How to End International Conference Calls on Time
Conference calls, international or otherwise, often run longer than anticipated. When this happens, participants may leave before you’ve officially wrapped up the call due to other commitments. In addition to losing engagement, you may lose some credibility as the meeting’s leader. Conference calls and meetings that run long can be annoying, inconvenient, or even signal a lack of respect for others’ time. Participants may perceive you as being unorganized if you don’t focus on International Conference Calls Timing.
None of the above is what you want. It’s important to create and stick to a schedule so that your global conference calls are productive and engaging and respect International Conference Calls Timing.
In order to end international conference calls on time, you will need to:
- Plan your conference call. What is the call about? What is the desired outcome? What topics do you need to discuss? Will you field questions from attendees as you go or at the end? Plan out your conference call and
allota certain amount of time to each topic.
- Allow time for the unexpected. Pad your times a little to allow for unexpected delays. For example, with international conference calls, English may be a second or third language. You may need to clarify some topics to ensure everyone understands their meaning.
- Front-load your conference call. Start with the most urgent matters and end with those of lesser importance.
If,despite your intentions, your meeting progresses slower than expected, you can still end it on time with confidence knowing that the most pressing matters have been addressed.
- Include time for questions and answers at the end of the call. This also serves as padding. For example, if you’ve scheduled 10 minutes for questions and answers at the end of the call but are running five minutes behind schedule, you’ll still be able to field questions for five minutes and end on time.
- Include time at the end of the call to detail the next actions. Summarizing what’s next is important in ensuring that everyone knows what’s expected of them. Take notes during the international conference call, writing and highlighting any action items. At the end of the call, go over these action items.
- Start promptly on time. If your international conference call is scheduled to start at
10:00am, start it at 10:00am.You will always have latecomers, and that’s not your problem nor it is the problem of those who joined your call on time. If you wait five minutes to start your call, you’re automatically starting with a five-minute deficit which could cause your meeting to run long or prompt you to skimp on a topic in order to make up lost time.
- Watch the clock or use a timer. Keep an eye on the clock in relation to your agenda. As the end time for a given topic draws near, wrap it up and move on to the next topic.
- End the conference call early or on time. Best case, your call is productive and your timing estimates were spot on. Since you padded your agenda items, you may even finish early.
- Your participants will likely be happy to have participated in a productive international conference call and thrilled to have extra time on their hands. Worst case, your call went slower than expected and you weren’t able to cover everything you wanted to cover in the allotted time. As you wrap up the call — on time — with your action steps, mention that you’ve tabled the remaining topics for your next meeting.
- Since you prioritized the most urgent matters, this should be acceptable. Your participants will walk away with the most important information and be happy that the call ended on time.