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Teleconference Etiquette
Teleconference Etiquette by Jennifer Petersen
Teleconference Etiquette
Teleconference Etiquette

Top Tips for

Conference Calls

People often ask me how to get the most out of teleconferences, live casts, webinars and recorded online courses. For business, it's about other people's success and comfort as well as your own.

Most online courses these days include teleconference and live telecasts. To get the most out of teleclasses, it is better if everyone understands and follows some rules for teleconference etiquette.

The dictionary defines etiquette as the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave - the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular professional or group. (protocol, manners, rules of conduct, good form, courtesy, niceties, soft skills, netiquette)

  1. Assemble the meeting materials, agenda, notepad or Evernote, pad and pen in advance. Participation and retention are greater when being prepared for a meeting.
  2. Assemble and forward required conference materials to the presenter at least two days in advance of the livecast to assure its inclusion in the agenda. Label materials (photos, handouts, slides, journal notes) with the date, your last name, and subject. i.e. 2018_Smith_cupping-Ceylon; 2018_Smith_cupping_Assam. 2018_Smith_TF103_scones
  3. Take a bathroom break before the meeting starts.
  4. Find a comfortable location and seating.
  5. Be on time. Teleconference providers feature an announcement chime, bell or other sound to announce a new person. Each time someone is late, the chime interrupts other attendees and is distracting.
  6. Find a quiet place with no background noise, interruptions or distractions. Webinars, livecasts, teleconferences are recorded. Everyone can hear every noise you make. If you don’t have a private office, find an available location to use for this purpose. If you mute your phone and later decide to ask a question, everyone hears your background noise forever. Any livecast, particularly a live presentation with webcam screen share, that has distractions must be re-recorded with no participants. This means that interactive chat and chat notes are lost in addition to a time delay for re-recording.
  7. When entering the conference, state your name. We all want to say hello and no one likes speaking to a shadow.
  8. During live chat, identify yourself before making a comment or asking a question.
  9. Use a landline phone for better quality. If you have music on hold (landline or cell), turn it off during the livecast because should you put the conference on hold, the music will play in the background for all other attendees. In an emergency, if you simply must make an outbound call, hang up the conference line and rejoin later.
  10. Avoid using a cell phone or cordless phone because of static and lower signal quality. Make sure there’s plenty of signal, little or no background noise and plenty of battery power. Set notification sounds to off including call waiting. Use the mute button.
  11. Avoid shuffling papers, side chats and eating.
  12. Stay on topic until the session is opened for Q&A.
  13. Keep focused – no multitasking or other activities during the telecast. It distracts everyone.
  14. Use appropriate language – no off-color, political or rude comments.
  15. Pay attention to what you wear during a webcast. Dress as though your customers are watching the replay.

~ (c) Jennifer C. Petersen - Permission to use article with appropriate credit.