Successful Telephone Meetings

Successful Telephone Meetings

In a virtual world, the skills for successful telephone meetings are as important as the skills for face-to-face meetings.  Before a telephone meeting, prepare as though you will be sitting in a room with other people.  Your goal is to learn and contribute as much as possible as quickly as possible.  Even if you are uncertain of the value of the meeting, don’t let you lack a preparation make the meeting a waste of your time.

Have these things on your desk:

  • The meeting agenda
  • A list of key points you wish to make
  • A list of questions

Select your phone location carefully.

  • Pick a quiet room.
  • Have a glass of water immediately handy.
  • Pick a comfortable chair.

Even though you are on the phone, let your personality shine.

  • Smile.  You will project warmth even though the interview cannot see you.
  • Speak with confidence and enthusiasm.  To quote career expert Jacquelyn Smith, “Speak with impact.”
  • Remember to take a quiet deep breath from time to time.
  • Say positive things about yourself, your ideas, and the other people in the meeting.

Focus on the meeting.

  • Allow the other people a chance to speak.
  • Ask for input on your ideas.  You can know whether you are gaining acceptance of your ideas.  You can clear up any confusion.
  • Stick to the subject.  Steer the conversation back to the topic when people wander from the purpose of the meeting.
  • Listen to everyone’s questions.  Do not just give a reply to the questions.  Answer the questions that people actually ask.

Do not allow outside interruptions.

  • If you get another call, ignore it.
  • Make sure that people know not to disturb you.
  • Certainly do not multi-task.
  • Do not talk over the other people.
  • Do not try to tell a joke.
  • Do not fake your answers. If you do not know that answer to a random question, just say so.

Remember to close on an upbeat note. 

Thank the other people in the meeting for taking time to speak with you.  Emphasize that you hope to have a chance to speak again.