness is a blogger with experience researching and writing on all types of subjects including business topics. She specializes in writing SEO content for private clients, particularly attorneys. You can find out more about Jill's experience and learn how to contact her through her website, www.jillharness.com.