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6 ways to be a good conference call participant

We spend a lot of time figuring out how to be a good conference call leader or web conference presenter.

We tweak our presentations, practise what we’re going to say and go over each slide with a fine-tooth comb.

Sometimes, we can only do so much.

There’s a responsibility on participants to do what they can to get the most out of their conferences and webinars.

Let’s take a look at ways participants can ensure successful calls and conferences:

1. Show up early. You don’t want to be the late guy at a live meeting or conference, shuffling chairs and making the worst possible effort at being the least obvious person in the world. Don’t do it on calls or online either.

2. Know the agenda. If you’re familiar with the subject matter and prepare for what’s coming up, you can contribute with thoughts to help your presenter along the way.

3. Pay attention. I took an online course this past spring. The teacher suffered from both an inability to engage us and an inability for participants to be engaged. Almost every time he asked a question, I heard questions from the floor like ‘what did you just ask?’

4. Minimize your distractions. We can’t always stop the dog from barking or the baby from crying if we’re participating from home, but we can shut down the other tabs in our browser, read that other stuff later and work on those projects tomorrow. I don’t worry too much about my background audio because most presenters keep us all on mute anyway … but it’s probably a good idea to shut the stereo off so you can hear the presentation.

5. Participate. Add to the discussion and ask questions when you’re given the opportunity, whether it’s throughout the conference call or you have to wait until a Q&A period at the conclusion of the session. If you’re on a webinar or web conference, use the chat box to expand the discussion with the moderator or other participants.

6. Give feedback. Remember I said how we obsess about our presentations? We need to hear what you think about each one so we can get better and improve our bedside manner, so to speak. Let us know what you liked about the presentation or conference call, what we missed or how we can improve, and what other topics you’d like to see us cover.

By sharing our knowledge, experience and expertise on conference calls and webinars, we’re building stronger relationships throughout our organizations and networks.

Let’s all work together to get the most out of them.

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