Seven steps to make teleconferences more effective

Shawn at the Anecdote blog has seven suggestions for facilitators to improve the teleconference experience for participants. The original post has a bit more description and justification for each of these items.

  1. Encourage everyone to be on time
  2. Introduce everyone
  3. Remind everyone of who’s speaking
  4. Reduce background noise
  5. Rotate start times to be fair to all timezones
  6. Use IM or chat room to increase richness
  7. Record the call

These all seem like common sense suggestions, but as a frequent participant in teleconferences I can tell you that it is rare to find a teleconference where even 2 or 3 of these guidelines are adhered to, much less all 7.

Shawn also recommends using a web-conferencing tool as support to the teleconference. Again from personal experience, I can say that this adds immensely to the usefulness and, dare I say, enjoyment of meetings that are all too often a painful experience to endure.