Managing the Large Conference Call

Managing the Large Conference Call

Whether it’s the first large conference call you’ll be managing or the 20th one, you’re likely to feel some sort of nervousness leading up to the call, which is perfectly normal. Large conference calls usually translate into important calls, and if it’s your responsibility to make the call run smoothly, you’ll want to do everything you can to make that happen.

Large conference calls aren’t hard to manage, but that’s only if you take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the call and know what you are doing. If you were put in charge of setting up and managing a live seminar event for your company, it’s probably not something you’d play by ear, you’d plan ahead of time to make sure everything goes according to plan; the process of preparing for a large conference call is no different.

In our experience working with clients who have managed large conference calls, we’ve heard all the stories imaginable, from corporate calls with nothing but commuter traffic in the background, to free for all conference call Q&A sessions where attendees are talking over each other. While these may be good for comedic value, it’s probably not the kind of call you’re shooting for.

We’re here to help you avoid issues such as this by providing tips and best practices for managing your large conference call effectively. To start we’d recommend running a few test calls with your conference call service before your scheduled conference to familiarize yourself with the service and features. Have some colleagues join you for a call to test out the features you plan on using, so when it comes down to game time you’ll be ready for it.

Mute your conference – We can’t stress this enough…

Large conference calls are usually a lecture type deal where you have the host and a few guest speakers talking while the rest of the conference is listening in. If you don’t have your conference muted, all it takes is one caller dialing in with a bad connection or from a high background noise environment to ruin your entire call. You can easily prevent this through use of our host telephone controls by pressing 1* to mute your conference or turning on the mute feature using the online conference manager.

There’s a purpose for your conference, so it’s important to have an agenda planned out so you get the desired end results. Whether you’ll be hosting a 40 or 4,000 person conference call; the preparation and end result should be the same, visualize how you would like the conference to go and use that to plan out your agenda.

 

If you think you are paying too much for conference calling, ask us how we can help you.  Give us your current monthly bill and we’ll compare it to what we have.  Save up to 80%!

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11 Tricks to Stay Productive When You’re Traveling

 

Learn to Stay Productive When Traveling

11 Tricks to Stay Productive When You’re Traveling

In theory, traveling for work is glamorous. You imagine flights in first class, where you sit beside famous basketball players and are fed warm cashews from a crystal jar.

You’ll cruise around a foreign landscape in a luxury sports car—on a mission to kick ass and take names. The room service… the maid service… Ahh.

Reality check.

Business travel is seldom glamorous at all. And it’s often unproductive. Sure, we accomplish what we set out to do once we get to our destination, but what about our other work responsibilities?

The secret to staying productive while you travel is to maximize short time blocks.

Here are 11 things you can do to be highly productive in short blocks of time, so you’ll be prepared to fit in at least one handful of cashews on your next business trip (Kobe Bryant sightings are not guaranteed):

1) List love
At least a day before you leave, create a list of things you want to get done while you’re on the road. Do you need to get an article written? Get some reading done? Listen to webinars? Make calls?

Given the length of time you’ll be travelling, assess when would be the best time to complete the tasks.

For example, you can listen to audio while you walk through the airport or sit in a cab. Reading can be done on the plane, where you may be too crunched to write comfortably. Writing? Get ‘er done during the layover.

2) Pack smart
Why does the laptop charger always miss the trip? Create a packing list of what you need to bring—before the travel stress kicks in.

Sounds trying? Check out the PackingPro app. It was made for you. You’re welcome.

3) Porta-power
Travel prepared to work whether you have Internet access or not, even if your phone or laptop runs out of power. If you know you can’t work without power, pack a battery backup or a solar charger.

4) Dial in
Be present for the meetings that matter back at home with your dial-in conferencing service, which you can access from your phone, of course.

5) Apps for that
Download the app of the airline carrier you’ll be using. Traveling internationally? Consider the iStone app for efficient communication tools in 12 languages. Want entertainment in short chunks AND a way to make yourself more interesting? Get the TEDtalks app and watch engaging people share brilliant ideas—in three to thirty-minute chunks.

6) Listen
Visit Audible.com or sync the business-related MP3s you’ve been meaning to listen to.

7) Be social
If you happen to be in a client’s city for even a few hours, take a shot at meeting them for coffee. Follow up with a business contact. You never know where a little networking can lead.

8) All aboard
When possible, travel by train or subway. The longer journey provides the perfect excuse to catch up on your industry’s latest news and put the finishing touches on your winning business report.

9) No hands
Add this to your packing list: a hands-free device. Now you’ll be able to tee up the 10-15 calls you’ve been meaning to make. Add those numbers to your contacts list so you can access them easily while you drive.

Best of all, hands-free devices are totally luxury convertible friendly.

10) Mobile to the max
Sometimes you just really need to check your email. MiFi devices are great for instant, personal Internet hotspots from anywhere.

One example is Karma. It costs $79 for a card-deck sized device, which lets you use the Internet anywhere. Karma will also let you share your connection, and the more you share, the more free connectivity you get.

If sharing with strangers isn’t your thing, your cellphone can also be set up as a portable hotspotand there are nearly a dozen different MiFi devices and plans.

11) Tour
Prioritize a couple chunks of time to keep the glamorous image of traveling for work alive. We’re talking local entertainment, a dip in the hotel pool, and adventures roaming the streets of a new city. When you’re productive, you’re a legend amongst co-workers.

 

Find any of these items in the list helpful?  We hope you did.  Also, you can save big on conference calling services while on the go if you need to have a meeting with other people.  Ask us how.

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10 Ways to Convert Conference Calls into Killer Content

10 Ways to Convert Conference Calls into Killer Content

The fist pump is defined in the Oxford Dictionaries as “a gesture of triumph or affirmation in which the forearm is raised with fist clenched, then swung downward toward the body in a vigorous pumping motion.”

If you’re not already acquainted with the glorious fist pump, prepare yourself.

Once you know how to turn audio recordings of conference calls into powerful, lead-boosting, sales-rocketing marketing collateral, you’re going to be fist pumping on a regular basis.

Converting recorded interviews, canned presentations and conversations with industry leaders into blog posts, podcasts, and other formats doubles conference call productivity and adds to a diverse mix of valuable content to attract and convert prospects.

In the modern day, it is often required that multiple forms of a file are made to accommodate people in different scenarios. If you are unable to view a debate online and want the transcript, it would be helpful to convert the entire debate into readable text. Obviously being able to read something and share it with other people is a great way to spread information.

Here are 10 ways to convert your audio recordings into content your target audience will love:

1) Start a podcast.
Ever dreamt of having your own radio show? Podcasting makes it possible.

Transform brainstorming audio conferences into podcast material, complete with a company-branded jingle at the start of each episode. Invite listeners to download or stream the podcast on your website, blog or iTunes and pair episodes with blog posts describing what listeners can expect to take away from it. Heck, why not also follow up each podcast episode with a Twitter discussion for user comments and questions?

With so many ways to share, promote and expand upon, podcasts are content marketing gifts that just keep giving.

2) Craft blog posts.
Let conversations amongst colleagues and clients inspire you. Use industry news, points-of-view, and ideas discussed during discussions as fodder for fresh blog material.

Publish your blog posts with the recordings to enrich the details of each piece and provide an option for auditory learners.

3) Give email marketing a voice.
Imagine an email message that speaks to the recipient. Now that’s how you build trust with prospective customers online.

With audio files integrated into your targeted email marketing campaigns, you can share product or service information with prospects in a totally innovative way.

4) Enhance your FAQ section.
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your company website gets more attention than you might think. As Kissmetrics Blog contributor Jason Shah says in an article about stepping up your FAQ page game, it “represents one of the most valuable moments in a conversion funnel.” Does yours make an effective impact?

Add clarity and depth to this section of your website with audio bites from real conversations with customers. You can also add product/service explanations and instructions discussed during conference calls.

5) Create SlideShare webinars.
If you haven’t discovered SlideShare yet, you’re about to have your mind blown.

SlideShare is a presentation-sharing web platform that lets users sync mp3 audio with slides to create webinars. It’s used by millions of organizations, including the United Nations and IBM. And best of all, SlideShare content has the potential to spread virally and connect hoards of targeted users with brands.

Harness this powerful resource by crafting slide decks to accompany audio recordings from teleconference presentations. SlideShare makes it easy to upload files (including PowerPoint documents) and pull together comprehensive slides, fast. Once completed, share your SlideCast (slides/mp3 mashup) across social media platforms and your website.

6) Add to video for YouTube.
You don’t need a Gangnam-style budget to reap the benefits of YouTube. If your teleconference conversations ever veer into explanation territory, where ideas and concepts are discussed in a comprehensive way, hit record. You might have valuable YouTube content right there!

Pair your audio recording with a simple branded background, a slideshow of relevant images, or anything you can generate visually to accompany the recording. For an extra SEO boost, add the audio transcript to the video so when users search with your keywords, your video appears in the top ranks.

7) Put the spotlight on industry leaders and CEOs.
It’s not everyday your customers have the opportunity to hear from the bigwigs behind your product or service. Share your company’s expertise with a backstage pass to conference calls and interviews. Do it with an audio recording.

Promote this content as part of a podcast episode, or develop an interactive social media or blog series where customers can engage with questions and feedback for the interviewee.

8) Offer exclusive content.
If you want to accelerate your email list, offer exclusive audio content as an incentive for prospects to provide their contact information.

Consider the kinds of “behind-the-scenes” knowledge about your company revealed during conference calls and presentations. Use your discretion (and the permission of everyone present during the call) to record and edit chunks of audio that provide desirable insights for your customers.

Craft targeted landing pages to compel users to sign up for access to these recordings. Now sit back and watch your email list skyrocket.

9) Build hype for upcoming products or services.
Give your target audience a rich yet brief taste of what’s to come. Whether it’s a new product line or industry event, it’s all the more buzz-worthy when you offer sneak peeks with audio recordings.

Edit clips from canned presentations and leak small bites out across social media platforms such as Twitter Vine and Facebook.

10) Develop rich case studies.
The case study is a powerful form of social proof, but when you add audio recordings to the mix, it’s downright unstoppable.

To prepare your content marketing mix for convincing case studies, start recording conversations with clients whose experience with your company is memorably positive.

While crafting a case study about a client experience, review your recordings for moments of dialogue that illustrate or confirm your quality of service.

Adding audio to case studies and other forms of content marketing engages auditory learning preferences and contributes to a diverse marketing mix. And when it’s as easy as recording a conference call, you’ve got nothing holding you back from generating more leads online with compelling, valuable content.

 

Contact us now to see how you can save up to 80% on conference calling.

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