Global Audio Conference Calls can be productive in 30 minutes or less. We’ve all wasted plenty of time attending meetings and conference calls that rambled on for much longer than they needed to be. Not only are longer-than-necessary conference calls boring and unproductive, they can be costly. Costs can include your per minute rates per attendee as well as lost productivity costs and potential dings to your relationship or credibility if the meeting is overly long and poorly managed. If you prefer to get the message across and then get moving, these tips can help you host a global conference in 30 minutes or less.
- Decide on the topics — Understanding the purpose of the global conference call will drive what you talk about. For example, if your call is about new product packaging and compliance with various countries’ labeling requirements, it probably doesn’t make sense to spend time talking about your company’s new sexual harassment prevention policy.
- Duration — Mull over the issue at hand and pick a suitable duration for your global audio conference call such as 15, 20, or 30 minutes. The more complex the issue, and the more people who need to weigh in, the more time you will likely need. Attending a 15-to-30-minute audio conference is doable for most people. Keeping your meetings short forces you to prioritize topics and manage the time you have together on the call.
- Build your agenda based on the desired duration — Once you have a time frame in mind, organize your agenda items to fit within it. There are two ways you could approach this:
- Start with short, fast updates. In a matter of minutes, you could have the bulk of your agenda items taken care of, leaving the rest of the time to focus on your most pressing issue. This approach is helpful if you frequently find that you run out of time before you get to the minor updates.
- Start with the most important agenda items and end with the least important ones. This approach is helpful when you want to ensure that the most important topic gets addressed thoroughly.
- Set realistic time limits for each agenda item — You may have a good idea about how much time you need to present your own topics, but you might not know how much time your other presenters need, so ask them. Another idea is to estimate their time and then ask if it’s sufficient. For example, you could say, “I’ve allotted you 7 minutes to discuss the issue during our conference call. Is that enough time? Too much time?” By communicating the time limits with your co-presenters in advance, they’ll be better able to prepare their messages to fit within the allotted time. Include a few minutes at the end to field questions and wrap up the call.
- Global audio conference actively managed — This means starting the meeting promptly and adhering to the time limits you’ve set. Let your attendees know how long the call will last and that you want to respect their time. They’ll appreciate a tightly run meeting that ends on time.
- Note any action steps and reiterate them at the end of the call — A productive global conference call is one where everyone now understands the issue and knows what’s expected of them moving forward.
- Holding shorter, more frequent global conference calls is a great way to improve productivity and communication with a global team. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at keeping the meeting running smoothly and on time. You’ll get a better sense of how much time your agenda items require, leading to potentially shorter audio conferences in the future.