The host has a vital role to play in a teleconference – they arrange the meeting, invite the guests and keep the teleconference in check. So what steps can the host take to ensure that the meeting is hitch free? Here are some helpful tips to make your meetings more effective.
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At the start of the meeting the host must introduce themselves and invite all participants to do the same. This helps participants recognise each others’ voices. In large conferences, it is also a good idea for each speaker to say their name before speaking so that the host and guests listening know who is speaking.
Keep a list of participants
Try to ensure that all participants are given the opportunity to speak and be heard by everyone. If the same few people are dominating the discussion, feel free to prompt a quiet member from the list to give an opinion without others speaking over them. Knowing who is in your meeting may also help your meeting become more structured and easier to follow - it will help you direct questions.
Keep to the agenda
Make sure you have clear goals before heading into your teleconference. Have a set agenda and make sure that discussion does not stray too far off topic. You'll get more out of a meeting where you stick to the specific topics required, as this prevents you from getting ahead of yourself and potentially working on unnecessary things. Focus on what is needed now and how to complete those important goals.
Control question time
Teleconferences can be hard when everyone wants to ask a question but there are no visual cues that can be used to show that you have a question. As host, let the guests know that you will allow questions at the end of the call. This will prevent people from talking over the top of you and each other.
Provide a refresher
Explain what has already been discussed for those who join the meeting late and reiterate the current point of discussion. Go through the main take outs from the meeting to get your meeting back on track if it starts to wander. Remind guests of what you have achieved so far and explain what still needs to be discussed. This way you can bring your guests back to the matter at hand as opposed to another issue that may have come to light from your meeting.