Conference Calling Video now on YouTube
Here are some common question asked via YouTube:
What is the cost of you conference call services??
Our pricing depends upon which conference plan you choose. We offer affordable state-of-the-art conference calling services and are competitively priced, while remaining high quality, using the best technology in the teleconference services industry.
i'm curious what "fully redundant conference bridges" means?
Our conference bridges are set up, so if there is ever a technical issue on a conference bridge, your call or webinar is also duplicated on another conference bridge. What this means to you is no interruption to your conference service.
I have been burnt by extremely poor customer service from other conference call companies... How do I know you won't be the same?
We take great pride in our customer service. Our clients are treated with respect and appreciation, and our services have earned us an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You could simply call us to see for yourself :-)
If you have any questions about our conferencing services please feel free to give us a call and our customer services agents will be happy to assist you.
Have a great day!
8 tips for Conference Calling
Conference calling has become an essential business ingredient. We have a wide range of phone conferencing and web conferencing services to suit all your communication needs. These days, all kinds of institutions use conference call services including different universities and government agencies around the world. Feel free to check out our rates, packages and testimonials from our clients. Below is a quick list of tips for a more efficient and effective conference call.
1) Make sure that you are prepared and ready to speak to a group of people who you can't see and they can't see you.
2) Speak clearly into your phone and try to find a place that is quiet and undisturbed.
3) Be sure to know how to operate your mute button while you speak (and don't speak) on the conference call.
4) It's always good to write an email to all the conference call participants that clearly communicates the dial in numbers, passwords and any other necessary info. If people are located in different timezones be sure to set the time to one location (like PDT for US Pacific Time) and then everyone will know what time that is in their specific location.
5) Always start the call punctually and definitely don't wait for latecomers'. It can be a good technique to do a role call and note who are the people missing from the teleconference.
6) Before the call there should always be a clear list of agenda points so that everyone is on the same page.
7) Another nice technique to break the ice to have everyone introduce themselves to the call.
8) End the call formally with a big thank you to everyone for their time and attention.
Top 3 Tips for Conference Calling Success
A quick refresher of our Top - 3 Tips for A Better Conference Call:
Tip #3: Be Prompt
Tip # 2: Prepare an Agenda
Tip #1: Remind Your Audience Regularly
Click on the titles of each tip to see the full text of the post.
Conference Calling Tip: Invite an Expert Speaker
Is your group's enthusiasm lagging?
Is your enthusiasm lagging?
Do you want to broaden your group's knowledge, understanding or skills?
Do you want to inspire them A. to attend and B. to invite others?
Don't strain to fake enthusiasm; Everyone will see through that.
Don't treat your audience like children with taking attendance. That's a last resort.
Instead invite a guest speaker who brings enthusiasm, passion, shares a new expertise, broadens their perspective or just entertains them. Your audience will absolutely appreciate your efforts here to bring value to their time on the conference call. They'll reward you with prompt attendance, their full attention and positive Word-of-Mouth for you and your efforts at engaging them in the discussion.
Here's a short profile of one customer who invited a guest speaker.
Best Practices Blog
We created a best-practices blog to archive and share our best practices, tips and resources to make your conference calling even more productive with Conference Calls Unlimited. It's URL is http://zane.typepad.com/bestpractices.
We created a subscription-feed for this blog that we share on the main page of our website. You can subscribe to this blog as with all of our blogs with any of the popular rss readers. Don't know what a rss reader is...just give us a call. 877-227-0611, ext. 12. I can help.
And we can show you how to make use of this resource, rss readers, to stay in touch with what's being said about you or your competition and how to use blogs and podcasts to make sure your message is heard when it needs to be heard: every day.
Podcast Tips: 15 Best Practices
Read how MarketingSherpa profiles how one company incorporated podcasting to successfully target the decision-makers in North American manufactures ranging in size from $100 million to billions of dollars. They list the 15 best practices for podcasting as a marketing tool.
Here's a few highlights.
Step 1: Content Best Practices
* Keep it short. Under 16 minutes. ( Our server files show the majority of audiences have left after 15 minutes.)
* Make it regular. Keep a regular schedule of broadcasts, even if it's once a month.
* Multiple voices. No one's voice is that captivating, all the time, to all the audiences. Variety is the spice of...[podcasts' content].
Step 2: Technology. The article lists software and services you can use to create and manage your podcasts. You have to decide where your time is best spent. If it's learning these new technologies, then by all means use them. If your time is better spent providing content about your product...we can do all that for you.
Step 3: Promotion. The days are long gone when you could post an announcement about your podcast on a few general podcasting sites and expect much traffic. We agree. Podcasting is a powerful resource to target niche audiences. And the use of blogs, websites, special landing pages, announcements in customer newsletter all enhance its reach to your desired audience. We can help you with creating the best promotion of your podcast.
The article is an excellent read. It's about 2-3 pages. And it's free to read until December 24. After that's it part of MarketingSherpa's paid content.
Tips to Create Powerful Teleseminar Series
Recently I spoke at the Books, Branding and Media seminar in Hollywood, California. It was hosted by John Kremer who's nationally recognized as one of the experts in self-publishing and how to promote your books. He asked me to talk with him and his audience on Grassroots Marketing Success with Teleseminars, Podcasts and Blogs. You can download a PDF here that includes many of the points we covered in that discussion.
Teleseminars are the first step in grassroots marketing. It's really the foundation for your grassroots marketing effort. It's that content you'll record for your MP3 links and your podcast series you'll want to blog about. Blogs make it easy to promote your latest content, whether it's in the form of a stand-alone written post or a written post with links to your MP3 recording of your teleseminar or all of that plus a series of podcasts your most loyal audience members can subscribed to in order to stay up-to-date with all your latest broadcasts, programs, efforts, successes.
And remember that your grassroots marketing including including teleseminars, podcasts and blogs have the greatest competitive advantage, an advantage no competitor can touch: you, your passion, your vision, your voice, your writing. Consumers are hungry for authenticity and uniqueness. No one can duplicate you. Your voice with your message, your writing with your message, and now with resources like blogs and podcasts, make for a very compelling brand message.
12 Most Common Mistakes in Conference Calling
THE 12 MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN CONFERENCE CALLING
3-Part Series, Part 1.
Author: Shawn Frey, Industrial Recruiter/Industrial Sales Trainer for Harper Brush Company.
I have actively facilitated and lead conference calls since November 17, 2003. During this time I have researched and perfected the use of this technology by discovering 12 key concepts. I’d like to share 4 of those concepts with you today.
These concepts will make your calls more effective, inspiring, and productive.
Mistake #1 – Failing to use a good toll-free reservation-less service.
Solution: Use a good toll-free reservation-less service. Why? Because you want to ensure maximum caller participation and you want to make it easy for your callers to participate. Why? Real simple, you want to make your callers feel good and nothing does this quite like using a good toll-free reservation-less service. I have used Conference Calls Unlimited since I began conference calling. Their service is awesome.
Think of it as you and I going to breakfast at your favorite local restaurant and me picking up the tab.
Mistake #2 – Not having an agenda and/or not letting your callers know the agenda in advance.
Solution: Plan your agenda in advance and let your callers know what it is. Why? Because you want your callers to be prepared to discuss the conference agenda. We aren’t flying by the seat of our pants here. We’ve all made a commitment to participate on the call and an agenda helps everyone stay on track. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes your callers will go off on a tangent… that’s ok, just think of it as the beagle chasing the rabbit. Just make sure the beagle comes home again.
Mistake #3 – Not giving each participant a personal reminder.
Solution: Pick up the phone and call your participants. I cannot stress this enough. You must remind each caller when your next call is going to be and what the agenda is. Ideally you want to remind them a day or two before the next conference call. Do not email them. Pick up the phone and call them.
Why? Because it shows that you care, that they are important to the conference call and that you value their time.
Mistake #4 – Failing to take notes and distribute after the call.
Solution: Pick up a good digital recorder or old school tape recorder and record your conference call! When the call is finished have your scribe (more about scribes in my next article) type and distribute the call notes. You want the call notes to recap and highlight the call and to remind participants of when the next call will be and what the agenda will be. This is very important, especially for training calls.
Now, let’s recap these four solutions:
1) Use a good toll-free, reservation-less service.
2) Have an agenda and share it prior to the call.
3) Give each participant a personal reminder.
4) Take notes and distribute after the call.
Next time we will discuss:
1) Conference call participants;
2) Facilitators & scribes;
3) Call testimonials;
4) Creating conference call decrees.
Until then if you have questions, advice or just want to say hello you can email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can listen to Shawn's audio presentation of Pt. 1 of this series. Here's the link; You can stream it live or download it for later listening.
Disclaimer: Shawn is Industrial Recruiter/Industrial Sales Trainer for Harper Brush Company, a customer of ours located here in Fairfield, IA. H shared one of this earlier tips in July titled: Customer’s Conference Call Tip: A contest and a carrot. He blogs at The Broom Wizards.
Tips to Create the Best Conference Call Recording
With the ease of creating, modifying and sharing audio files we see a steady rise in 2 key metrics: 1) requests for audio conference call recordings and 2) grassroots radio show hosts using our podcast services.
Here are some tips that will help any and all customers create the highest quality conference call for any audience, regardless of their comfort with audio technology or their plans to distribute their recordings.
GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT. A quality conference call and recording starts with the live call. If the volume and sound quality on the live call is poor, the volume and sound quality in both the original recording and the output file will be poor as well.
Example: A customer of ours once used our service to record an interview with a prominent blogger. After he listened to the recording, he complained about the quality of his guest's portion of the call.
We agreed: it was lousy.
But after listening to it several times we discovered the problem. The guest used his cellphone while driving down the interstate with his windows down...in morning traffic...in a major city.
We were able to remove the traffic noise using editing software. But...it's much more soothing to ask your speakers, including yourself, to call from a quiet location.
Solution: Dave Evans at HearThis recommends calling from inside your car with the windows rolled up tight while it's in your garage and not running. Dave should know. His whole business is creating professional and powerful podcasts.
TIP #1: USE THE BEST EQUIPMENT.
Landlines. We recommend land-lines. That's your everyday phone line connected to the wall outlet.
No speaker phones. Speaker phones pick up all ambient background sounds and there is usually an echo from various sources. As a host we encourage you to avoid them. Encourage your guests to avoid using them to join your call.
No VOIP. VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) clips the high and low end of the voice signal. Also, you are extremely susceptible to clicks and pops when the digital signal is converted to analog.
Also, with VOIP, you'll be unable to use DTMF (tone signals) from your telephone's touchpad to mute your line or the lines of your callers. Why? VOIP doesn't transmit DTMF tones as your land-line or cellphone does.
No cell phones. The tiny microphone picks up higher frequency background noises. While you may not hear the noises during the live call, the recording picks up and records every sound coming in. (An example of this is the microphone picking up wind sounds while standing outside or driving in a car with the window open.)
Headsets. We have experimented with some headsets and found them to be acceptable if you keep the microphone away from being directly in front of your mouth. This helps to cut down on the microphone picking up your breath, as well as the hard t’s and p’s in your speech.
TIP #2: CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
Don't put the conference call on hold. Everyone on the call will be forced to listen to your phone system's hold music/messages. Remind your callers to mute their individual lines or use the host feature to MUTE ALL. Unless you've muted your individual line or the host has muted the lines for all callers, you'll force the other callers to hear your hold music/messages when you put the conference call on hold...just for a minute.
Barking dogs, baby's crying, check-out line chatter. That's all heard on a conference call. Mute your line or find a quiet, private place from where you can join the call. The better the sound quality on the live call, the better the sound quality will be in the end product of the call recording.
Mute all lines to start. For a call recording created live from a conference call attended by more than you and a guest speaker (If that's different), we recommend muting the guests' lines to start. You can unmute them at the end of the recording if you desire. You want their input. But you want it at the right time.
Deactivate audible tones on entry and exit. Tones are often heard when callers arrive and depart a conference call. Customer Service can change this feature for you. Contact our Customer Service office at 877-227-0611, ext. 3 or email them at email@example.com before the call.
Deactivate this feature before your conference call where you plan to record your presentation live. You can't control when they arrive; Inevitably people arrive late to a conference call.
You can lock the conference call prior to the start of your presentation. That's a very effective manner to prevent interruptions from late arrivals. But...you also risk alienating them for suffering under elements not in their control.
Use the operator. Use them in the event a caller's line remains a distraction or a function isn't performing as it should. Follow the instructions included with your confirmation note we sent at the initiation of your service. Or call Customer Service at 877-227-0611, ext. 3 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIP #3: WHAT YOU, THE HOST, SHOULD DO.
Speak clearly and slowly. When presenting, speak a bit slower than you normally would to ensure that your attendees can hear and understand you and that the call recording is consistently clear and crisp.
Be still when you speak. Your 2nd grade teacher's maxim remains true: Be still when you're speaking. Your attendees will hear most every noise you make. That means that noise will be recorded! Rustling papers, opening/shutting drawers, yawning (belching!), swearing...they'll all be heard. That means they'll also be recorded.
Wrap up at the end of the call. At the end of the call, make sure you summarize the content of the call, when the recording will be available, how your audience can access it, and when your next conference call is scheduled. Some do this as part of their recording; Some don't. It's a personal choice. But regardless, help your audience by reminding them. And remind them on the follow-up email you'll send them.
Let us know what else we can do. We have the skills and personnel create your recording using the media that allows for the greatest and easiest access and distribution for your audience.
Next month, we'll share some tips on how to create the highest quality recording with our web conference services.
Customer's Conference Call Tip: A contest and a carrot
It's easy to inspire attendance and participation for a one-time conference call event. But how do you sustain that initial excitement when it's an ongoing, regularly-scheduled event...like your bi-monthly sales team conference call.
Shawn Frey, Industrial Recruiter/Industrial Sales Trainer, of Harper Brush Company offered this solution. Each participant shares a 1 tip, either for cutting costs and increasing sales. Then the entire department votes to decide which tip was the best. The winner receives a $25.00 fuel card on the next call. Oh, they must be present on the next conference call to win.
I love the elegance of this idea. It nudges each participant to participate actively. They know they're expected to contribute constructively on each call, for each other. And then there's an inducement to attend the next call as well. Oh, and a little competition never hurts.
Thanks, Shawn. For your tip, you'll receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.
Submit your tips for making your conference calls more effective. If we vote it the best, then we'll share it with our customers and you'll receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.