How to Determine Who Does What During Global Conferencing
As the account holder of an international conferencing service, you may think that the entire task of hosting and moderating a global conference calls falls squarely on your shoulders. While you may be the host, you don’t necessarily have to do all of the work. In fact, it’s a good practice to assign different roles to different people. Below are the most common roles required and how to select the right person for each.
- Global Conferencing Leader or Moderator — The leader or moderator of the call is responsible for running the conference call. This involves everything from scheduling the call, developing the agenda, inviting participants, assigning roles, keeping the conversation on track, assigning action items and responsibilities, summarizing the meeting, and following up after the call. As the account holder, you’ll often be the leader by default. However, you may have colleagues who want to take the lead. We can set up company accounts where each person has their own global conferencing credentials to host and lead their own international conference calls.
- Time Keeper — One of the best practices of any meeting is to manage the amount of time spent on each agenda item. Consider tasking an individual to set a timer and nudge you when it’s time to move to the next agenda item. This allows you to perform your leadership duties without having to keep your eye on the clock the entire time. Since your time keeper will jump in when time is up, you won’t accidentally run over time. Who should you pick? Ideally, someone who is physically located in your same office. That way, you can sit side-by-side during the conference call and he or she can communicate the time limits non-verbally. If that’s not possible, ask a co-worker, your assistant, or another trusted person on your staff to take on this role.
- Secretary or Recorder — Many meetings require a written record, and this is true of many international conference calls as well. Even if not required, it’s a great idea to have someone take detailed notes to document the audio conference. While everyone in attendance can certainly take their own notes, if you let them know that someone is taking a master set of notes that will be shared afterward, this frees your participants from having to take notes. They may be more engaged as a result. Who should you select as secretary? Ask one of your co-workers who is known for his or her organizational or note-taking skills. The secretary should be prepared to help prepare and distribute the agenda, record any decisions, action items, or conclusions, and distribute the notes afterward.
- Global Conferencing Interpreter — For international conference calls where two or more languages may be spoken, it might make sense to have an interpreter available. If someone in your office is bilingual, ask them to be available to translate or clarify phrases as needed during the audio conference. If not, consider using an over-the-phone interpreting service.
- Global Conference Call Participants — Everyone in your international conference call has a role. Those not assigned a specific role such as leader,
time keeperor secretary automatically fall into the participant role. Participants should be prepared to contribute their ideas and insights to the meeting. Who should you invite as a participant? Think about the purpose of the call and its relevance to potential participants. If it’s relevant, then they’re probably a good candidate for participation. If not, the call could be perceived as a waste of their time. The more relevant the call’s purpose to your participants, the more likely they’ll be engaged, active participants.
Assigning these key roles to members of your team can help ensure a well organized international conference call.