Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5 Sure Ways To Enrich Your Communication

5 Sure Ways To Enrich Your Communication

There is more to communicating than just talking. Communication skills go a long way towards making your life easier not just at your work or business place, but also with your family, friends and anyone else you may relate with for that matter. Let’s examine a few things that can get you started in the right direction.

1) Knowledge

If you want to be a good communicator, you have to be trained to do so. To be an effective communicator, one has to recall and practice what they have learnt.

2) Listening

Many people equate communication with eloquent speech. This is definitely true but the term active listening is a key component of effective communications as well.

3) Patience

Not everyone communicates the way we do and cultural and ethnic considerations come into play when people talk and send messages. If we are not patient, we may miss the vital points of their message, thus giving us a wrong response.

4) Eye Contact

This is important whenever you are speaking with someone who is physically in front of you. Avoiding someone’s gaze or looking away when talking may signal lack confidence, or the communicator is not truthful.

5) Body Language

A huge percentage of communication lies in the unspoken. Facial expressions and body language can give off a lot of clues and information. So maintain a positive outlook and do not show a negative posture like slouching, drooping hands, or sliding backwards in the chair, or yawning.

Source: 1klassifieds, New Straits Times, Monday, January 18, 2010

Improve Your Communication Skills

Improve Your Communication Skills

Becoming a better communicator is the key ingredient for anyone wanting to achieve great success in business and in life. We live in the age of communication, technology and information, available now at the touch of a button.

Communicating with someone halfway around the globe no longer takes months or even days; but just a matter of seconds through computer and phone. What fabulous technology we have today, to sharpen our ability to get the message across quickly and effectively.

There is power in the spoken word, and yet so many people fail to improve their method of speaking with clients, friends, and even family members.

When you speak, do people listen? When others speak, do you listen? We are naturally attracted to people who are interesting to be around and who are interested in us.

A great communicator is someone who is not only interesting person, but has a knack for being interested in what others have to say.

Active communication includes nodding your head in acknowledgment or adding a quiet “go on” or other phrase designed to keep your talker talking. For example, make eye contact when communicating face to face, take notes and repeat back what has been said from time to time; this lets your listener know you are paying attention and focusing on their words and are genuinely interested in the conversation.

Most human beings love to have someone pay attention to them. When you can be that someone, you will find yourself with an abundance of clients and friends! When you are truly listening, you are demonstrating respect for the speaker.

Becoming a better communicator takes patience and practice. When you pay attention to the body language of your listener, you will pick up clues. For example, are they shuffling back and forth or stepping away from you? Both are signs of discomfort or a lack of interest in what is being said.

When you follow your intuition, and are in touch with others, you can pick up their energy and feelings. Practice improving your communication skills and you will have a happier, more fulfilling life.

When you are a good communicator, your social calendar is always full. People love to have you around in business and social events because you make them feel special and significant. They will love your energy and find you are one of the most interesting people they know.

Your business flourishes because your customers and partners sense your sincerity and they know you listen with an open heart.

Here are some guidelines for developing good communication skills you can practice anywhere, at any time.

▪ Steps

1) Know what communication really is.

Communication is the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver through various methods (written words, nonverbal cues, spoken words). It is also the mechanism to establish and modify relationship.

2) Manifest constructive attitudes and beliefs.

The attitudes you bring to communication will have a huge impact on the way you compose yourself and interact with others. Choose to be honest, patient, optimistic, sincere, respectful, and accepting of others. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings, and believe in their competence.

3) Making eye contact.

Whether you are speaking or listening, looking into the person’s eyes whom you are conversing with can make the interaction more successful. Eye contact conveys interest and encourages your partner to be interested in you in return. In less intimate settings, when giving a speech in front of several people, holding the eyes of different members of your audience can personalize what you are saying and maintain attention.

4) Be aware what your body is saying.

Body language can say so much more than a mouthful of words. An open stance with arms relaxed at your sides, tells anyone around you are approachable and open to hearing what they have to say. On the other hand, arms crossed and shoulders hunched, suggests disinterest in conversation or unwillingness to communicate. Appropriate posture and an approachable stance can make difficult conversations flow more smoothly.

5) Have courage to say what you think!

Be confident in knowing you can make worthwhile contributions to the conversation. Take time each day to be aware of your opinions and feelings so you can adequately convey them to others. It is OK to be different as what is important or worthwhile to one person may not be the same for another.

6) Speak clearly enough to be heard.

When you say what you think, have the confidence to say it so as to be heard. An appropriate tone and volume tells listeners you mean what you say, that you have thought about what you are saying, and what you are saying is worth hearing. Using proper inflection, ensure your listeners hear exactly what you are saying, to reduce the possibility for misunderstanding.

7) Practice.

Developing advanced communication skills begins with simple interaction. Communication skills can be practiced every day, which ranges from more social to more professional. New skills take time to refine, but each time you use your communication skills, you open yourself to opportunities and future partnerships.

8) Develop effective listening skills.

Not only should one be able to speak effectively, one must listen to other person’s words and engage in communication of what the other person is talking about. Avoid the impulse of listening only for the end of the sentence, so you can blurt out ideas or memories that come to your mind while the other person is speaking.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Commitment To Change

Commitment to Change

By Victor S.L. Tan

Recently, during a discussion, I asked a group of CEOs what were the greatest challenges to implementing change that they faced within their respective organization. One would have expected to get as many different answers as there were CEOs in the audience, and certainly it seemed that the challenges faced by each of these CEOs were very different, as each one expressed a unique perception of problems in their organization. However, on deeper analysis, I found a common thread running through these different issues. That commonality can be summed up in one short sentence: the challenge of change is how to actually make it happen.

There continues to be a wide gap in Asian organizations between promising change and delivering it. CEOs and leaders have not been able to win their people’s commitment to change. It is time for them to step out of their ivory towers and enlist grassroots support for change.

In KLSCC’s research on companies that have implemented successful change, we have noticed six components critical to winning commitment.

AWARENESS. The first step towards building commitment to change is to create awareness of the impending change. This involves a lot of communication, without which people will form conclusions about and prejudices to change when they hear about it through the grapevine.

AGREEMENT. Getting people to agree in essence requires a rational approach that appeals to people’s minds more than their hearts. Objectivity and impartiality will win more points at this stage than will an emotional approach.

ACCEPTANCE. There is a vast difference between agreement and acceptance. The human mind works in such a way that one may agree with an argument based on logic and reasoning, and yet reject in on emotional grounds. Getting acceptance for change requires appealing to the heart and emotions by addressing employees’ personal concerns.

ACTION. One test of people’s commitment to change is the action they take. Encouraging action requires motivating people, and not necessarily using monetary rewards. More often, a better motivator is the existence of a safe environment for people to try out new ideas and come up with innovative ways of doing things. Leaders can spur action by standing by their team during the trials and tribulations faced in the process of change, by refraining from giving out undue punishment or blame for mistakes, leaders can encourage people to be bold enough to take action towards change.

ACCOUNTABILITY. This step is all about owning up to responsibilities and being answerable for what happened and what did not happen. The degree of people’s commitment to change can be gauged by their willingness to accept accountability for change programmes, actions or tasks. It can be said that one cannot manage what one cannot measure. Starting out with very specific roles, responsibilities and performance measures is a good way to begin developing accountability in staff. This can be reinforced through periodic progress reviews, where team leaders have to report on the status, implications and result of the change.

ASSIMILATION. In this last stage, the thinking, feeling and actions of the people involved in change are synchronized to bring about the desired change.Assimilation is a complex process; it involves the entire intellectual, social, emotional and psychological change required within the organization to achieve the desired results. It is fundamental change in that, once the organization has been “stretched”, it will not go back to its original form again.This is just like the knowledge assimilated in learning to walk, to swim, to speak or to multiply: once it is mastered, it will never again elude the learner.

The writer is the chief executive officer Of KL Strategic Change Consulting Group. For details on consulting and training programmes, contact Jane at 012-2685212 or e-mail: janebee@klscc.com or visit www.klscc.com

Source: New Straits Times, Saturday, January 12, 2008

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Building Relationships: The Power of Audio, Web and Videoconferencing

Building Relationships: The Power of Audio, Web and Videoconferencing

Nothing is more important than the relationships a company builds with its customers and partners. To foster these relationships, larger companies sometimes have annual conferences where people from across the country come together to meet each other, catch up on new company products and services, and learn new ways to use the company’s system. These usually cost quite a bit of money for both the company and the participants.

Although nothing beats a good physical face-to-face conference, just in terms of time and money it is not something that can be done more than once every year or two. And, getting together with key clients and partners only once every year or two to fill them in on what’s going on is just not sufficient to build a real relationship.

What some companies have decided to do is to still offer the once-a-year physical meeting, but to augment them with quarterly web meetings that are similar to their large conferences, but smaller in scope (50 to 75 people) and that target different market niches and that use audio and video tools to provide interaction between parties.

Due to the more intimate nature of the web meetings over the physical get together, this becomes a venue to find out how clients are actually using the product and its features and get them to share what they are doing and what they are finding out about it. It also proves to be a great vehicle to brainstorm and troubleshoot with clients about products under development; and provides a great way to find out what the client’s priorities are for new products, allowing the meeting convener to better prioritize product enhancements or new product releases.

Meeting Ice Breakers: The Best of the Best

As noted previously, it's one thing to talk about ice breakers in theory and quite another to think of them in practice. For most meetings in a business setting in which participants are professionals, ice breakers that require actions not normally associated with day-to-day behaviors in the office generally make people uncomfortable. Successful ice breakers for these groups generally consist of clustering people around a round table, if you have access to any, and having them share memorable information with each other, finding innovative ways to get them to introduce themselves to each other, or having them collectively work on a problem where everyone has to contribute.

Below are some of the most successful ice breakers we known.

1. Fact or Fiction: Have everyone at the table write down three surprising things about themselves, two of which are true and one of which is made up. Each person, in turn, reads their list and then the rest of the group votes on which "fact" they feel is the "false" one. If the table does not correctly pick a person's made up "fact", then that person wins. A table can have more than one winner. If you have more than one table full of people, have a competition between the tables and have each table decide which of their "winners" they want to use to compete in the "finals". The selected finalists get up and present their "facts" to the whole group and each table, but the one the winner is from, has one vote to decide which of the "facts" is false. At the end, the whole group votes on which of the "winners" of the final round, had the most deceiving "fact". This helps people get to know and remember their colleagues.

2. Same/Different: Divide the group into teams of 3 or 4 and give them a large sheet of paper and give each person a different colored marker. Have each person draw a large oval such that each oval overlaps with the other ovals in the center of the piece of paper. Give the group, or groups if there is more than one cluster, a theme that pertains to the meeting objectives. Tell people they have to write down at least five or more entries in the non-overlapping and mutually overlapping areas of their ovals. Give them five minutes, no more than that, to talk about their similarities and differences and write them in their ovals. If there is more than one group, compare results and identify common themes in both parts of the diagram and what light these similarities and differences shed on the purpose of the meeting. This helps team members develop an understanding of shared objectives and understand in a non-confrontational way how their views differ from others on the team.

3. Brainstorm!: Break the group into teams of four or five. Give them a topic. Pick one that is fun and simple like, "What would you take on a trip to the jungle?" or "List things that are blue"). Give your teams 2 minutes, no more, and tell them "This is a contest and the team with the most items on their list wins." Tell the teams to write down as many things as they can and not to discuss anything, just list things. At the end of time, the team with the most items on their list wins! This helps people to share ideas without fearing what other people will think.

4. Free Association: The object of this ice breaker is to have small groups or the team generate as many words or phrases as they can that are related to a particular topic that relates to the objective of your meeting. Give the group(s) a key word you want them to associate and then give them 2 minutes to list, as quickly as possible, as many words or thoughts that pop into their heads. For example, if your company is trying to decide on whether to reduce travel and increase the use of teleconferencing, you might use the word "teleconferencing" and have people list as many words/phrases as they can that they associate with the word. For example they might say: "saves money", "saves time", "impersonal", "need to see other people", "get distracted", "sound quality"…. This reveals what people are thinking, similarities in viewpoints, and possible problem areas/topics that need addressing or discussion.

5. Nametags: Prepare nametags for each person and put them in a box. As people walk into the room, each person picks a nametag (not their own). When everyone is present, participants are told to find the person whose nametag they drew and introduce themselves and say a few interesting things about them. When everyone has their own nametag, they introduce the person whose nametag they were initially given. This helps people get to know and remember each other.

6. Desert Island: Group people in teams of 5 or 6 and tell them they will be marooned on a desert island and give them 30 seconds to list all the things they think they want to take and each person has to contribute at least 3 things. At the end of the time, tell the teams they can only take three things. Have the person who suggested each item tell why they suggested it and defend why it should be chosen. This helps the team learn about how each of them thinks, get to know each other's values, and how they solve problems.

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Webnar, Webcast, Webconferencing: What is the Difference?

Webnar, Webcast, Webconferencing: What is the Difference?

There's lots of talk these days about web-this and web-that. So much so that, for many of us, it can all be very confusing. In today's world in business and communications, the Internet is by far the major growth medium. Two of the most important and widely used means of communicating a specific message or sharing fast breaking news with others are webinars, also known as web conferences, and webcasts. Although their names are similar, webinars, web conferences and webcasts are very different communication mediums, each suited for different audiences or messages.

Webcasts are where audio and/or video content is streamed to many people over the Internet. Webcasts only allow you to hear and/or see what is being transmitted. There is no way to interact with the people transmitting the content. A good example of a webcast is when a radio or TV station simulcast their show over the Internet. Today a lot of companies use webcasting to make presentations for stockholders or potential investors.

Web Conferencing is a fully interactive, live conference that is held over the Internet in real time. In a web conference people at their personal computer and log into a host site, which generally has a wide variety of different applications that can be used to display and share information as well as audio, video, and desktops. A meeting then takes place between the people logged on.

Webinars are a type of web conference. Although many times a webminar is a one way transmission of information, generally a slide show. from a presenter to an audience who are attending over their personal computer, it can be designed to have elements of interactivity. Generally, in addition to logging on with a computer, attendees also call in on their telephones like is done for a conference call. Via the telephone, the presenter discusses the information transmitted to everyone's computer screen and participants can ask questions in real time over their phone. Like web conferences, a webinar is live and has a specific starting and ending time.


How to Make Your Video Conference More Productive

How to Make Your Video Conference More Productive

Conference calls have been around the business world for some time and are certainly nothing new. Quality web conferencing, however, has changed the context and purpose of the traditional conference call and by introducing new exciting features has enhanced its dimensions enormously as well as decreasing the entire cost of the process.

What exactly is video conferencing? The dictionary defines what is also known as a video teleconference as "a set of interactive telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmission simultaneously." It is also known as visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. Video conferencing can either happen between individuals or involve multiple locations scattered throughout the world. Apart from audio and visual transmissions, video conferencing can also be utilized to share documents and a wide range of computer-displayed information. What does this mean to the average business manager? Read on and learn.

The advantages provided by video conferencing are many. Modern technology makes it easy to meet with any client anywhere and at anytime, defying geographic boundaries. It's a way to qualify clients and candidates before meeting them in person, saving time, effort and money that might otherwise be spent on traveling, food, gas and accommodations. Video conferences serve to demonstrate products and services to clients many time zones away, and can provide a conduit for training employees in another country. Although video conferencing can never replace the in-person meeting, it can, via online collaborative tools, provide you and your business with unique ways in which to interact. Some of these tools include: document sharing and text-messaging.

The following tips will help you make your next videoconference session as productive as possible. While not everything may apply to every business, all will render positive results if used correctly.

Decide upon your space

The conference room is a factor that must be decided on before even considering which equipment will work best in it. Good video conferencing facilities will consider the effect of walls and echo problems. Square rooms, for this reason, should be avoided. Tiles and carpeting have different degrees of sound absorption, all of which must be considered.

There are many fancy setups for effective video conferencing, but sometimes the easiest and most obvious is also the most effective. A U-shaped table with the display and camera at the top of the U and participants sitting around is the best acoustical arrangement possible. Almost any conference room can be adapted for use as a video conferencing site by making adjustments based on the needs of the video and audio equipment to capture signals. A basic web camera is really all you need to get started.

Know how you will use your video conferencing system

Who are the users and what role will the system play in your particular scheme of things? Will it be for an occasional chitchat or for more formal face-to-face meetings between business executives? You may not need high-definition resolution and can possibly opt for the much cheaper web cam and instant messaging if you are going to use your videoconference system for infrequent casual chats.

Along the same lines, decide how many locations you will need to connect to simultaneously and if these locations are outside of your network's firewall. How tech-savvy are your users and what kind of equipment do they have? Will you be using your system collaboratively, with many parties communicating, or will you be watching one central presentation?

Consider extraneous factors that can affect the conference experience

You want to choose a location with a neutral background that contains as few moving distractions as possible. Avoid rooms with tinted or colored light and opt always for natural lighting. Place the camera above the monitor, a few feet away from participants.

Know how much you are willing to invest in your video conferencing system

Purchasing a system can be a very costly venture. Fully customized conference rooms can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, but lower-end desktop-based systems won't very likely put a big dent in your budget. You should also calculate the costs associated with the activities you are planning to replace or enhance with your new video conferencing system.

Make a short list of vendors

It's all part of doing your homework. Compile a list of those sellers who have systems that meet your needs. Run each system through a real-life test to see how it performs before you buy. Most vendors will permit a test-drive. Some things to look for might include:

* Call reliability:

How often are you disconnected in the middle of a conversation?

*Audio-video quality:

The quality of the sound and the consistency of the picture

*Ease of Use:

Is the user interface simple or complicated to navigate?

* Standards-based:

Can your system be easily connected with other systems?

What type of network will you use for your videoconferencing traffic?

By knowing which geographic areas your videoconference will be servicing, you can ensure beforehand that the digital network you have chosen as well as the required bandwidth is available in those specific areas where the parties you wish to connect to reside. IP networks are generally cheaper than the ISDN varieties and they are easier to secure.

Don't expect perfection the first time around

Even if you choose the simple "web cam" route for your video conferencing, there are almost always problems that occur because each client has a different and usually confusing user interface for its video feature. Non-technical users will need some help in figuring out the process and should not be expected to do so on their own.

Pay attention to the lighting

The speaker and the presentation must be in view. The speaker should avoid remaining in a dark area as, if that is the case, he or she will remain in silhouette for all of the conference participants. Also avoid area that is overly flooded with light.

Always maintain eye contact

As much as possible, look participants directly in the eye even if you have to do so from a web cam.

Speak clearly

Do not speak in a monotone voice. There is nothing more boring than listening to a voice without a single variance in its pitch. In Video conferences the audio can sometimes be garbled, and for this reason, it is very important to not chew on words.

Make your presentation as interesting as possible

Participants will quickly lose interest if you as a speaker, don't sustain it with well-prepared and coherent material.

Follow other speakers' presentations with respect

Give the next person your full attention. Do not yawn or fidget as these two actions translate directly into boredom and disinterest.

Check your computer settings before the conference begins

You might even want to attempt a mock session with a colleague to iron out whatever problems you might encounter. Can your colleague see and hear you? It's better to know this before the conference begins than during it!

The video conference is the way of the future for online interaction and communication. A child of the Information Age, it is growing by leaps and bounds as a convenient and effective tool for companies everywhere around the globe. It is being used more and more, not only by the corporate world, which already appreciates its many advantages, but also by homes, small businesses and universities.

Get on the bandwagon now and set up your first company videoconference. You will be amazed at the results!


17 Tips for More Productive Conference Call

17 Tips for More Productive Conference Call

Conference calls have become an important part of corporate business life and yet they are not always used to their best advantage. The world of telecommunications has traveled light years since the old days of the traditional party line, but the modern conference call is really just an expansion of that retro concept. Today, most companies use a specialized service provider for conference calls and they are being used more and more in conjunction with web conferences. These service providers maintain the conference bridge and provide the phone numbers used to access the meeting or conference call.

How can your business better utilize this service? First, let us define exactly what service we are talking about. What is meant by the term, conference call? This is a telephone call in which the caller wishes to have more than one party listen in to the audio portion. Calls may also be designed so that the called party can participate during the call or so that the called party merely listens in and cannot speak. A conference call is also sometimes referred to as an ATC (Audio Tele-Conference).

Conference calls can also be designed so that participants call directly into the meeting themselves by either dialing into a "conference bridge" (a specialized type of equipment that links telephone lines) or by using a special phone number set up exclusively for that purpose. Such calls are used every day by businesses wishing to meet with remote parties, both inside and outside their company. Conference calls often serve as client meetings, sales presentations, project updates, and training sessions between employees who work in different locations. The conference call cuts travel costs and allows workers to be more productive by not having to leave the office for meetings (even if doing so would provide a breath of much needed fresh air).

In a book called "Death By Meeting" author, Patrick Lenzioni, argues that conference calls really should be more fun. He says: "If I didn't have to go to meetings, I'd like my job a lot more." According to Merlin Mann and his fascinating, irreverent and very witty family of websites dealing with personal productivity known collectively as 43 Folders, the following ideas have helped to make his life in general and conference calls in particular, easier and more productive. Consider them the next time you schedule a conference call. Read on and hold that call, please!

1. Don't do a conference call without first circulating an agenda to all involved parties. An agenda helps to structure the conference and helps members to prepare by providing in advance the type of information they will need in order to effectively participate in the discussion.

2. Have everyone in attendance introduce him or herself up front. In fact, make that the first thing on your agenda. It is important for people who don't know each other's voices especially well to become familiar as quickly as possible.

3. Make sure the conference call has a very specific theme. Don't meander, for the road is costly and time-consuming and leads ultimately nowhere! Use the agenda to amplify the theme in question by explaining how it will be covered or explored in each section of the meeting.

4. Schedule a conference call only when it is needed. Many are unnecessary and could be avoided with either a one-on-one call or a focused e-mail exchange. Group calls should only be made when either in-depth dialogue or brainstorming is required.

5. Establish when the meeting will begin, break and end ahead of time. Provide a time structure, which all participants must adhere to and matters will flow smoothly.

6. Do not under any circumstances, permit "electronic grazing" to occur during the conference call. Set it up like they did in the old frontier days at the saloon with all who enter checking their guns at the door!! The equipment is different; phones and laptops to be exact, but the attitude is the same. No multi tasking while the meeting is in session. This means no email, no phone calls and this means you! Attending the meeting is like being pregnant; one either is or one isn't present at the meeting. If an emergency occurs and a call needs to be made, then the person should leave the room to make the call and not tie up the meeting.

7. Schedule guests and make the best use of everyone's time. Use your agenda to indicate when people will be needed to present their arguments and avoid the traffic jam of having thirty people in a room for three hours, twenty of whom will have nothing at all to do or say until the last 15 minutes of the meeting. Tick off items on the agenda as they are covered.

8. Don't wear too many hats at your own meeting. Employ someone to keep track of the time so that you as the leader are free to focus on the matters presented in the agenda and keep the meeting rolling along at an even pace.

9. Stay focused on your time element and subject matter. Not all issues require the same amount of time to settle and any issue that can be resolved offline or does not require the input of the majority of the group should be dismissed as quickly as possible and ticked off the mighty agenda.

10. If you join into a conference call after it has already begun, make sure that other people know you are there. If you are the organizer of the conference call and this happens, seek an opportunity to introduce that person and then quickly review any key decisions that have been made. (If the person being late is you the organizer, you probably should find someone else to head the conference call in the first place.)

11. Be aware of which tips work best for you and remain consistent in their use. Meetings have never been able to run themselves, and you as the leader, must always think things out thoroughly so that people attending do not feel they are wasting their time. After all, that is the one commodity that we never seem to have enough of and that waits for no one, as the old saying goes.

12. Keep conference calls short and very sweet. This way, each participant knows what to expect, more or less, in terms of why they are there and what they are supposed to do. There is nothing more boring than a rambling speaker and nothing that will lose a listening audience more quickly, except maybe a sudden office fire.

13. Consider dealing with any matters that are not on the agenda last even if they are brought up at the beginning of the conference. This prevents sidetracking and losing precious time in covering the more pertinent issues at hand.

14. Don't call bosses and technical experts to attend the conference unless you know in advance that their advice will be needed. Regardless of the outcome of the conference, they will definitely owe you one and be eternally grateful.

15. Limit the number of people on the conference call to four or at most five. Chaos is sure to follow if there are too many opinions circulating at the same time. Problems are likely to occur because the more opinions, the harder it becomes to keep track of who is speaking and a common reaction is to go on automatic pilot and "leave the meeting in your mind."

16. Try not to interrupt when others are speaking and wait for the appropriate moment to jump in. One has to listen and concentrate much more acutely over the phone than is necessary in person.

17. Summarize and follow up on meeting proceedings. This can either be done by you or by a project manager, if one has been so assigned. Take a few minutes at the end of the conference to review any major new projects that were generated in the meeting and email the list of resolutions to all participants. Also, take a minute to identify those issues or questions that must be explored further. Don't forget to thank everyone for his or her participation and say goodbye.
The mercurial business world of today demands quick decisions based on as many facts as possible. Aided by the cold hand of technology, telecommunications has made the transfer of information an instantaneous and ubiquitous affair. Take advantage of this process. Wasting time hurts business and morale on many levels and it is something that can be avoided by planning ahead all the details for your next conference call. Follow these tips and you are sure to have more productive conference calls. Perhaps not all of these ideas will work for you, but many of them will.

And by the way, hold that call, will you? I have to go. There's a conference call I have to attend ...