5 Signs Your Meeting is Doomed

5 Signs Your Meeting is Doomed (and How to Save the Next One)

5 Signs Your Meeting is Doomed

There are times where we choose to get ourselves in the middle of something only to find ourselves in something we do no longer want to be in and we end up trying to get out of it. Sometimes it is possible to make the escape. Other times, not so much and you are sitting there regretting your decision of being there in the first place. In times like that, you know you are wasting your time and that you wish you could teleport yourself out or that someone would call you and request your presence somewhere else.

This can happen during a conference call where people can join together in a meeting to discuss important matters. Sometimes the meeting will be fruitful and productive. Other times, not so much. Here are 5 ways to tell if your meeting is doomed and how to prevent it from happening ever again.

  1. The purpose of the meeting is a mystery to everyone but you.

“Do you know what this meeting is for?” mumbles harmless attendee A to not-yet-caffeinated attendee B as they make their way to the boardroom.

“I have no idea,” yawns attendee B, “Did someone send out an email?”

Not this time.

Unless you’re hosting a support group for clairvoyants, you need to prepare attendees beforehand by explaining the purpose of the meeting and what you hope to achieve.

Create an agenda for the meeting and get it in the hands or email inboxes of everyone involved. Do this at least a day before the meeting. It’s one more thing to do, but it’s worth it.

This allows attendees to start the meeting with you in the right mindset for accomplishing your goals. Otherwise, your ambiguous meeting will likely encourage tardiness, rambling, and distracted behavior, sinking it slowly into a tragic waste.

  1. There are long, painfully awkward silences.

This is because your attendees are indiscreetly ‘multi-tasking’ on their smart phones and their lack of attention to the meeting has rendered them incapable of contributing.

Translation: you just lost your agenda to Angry Birds.  How does that make you feel?

It’s too late to snatch those phones from their nimble thumbs. And it’s not an option during conference calls.

Next time, do as Merlin Mann and be the ‘parent’ in the meeting.  Someone has to do it. And if you called the meeting, it’s definitely up to you.

A good parent watches over the meeting carefully by:

  • Periodically verbally summarizing the points discussed
  • Explicitly inviting everyone to participate
  • Directly asking non-participatory attendees to contribute with something specific

These tactics demonstrate to attendees you require their attention, whether they’re dialed in to a conference call from across the country, or sitting across from you in a meeting room. Instead of “grounding” them by asking them to shut down their mobile devices, you encourage collaboration.

  1. You are experiencing technical difficulties.

Nothing provokes the patience of humankind like that 3-second delay during a poor quality phone call or a PowerPoint presentation that shuts itself down after two slides. When technical difficulties have a more influential presence than actual humans in the room, your meeting is seriously doomed.

We can’t trust technology to have our back every time, but we can get pretty damn close when we use effective solutions such as professional conference calling services and test the systems in advance.

Ask yourself: does the projector need a new light bulb?  Do you need to have more people on the phone than your current provider can allow? What about the YouTube clip for your presentation – does the WiFi in the room support it?

Make the most of everyone’s time by taking stock of the technical details.

  1. “Where’s (Insert very important person’s name here)?” 

As you watch callers join your phone conference meeting, you get a sneaky feeling someone is missing.

During the discussion, you realize you left out the key decision maker/innovator/team member for the topic at hand. The meeting is busted.

Luckily, this is an easy fix for next time:

Define the goals for the meeting beforehand. Then, invite the people who can help you achieve the goals.

The “who” and “how many” you invite will depend on the type of meeting. Check out productivity expert Laura Stack’s guide to deciding who should attend.

  1. Your head hurts from giving a rambler the evil eye.

Contrary to your nine-year-old-self’s belief, your eyes cannot shoot laser beams capable of muting the rambler who is currently riffing on the selection of teas in the staff room. To quiet this meeting killer next time, speak up.

“The key to an efficient meeting is a strong leader,” says Fast Company contributor Gina Trapani, “Their job is to keep things on track, not be afraid to cut off long-winded discussions, and be willing to end things early once business is done.”

Interrupt the rambling speaker when necessary to restate the purpose of the meeting and verbally evaluate whether the contribution has helped move the effort forward.

Your colleagues will silently thank you—with puppy eyes.

 

Have questions? Feel free to contact us. Check out the services we provide in Conferencing Calling Services in Charlotte (and surrounding areas).   Save up to 80% when you use us for your conferencing needs.

Have any doomed meeting horror stories? Share them with us in the comment section below.

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Toll vs Toll Free Number: Which One Do You Choose?

Difference Between a Toll  vs Toll Free Number

Most conference calling service providers in the country offer either toll or toll free or both in their services. What is the difference and which one should you choose?

toll or toll free long distance calling

First, toll numbers that you dial into are 10-digit telephone numbers. They can be used for long-distance calling and may or may not be free depending on your current service provider. Also, depending on your location, your rate for long distance calling may be higher or lower than other locations or service providers. If your plan offers free unlimited toll number, then it won’t cost you a penny. If your plan offers free toll number for a limited set of calls, then you will have to monitor how often you call long-distance. You also have to look at quality. You don’t want to call your loved ones on the other side of the country and their voice is static on the phone. Pick a service with high quality long-distance networking and an affordable plan.

Toll-Free numbers are the long 800 that includes 800, 888, 866, 877, and even 855. Toll-free numbers are what they say they are…..they are free to use for the people who will use it. The person who pays for the call is the host or the person who sets up the call. So basically if you do not want to be charged anything, be on the receiving end of a toll-free call.

Both numbers work great but both involve searching for a service provider that can offer you the lowest rates at the highest quality. Most businesses use the toll-free 800 numbers because it can be less hassle.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us. Check out the services we provide in audio conferencing.   Save up to 80% when you use us for your conferencing needs.

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Benefits Of Using An Agent When Buying Conference Calling

Is it worth it for better conferencing calling rates?

Businesses across the world use some type of conference calling, whether it is video conferencing, web conferencing, or audio conferencing.  They use conference calling to connect with co-workers or clients or possibly even their business partners from other parts of the world.  The hardest part is checking your equipment and seeing if they are still working right or not.  Sometimes they can die down or break easily.  Other times, the call will lag midway through a call.  Have you ever been in a call where the quality was always average and you saw your bill at the end of month and you knew it could be lower?  Dozens of conference calling service providers make a promise of offering the absolute best quality of service for the lowest prices.  But then the challenge comes: what IS the best service provider to subscribe to?  With lots of options in front of you, you have to make a decision on what is best and most efficient for the business.

Just like finding the best deal for airfare or finding a broker who can get you the best deal on a house or the best stocks in the stock market, a conference call agent is ideal for giving you the best advice for what your best options are.  If there is more than one option available, they will advice on you on which is best for your budget and business needs.  Even more, they might offer you a discount.  Why go to the service provider and pay the original rate if you can go to an agent and get a discount?

conference calling agent

You might ask….why do conference calling services use or need agents?  Well, that’s like asking a business in the world why they would hire a Public Relations team to promote their services?  Agents deal with all of the promotion.  They bring you, the customer, to the service provider.  The service provider knows they have lots of competition and they will use agents to bring leads in.  Don’t take this the wrong way.  There are some agents who are really picky and will only partner up with the best.  If you go to an agent who specializes in conference calling, they might be partnered up with the best conferencing services in the country.

Now there’s more to conferencing than just conferencing.  You have to be aware of the network quality as well.  Take advantage of cloud solutions and fast network structure.  No more lag in your conference calls, especially on VoIP conference calls where you use an IP phone to call someone over the internet.  Some service providers have really good IP phones and VoIP services while others do not.  It’s recommended that you read the reviews on what the best conference calling providers are, then find an agent who can provide you with the lowest rates.

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