Friday, March 4, 2016

Ninja’d! 10 Tips for Successful Conference Calls

1. Close your email, all social media, and messaging apps…heck, close everything and stare at a blank wall. There is no other way to remain completely focused – unless you’re a ninja.

2. Set an agenda, send the agenda out to everyone, and stick to it like rice.

3. Mute unless spoken to. No one wants to hear your Uber driver asking you if you want water or your dogs barking at the Post Mates lunch delivery.

4. Speak slowly and clearly because your ninja mask may make it hard to understand you.

5. Take notes and share your notes at the end of the call with all participants to confirm you all heard and understand the post-call action items.

6. If there are more than four people on the call, tell everyone who you are again before you start talking mid-call lest someone else gets (or takes!) kudos for your brilliance.

7. If you need something to fiddle with during the call try a pen or pencil and not a ninja star. Dangerous items could be a distraction (I say this from experience). Try tending to a sliced finger during a conference call without talking. It’s a series of wide eyes, gesturing towards the office first aid kit, and jumping around in pain because you may not want your client to know you’re performing emergency blood stopping procedures mid-rant.

8. I know I told you to close all computer screens and apps but the one thing that is helpful is to keep a messaging window up with your fellow co-workers on the call to communicate incognito. Or you can use traditional pen and paper too, if you’re in the same room. Ninja slide!

9. No one likes a person who dominates the call and doesn’t let anyone jump in with their ideas. One option is to fake as if you can’t hear anyone anymore and say loudly, “Hello? Hello?” And once the person stops you can continue, “Oh I lost you all for a moment but now it’s working.” And quickly, “I’d like to add something actually…” and now you’re golden.

10. At the end of the call thank everyone and wish them a wonderful day. Appreciation goes a long way and encouragement is better than a kick to the gut. Unless they deserve it.