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A Better-Conference-Call Tip #2: Prepare an Agenda

PREPARE AND SHARE AN AGENDA...before the call.

YOU know what it is you want to discuss. YOU likely know the desired outcome you want to achieve. At the very least YOU know what next steps need be achieved with your next conference call.

Share that knowledge: 

Tell the purpose of the call. Start with the end in mind. Tell your audience what you hope to achieve with the conference call.

Tell them their purpose for attending. Tell your audience what they should expect to accomplish with their attendance on our conference call.

Tell your audience what material you'll discuss, present, display, share. That will help your audience be prepared.

Tell your audience what's expected of them. You want them prepared to contribute to the success of the call. If they don't know, then they can't contribute. If it's nothing more than prompt and timely arrival...tell them. If they're expected to participate from polling responses to participating with a formal presentation for portions of the conference call...tell them.

Tell them the schedule. 5 minutes of welcome comments, 10 minutes to review last week's discussion, 30 minutes to discuss this week's topic, 10 minutes for questions, 5 minutes to wrap up.

Notify your audience of guest speakers. Even if you want to keep it as a surprise, at least tell them you have a surprise.

Everyone's busy. As we discussed in last week's A Better-Conference-Call-Tip# 1, everyone's busy and over-worked and needing sleep. (It's not that anyone needs reminding of this reality, either.) Be of assistance with a gentle, informative, reminder of the call's agenda.

It's a sign of respect. You respect your callers' time enough to help them prepare for the call. They arrive focused, prepared and ready to participate.

It's a helpful reminder. Reminding your audience of the purpose of the call is incredibly helpful. Sure it's obvious to you. It's YOUR conference call. And it will be fresh the memory of  your audience with a reminder in the form of an agenda.

It's a pragmatic, time-saving step. Help your audience participate in a meaningful manner; help them accomplish their goals for attending. They'll likely look forward to their next conference call with you.

It generates positive Word-of-Mouth. There's nothing more powerful than positive word-of-mouth advertising. It applies to your conference calls. Enthusiasm builds with the chatter on the grape vine after each call. Or it doesn't.

PREPARE AND SHARE AN AGENDA...before the call.

Tell us your story. Tell us how you used this tip to improve your next conference call. If we share it we'll send you a $50.00 gift certificate from Amazon.

April 17, 2006 in Conference Calling Tips | Permalink

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