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Tips for More Effective Telephone Meetings

Are you communicating business information as competently over the phone as you are in person? 

When you can’t see your listeners, it’s often difficult to determine if you’re holding their attention and providing the benefit they require.

The following tips for telephone communications have been adapted from effective in-person techniques:

  • Visualize your listeners as you deliver your message in one-to-one language
  • Plan transitions between key points to avoid long pauses
  • Tell your listeners where to look as you guide them through any printed materials
  • If a colleague will be in the same location as the listeners, collaborate in advance on ways to help your listeners follow along
  • Reduce non-word fillers (ums/uhs) and repetitive phrases, like “let’s continue”, “next let’s look at”, “good point”, etc.
  • Establish your vocal “presence” by varying your pitch, volume, and pacing
  • Encourage participants’ input and questions

A helpful way to assess your own effectiveness in telephone meetings is to record one of your calls. Play it back and identify opportunities to make positive changes. Ask a trusted colleague to listen in and offer constructive feedback.

Whether your meeting is in person, over the phone, or web-based, be “other-directed”—make it painless for your listeners, keep it brief and give them the valued benefit.