How to Edit Audio from an Overseas Conference Call

If you used an agenda to conduct your overseas conference call, use it to help you decide which agenda item discussions are worth sharing and which ones need to be held in the strictest confidence.

edit audio recording

So, you’ve held an overseas conference call and made an MP3 recording of it, now what?

You could simply upload it to your intranet and share it with participants and employees. If your overseas conference call was relatively short, that may be the way to go.

Audio recording

If it went on for several hours, you may want to edit the audio recording. After all, few people will be willing to sit through several hours of audio content no matter how compelling the content may be.

Here’s what you need to know about editing an MP3 recording.

Plan Your Edits

Start by planning your edits. If you used an agenda to conduct your overseas conference call, use it to help you decide which agenda item discussions are worth sharing and which ones need to be held in the strictest confidence.

With the agenda in front of you, listen to the recording of your overseas conference call and jot down the start and stop times of each agenda item in hours, minutes, and seconds.

What you are doing right now is called a “paper edit.” Getting organized on paper will save you a great deal of time and frustration once you being editing the audio.

While you’re at it, decide if you will make one long edited audio file or break it up into individual audio files. Let’s say you conducted a two hour overseas conference call with the following components:

  • A motivational component
  • An analysis of consumer behaviors in Brazil
  • An analysis of consumer behaviors in Canada
  • An analysis of consumer behaviors in Switzerland
  • Guidelines for using social media
  • Questions and answers about the company’s upcoming expansion into South America

In this example, it may make sense to create individual recordings for each topic and allow your team to choose the most relevant ones to their job roles and regional interests. By splitting the contents of your overseas conference call into individual recordings, the information will be much easier to digest and potentially repurpose.

For example, once split up, you could later send a link to your social media guidelines recording to new hires or team members who will be responsible for using social media. Instead of having to listen to a motivational speech and several analyses of consumer behaviors, your team members can quickly hear what you need them to hear.

Determine How to Distribute the Edited Recordings

Next, figure out how you will be distributing the edited recordings of your overseas conference call as this may dictate the final format (and thus, the editing tool you may need to use). Options include:

  • Uploading your recordings to your intranet, website, a file sharing service such as Dropbox, a podcasting service, or your corporate repository
  • Sending recordings via email
  • Burning the recording to CD

Choose an Audio Editing Tool

Finally, you’ve completed the paper edit, decided on creating either a single edited recording or a series of shorter ones, and know exactly how you will distribute the finished recordings.

Now it’s time to start editing, but first, you’ll need an audio editing tool. A number of audio editing tools are readily available, many of which are free. Below are a few recommendations:

  • Audacity – Free, open source, and wildly popular, Audacity can import and export many audio formats including MP3, WAV, OGG, and AIFF. It’s loaded with features and is compatible with most operating systems.
  • TuneKitten Audio Editor – This Javascript-based app is very basic and designed primarily for cutting audio.
  • MP3 Cutter – With minimal features, creating short audio files from larger files is a simple matter of importing your MP3 recording, choosing the start and end positions, and clicking the “save” button.

Editing an overseas conference call can help ensure that the rest of your team actually hears your message. With a little planning and an audio cutter, you can create and distribute short snippets of your overseas conference calls.

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International Conference Calling – A Team Collaboration Tool

If a team leader would prefer to preschedule an international conference call, this is easy to do.

International Conference Calling - A Team Collaboration ToolWhen it comes to collaborating with international team members, you have a number of great choices including instant messaging, web conferencing, online file-sharing tools, interactive whiteboards, and more.

Teleconferencing has long been the gold standard for team collaboration, and it continues to deliver.

Teleconferencing is especially helpful when teams are geographically dispersed as the entire group can come together to brainstorm in a real-time, voice centric environment.

In a world filled with technological marvels and the latest apps, the humble international conference call may not have the wow factor of its competitors but it shines in its simplicity. For example:

  • Just about anyone can easily participate in an international conference call. All you need is a telephone, mobile or landline or even Skype. There’s no special software to download or equipment to buy.
  • With a voice call, you can hold dynamic group conversations and gain a deeper understanding based on verbal cues such as tone of voice, pauses, and pacing. With instant messaging, email, and threaded discussion boards, nuances are often difficult to catch and misunderstandings all too common.
  • You can call into the international conference call from virtually any location on earth. Whether you’re assigned to a remote outpost or traveling on business, a quick phone call immediately connects you to your team – even if you do not have Internet access or a computer.

As with other team collaboration tools, international conference calling is only effective if teams are empowered to use it.

With this in mind, many worldwide companies make it as easy as possible for team leaders to hold scheduled and impromptu global conference call. One way to do this is to set up easy-to-use international conference calling accounts for your teams.

Reservation-less conference calls can be held at the spur of the moment, allowing your team leaders to hold a group conference call any time the need arises. If a team leader would prefer to preschedule an international conference call, this is easy to do.

You can even set up the conference call so that the system automatically dials each participant if desired. Using automated dial-out is a great way to reduce the per minute cost of the call as well as help ensure that each participant is promptly connected. =

Many international conference call service plans are available including pay-as-you-go so no prepayment is required.

Help your team leaders choose the right collaborative tools for the task at hand by holding a basic collaboration training session. For example, your design team may find that using an online collaboration tool is best for task management and file sharing but cumbersome for requirements gathering, brainstorming, and problem-solving. You may find it helpful to create a matrix detailing the various collaboration tools available and when to use which one.

Finally, the golden rule of choosing a worldwide team collaboration tool for any given situation: When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with an international conference call!

Dealing with Language Barriers During an International Conference Call

If you intend to hold two or more versions of the international conference call in different languages, make sure to include the details for those calls in the invitation.

Dealing with Language Barriers During an International Conference CallIt’s common for language barriers to arise during an international conference call. The nature of a global teleconference virtually guarantees that participants come from different backgrounds and speak different languages.

While it’s impossible to completely erase language barriers amongst a geographically diverse audience, you can do your part to be an effective communicator. Below are a few tips to help overcome potential language problems.

  • Include language details in your international conference call’s invitation. By stating clearly in the invitation which language will be spoken, your audience will be better able to decide if attending the international conference call makes sense. If you intend to hold two or more versions of the call in different languages, make sure to include the details for those calls in the invitation. For example, you could say something like, “This call will be conducted in English. A Portuguese version will take place on (date/time) followed by a Spanish conference call on (date/time).”
  • Request that we give you voice prompts in another language.  Currently, we offer multi language system prompts in the following languages:  French/English dual prompt, English/German dual prompts, Spanish/Portuguese dual prompts, English/Japanese dual prompts, Mandarin Chinese/English bi-lingual dual prompt.  Visit our Expanded Global Conferencing service here.
  • Speak slowly. Non-native speakers will appreciate the slower pace which helps them to process what’s been said.
  • Avoid slang, cliches, and colloquialisms. They simply do not translate well. In fact, they probably won’t make sense whatsoever. For example, if you intend to start a project right away, saying “let’s get this ball rolling” could confuse non-native speakers and have them wondering what a ball has to do with anything. Instead, be clear and say “I want to start this project immediately.”
  • Send out a detailed agenda. The more you can fill in the blanks in advance, the better. By having a detailed agenda in place, each participant can quickly determine the general topic of discussion which provides extra context to the conversation.
  • Consider using an interpreter. Interpreters may be necessary in some situations. Due to the nature of an international conference call, you can use a “virtual” interpreter located in any country. Just as regular participants dial into the teleconference from their phones, the same is true of an interpreter.
  • Consider allowing personal interpreters. Some participants may want to use their own personal interpreters or even a trusted family member to help them understand what has just been said. If the content of the call is not proprietary or confidential, this can be helpful to individuals. If you’re concerned about confidentiality, it may be necessary to require a non-disclosure agreement. If personal interpreters will be used by participants, make sure to instruct those individuals how to mute their lines so the interpretation remains private.
  • Record the international conference call and make the recording available to participants after the fact. Some participants may appreciate being able to go back and listen to the teleconference afterwards to ensure that they didn’t miss anything.
  • Have the recording transcribed. Sending a transcription of the international conference call is another way to help non-native speakers get more out of the call. In addition to sending a word-for-word transcription, or as an alternative, you could also send a synopsis that summarizes the key points.
  • Have the recording or transcription translated. Another option is to translate the recording or transcription. For example, if the primary languages of participants are English and Portuguese, you could conduct the call in English, record it, and then have it translated into Portuguese.
  • Encourage questions. Another option is to recognize potential language barriers from the beginning and encourage participants to “raise their hands” or interrupt you if something doesn’t quite make sense. By alerting you to sections that don’t make sense, you have the opportunity to rephrase your statements or clarify. This can also help you improve your presentation as you learn more about what trips up your audience. For example, you may realize that you use cliches far too often. With this realization, you can then pay more attention to your own speak patterns and habits.
  • Issue a post-teleconference survey. Have participants fill out an anonymous survey after the global teleconference. This can alert you to communications issues that participants may have been hesitant to raise during the call. One of the questions you might include on the survey is this: Describe anything that you feel was unclear during the call? From there, use this feedback to write up a short letter clarifying any key points that may have been misunderstood.

International conference calls bring with them the potential for communications problems due to language differences.

It’s not easy, but it is possible to communicate despite language barriers.

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11 Reasons to use International Conference Calls

You can even record the international conference call to refer to later or for training purposes.

Reasons to use International Conference CallsInternational conference calling is a fast, cost-efficient, and easy-to-use method of communicating with a group of people from around the world.

Commonly used to conduct business, an international conference call can be used for any number of purposes and from virtually any phone in the world. How will you use your next teleconference? Below are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Sales

Need to build relationships with clients from around the world? An international conference call is a great way to stay in touch with new, prospective, and existing clients. Whether you want to introduce the client to a local account representative or the company’s CEO, a group phone call is a good choice for introducing various representatives to clients and helping clients get their questions answered. You can also use a global teleconference to introduce a new product or service.

2. Negotiations

Preliminary negotiations can be handled over the phone using an international conference call. Once connected, all parties can state their objectives, discuss the contract’s finer points, ask questions, and present counteroffers. You can even record the international conference call to refer to later or for training purposes.

3. Investigations

Need to gather information from witnesses located around the world. Depending on the nature of the investigation, you may be able to do much of the groundwork over the phone using a global conference call.

4. Recruiting

Recruiting talent from around the globe can quickly become cost prohibitive, especially if you must fly candidates in from other countries for job interviews. Using international conference calls in the early, prescreening process can drastically cut your costs while simultaneously allowing human resources and regional managers the opportunity to speak with job candidates in a group phone call. Again, the international conference call can be recorded for later reference or for sharing with others involved in the final hiring decision. As you narrow the field of candidates down, you can conduct secondary interviews using a international conference call and then fly in only your top choices.

5. Team building

Managing a geographically diverse team is challenging as each team member may feel isolated from the group. Holding frequent international conference calls with the entire team provides a greater sense of community and it allows everyone the opportunity to get to know each other. Being able to speak with one another, brainstorm, solve problems, share ideas,  and even talk about the weather can improve morale as well as accomplish other goals you have set for the conference call.

6. Training

From customer service and sales to sexual harassment prevention and time management training, many types of training courses can be effectively delivered using audio only. With an international conference call, the trainer can deliver the training to trainees located around the world in real-time. Not only that, you can record the conference call and use the MP3 file for future trainees. With a recorded international conference call, you can also ensure that all trainees, both current and future ones, receive the exact same instruction.

7. Family celebrations and reunions

Global teleconferences aren’t just for business. In fact, if you have family members located around the world, you can use an international conference call to bring the entire family together to share news or plan the next family reunion.

8. Event planning

Whether you need to coordinate a corporate retreat, charity fundraiser, or small wedding, if various partners are located outside of your country, holding an international conference call is an excellent option. By using a low-cost international conference calling service, each partner can dial into the teleconference and participate in the planning. Make sure everyone is on the same page by using group conference calls to plan the event.

9. Coaching

Many consultants and coaches use international conference calls to share their messages with a global audience. A global teleconference can be conducted in real-time, allowing participants to call in, listen to the lecture, and then ask questions. In addition, the teleconference can be recorded and sold as an informational coaching product or distributed as a free gift.

10. Tutoring

Many tutors conduct “virtual” tutoring sessions using teleconferences. This can be particularly helpful to international students who need extra help in a country where live tutors are scarce. You could use an international conference call for one-on-one or group tutoring.

11. Expert witnesses

Many lawyers use international conference calls to interview expert witnesses located around the world. With a global conference call, the lawyer, a court reporter, a paralegal, and the expert witness can all be located in different countries, yet the conversation can efficiently take place. You can use an international conference call to gather information, conduct a disposition, or get a better sense of how the expert witness responds under pressure.

These are but a few of the many different ways you can use an international conference call to connect with other people from around the world. How will you use your next global teleconference?

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Mind Your International Conference Call Manners

If you are the moderator of the call, you will have more features available to you; make sure to learn them before the international conference call and not during it.

Mind Your International Conference Call Manners When it comes to participating in an international conference call, it’s important to follow basic rules of phone and professional protocol.

After all, you want to come across as polite and professional, right? An international conference call brings with it a few additional challenges including some that are unique to the medium such as muting and unmuting the line as needed.

Use the tips below to mind your international conference call manners.

1. Learn how to use the international conference calling system in advance. In general, international conference calling involves using regular and mobile phones, a telephone number, and an access code or PIN.

You don’t need any fancy software or equipment. However, you should be familiar with how to mute and unmute your phone line so that you can block out any distracting noises from your environment while someone else is speaking. If you are the moderator of the call, you will have more features available to you; make sure to learn them before the international conference call and not during it.

2. Remember that you represent your entire organization. Whether you are hosting an international conference call or participating in one, you may be the only person representing your organization.

Your demeanor reflects the entire organization. Even if your role in the call is minor, how you present yourself is of utmost importance.

3. Use professional, clear language. One of the biggest problems associated with international conference calls involves language. After all, participants come from around the globe.

Not only should you use professional language and avoid profanity and slang, you should also try to be as clear as possible. Your international colleagues may not be familiar with expressions and colloquialisms common to your culture.

4. Avoid humor and controversial topics. Humor is hard enough to pull off with participants from within your own country, and even more so with an international crowd.

It is too easy for a seemingly harmless joke to turn offensive or insulting. Politics and religion are also extremely touchy subjects and should be avoided.

5. Be on time – if not early. Being on time shows other participants that you are prompt, reliable, and respectful of their time. Ideally, you should be dialed in, connected, and ready to begin several minutes before the official start time.

Go ahead and dial in five minutes before the conference begins and enjoy some light reading while you wait. This ensures that you’re on time and ready. In addition, you may have the opportunity to chat with other participants before the international conference call officially begins.

This is a great way to build rapport with other participants with whom you may not have the opportunity to speak with one-on-one.

Another reason to be on time is that you don’t want to miss anything. If you’re a participant, the international conference call will start with or without you and you’ll miss out.

On the other hand, of you’re the call’s moderator and you’re not on time, your participants are likely to be upset and unlikely to hang around for more than a minute or two for you to arrive. They may not give you another chance to coordinate a global teleconference. Even worse, they may question your ability to meet deadlines or serve their needs.

6. Be prepared. If you’re the moderator of the international conference call, then you should have an agenda prepared and you should be prepared to keep the call on track. As a participant, you should know what your role is in the call and prepare accordingly. For example, if you’ve been asked to share feedback about a certain process or product, you should gather information well in advance of the call and outline the key points that you’d like to discuss.

7. Use mute and unmute. Teleconferences have multiple participants, each calling in from their own potentially noisy environments.

When you’re not speaking, make sure to mute your line. That way, any background noise will not interfere with the international conference call. When you need to contribute to the conversation, simply unmute your line and speak freely.

8. Pay attention to the clock. If you are the teleconference moderator, it’s up to you to manage the clock and moderate the discussion as needed to ensure that the teleconference stays within its scheduled time allotment.

If you are a participant who has been allocated a certain amount of time to speak, you’ll also want to be mindful of the clock. For example, if you’ve been allotted 5 minutes and you’ve already spoken for 10 minutes, you may need to wrap up your presentation or ask the moderator if it’s okay to speak a little longer.

Moderating or participating in an international conference call requires advanced preparation

Hosting or attending an international conference call needs some advanced thought, professionalism, and attention to detail. Be prepared, polite, and mindful of others and your next international conference call is sure to be a success.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of International Conference Calls

Many international collaborators rely on email for corresponding with others due to time zone differences. While email gets the job done, there’s often a large lag time.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of International Conference Calls The Advantages and Disadvantages of International Conference Calls

International conferencing provides business professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, celebrities, journalists, and other individuals with international contacts a cost-effective means of collaborating with their associates in other countries.

Using an international conferencing service provider allows for feature-rich collaboration, low per minute calling rates, and crystal clear connections. Whether you need to host international conferencing events on a regular basis or periodically, you can receive numerous benefits when you start holding conference calls.

As with most everything, a few downsides exist. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of international conference calls.

The Advantages of International Conferencing

Less Time Traveling – More Time Collaborating: While meeting in person is certainly desirable, it’s not always practical. With international conferencing, you can interact with your global contacts in a group environment without having to leave the country. Instead of spending a good portion of your business week in airports, on international flights, and in expensive hotel rooms, pick up the phone, hold your teleconference, and get to the heart of the matter. Your call can last as long as you need it to last. Even if you spend eight full hours in a teleconference, you’ll still be ahead of the game thanks to the ability to make the call from your office.

Dramatically Lower Collaboration Costs: Obviously, eliminating international travel also eliminates international travel costs, making international conferencing economically appealing. In addition to cutting your own travel expenses, you won’t need to rent meeting room space to accommodate attendees. Everyone simply dials into the international conference call from their own offices, homes, or other locations.

Review and Share Your Teleconference: You can record your international conference call with just a button click. Use the MP3 file to review the conference later or share it with colleagues who were unable to attend the call at its scheduled time. Depending on the nature of the call, you might even want to create a podcast out of it or package it into an informational or coaching product.

International Conferencing Allows for Real-Time Collaboration

Many international collaborators rely on email for corresponding with others due to time zone differences. While email gets the job done, there’s often a large lag time. Using international conferencing, you can collaborate with others in real-time. Unfortunately, this is also one of the cons of international conferencing in that some participants may need to participate in the call outside of their normal business hours.

Teleconferencing Allows for More Personal Interactions: Being able to communicate with others over the phone allows for more personal interactions. Not only can you break the ice and get to know one another over the phone, you can hear each other’s voice inflections. Voice calls result in fewer misunderstandings than email.

The Cons of International Conferencing

Clearly, international conferencing is an excellent choice for anyone who regularly communicates with international contacts. However, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of. Fortunately, these disadvantages of international conferencing can be overcome.

Since there are nearly 230 countries in the world, no conference call company can provide a local access number everywhere worldwide.  That said, if your global conference call plan has a worldwide dial-out feature, the chairperson can easily call the participant through the international bridge and instantly add that guest to the call.

All that’s required is the participant’s international phone number, landline or mobile to dial-out to.

Below are the toll-free and local access number countries offered with the Expanded International Conference Call plan.

This plan also includes the global dial-out feature so there is never a reason to be concerned about whether an access number is available in a country because the moderator can always dial-out to any country.

View more details about the Expanded Global Conference Call Plan here

Time Differences Can Make Scheduling a Conference Call Challenging: If you’re in Los Angeles and the people you need to meet with are in London, Australia, Japan, and India, scheduling international conferencing is going to be challenging. Some attendees will need to call into the teleconference at a time that is outside of their normal business hours. However, attendees do not need to remain in their offices late at night in order to participate. They can call from any phone, anywhere they may be.

Dialing Conventions Vary from Country to Country: Your international collaborators are used to dialing phone numbers a certain way. Giving them an international phone number to call can cause confusion, require operator assistance, and potentially deter participation due to cost concerns. You can overcome this disadvantage by using an international conferencing service that issues local access numbers or local toll free numbers. Each participant will be given a phone number local to their country. Opt for toll free access if you do not want your participants to pay to participate in the conference.

Calling Rates are High for Some Countries: As the host of an international toll free conference call, you’re right to be concerned about the per minute calling rates for some countries. You may be used to paying less than a nickel per minute for long distance calls and be shocked at some of the rates for other countries. Check the rates for the countries involved in your teleconference and highlight those that you consider too high. For those, use the moderator dial-out feature instead of having those participants call your toll free number. Moderator dial-out means you will call them (and you’ll pay quite a bit less as a result). You can pre-program moderator dial-out so that you do not need to scramble at the last minute to gather everyone into your teleconference.

International Conferencing Can Get Loud: Imagine a conference call with 20 people, all with co-workers chatting, phones ringing, or dogs barking in the background. That call  would indeed get noisy. Fortunately, mute and unmute features are easy to use and teach to the group. If any users fail to mute their lines when not speaking, the moderator can mute those lines individually.

As you can see, the advantages of international conferencing definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Plus, the disadvantages are easy to workaround with the right international conferencing plan.

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Coaching Calls Using International Conferencing

If you intend to share the conference call recording with others, keep confidentiality in mind. For example, if the call is between you and an employee who is struggling, that call should not be shared.

International Coaching CallsCoaching employees or counseling clients who have hired you as a coach doesn’t always require face-to-face meetings.

In fact, you can use international conferencing to deliver some coaching sessions over the phone.

Not only can your international conference call sessions help others develop their skills immediately, you could even record your sessions and help others do the same in the future. Of course, you’ll need to respect the confidentiality of your coachees if you do so. If you’re thinking about using international conferencing for coaching, these tips are for you.

Integrating International Conferencing into Your Coaching or Counseling Program

First, determine which sessions lend themselves to an international conferencing environment. For example, you might hold several training sessions at a live event and then follow up with monthly coaching calls via international conferencing.

Another option is to offer access to international coaching calls as an upsell to attendees at a seminar. Some coaches use conference calls exclusively for delivering coaching classes.

What types of coaching sessions lend themselves to international conferencing? Any session that does not require physical interaction or visual demonstrations is a good candidate for international conferencing. For example, if you are a fitness coach who needs to demonstrate how to perform certain exercises or stretches, international conferencing isn’t a good choice. However, if you are coaching other personal trainers on how to grow their businesses, then holding an international conference call could be effective.

Corporate trainers can also deliver personal development coaching sessions to employees as a general group. Smaller private coaching groups are also an option. For example, you could hold a coaching call for all regional sales managers around the world or you might invite only newly promoted managers to a call. The possibilities are endless.

Recording a Coaching Call

Most international conferencing plans include a call recording feature, allowing you to record the call for later. If you intend to record a call, you’ll want to be aware of some privacy issues first. Make sure to announce that the call will be recorded. Do this both when inviting attendees as well as at the beginning of the call.

If you intend to share the recording with others, keep confidentiality in mind. For example, if the call is between you and an employee who is struggling, that call should not be shared. On the other hand, a call where you discuss the latest sales techniques to a passive audience wouldn’t infringe on anyone’s privacy.

Another potential issue can occur when you have a guest or co-host on the coaching call. If you will be distributing the recording or using it for any other purpose other than for personal uses, it’s wise to have the other person sign a release form.

Holding an International Coaching or Counseling Call

Whether you’re holding a coaching call with a group of international employees or clients who have signed up to receive expert coaching from you, if you will be holding a coaching call using international conferencing, you’ll need to set up and plan the call.

Setting up international conferencing requires signing up with an international conferencing service provider. International conferencing plans make it easy for all participants to join the conference using phone numbers that are local to their countries. You can also set up the teleconference so that callers dial a toll free phone number that’s local to their countries. This eliminates confusion and concerns about calling internationally.

Since the coaching call will take place with participants from around the world, scheduling is going to be tricky. Use world time zone maps to figure out which times would work best for most participants. When you communicate the date and time of the coaching call, include the date in time in each participant’s local time to minimize confusion. If you have a small group, you could communicate this information with participants individually. For larger groups, you might include a master list of times by country and instruct participants to refer to the list for local call-in times.

Next, prepare a detailed agenda for the coaching call and distribute it to attendees. This is another opportunity to remind participants of the call’s time and date, access numbers, and other details. It is also a great way to reinforce your value as a coach and help your participants prepare for the call. By sending an agenda, they’ll know what to expect and how much time to allot for the conference.

Finally, hold the coaching session. Remember to remind participants if the call is being recorded and then follow your agenda. Do your absolute best to keep the call within its allotted time so that your coachees will realize that you respect their time. They’ll be more likely to participate in future coaching sessions via international conferencing if they know that your sessions are well-run.

International conferencing is a terrific medium for communicating with others around the world. It’s also a cost-effective alternative to holding face-to-face sessions.

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International Conference Calling Best Practices

International conferencing is notoriously difficult to coordinate, and you may be asked to call in at an unusual time of day.

International Conferencing Best Practices
International Conferencing

International Conference Calling Best Practices

Whether you will be hosting international conferencing calls or have been invited to one, an international conference call’s success depends in large part on how it’s been planned and organized as well as on the etiquette of its attendees. If you are a host, avoid holding a poorly planned teleconference by following these best practices for international conferencing hosts. If you are a participant, use the best practices tips for international conferencing attendees to ensure that you can contribute to the call’s success.

Best Practices for International Conferencing Hosts

Choose a high quality international conferencing service provider. Not all international conferencing services use high quality telecommunications networks. Poor connections, noise on the line, echoes, and other sound quality issues will adversely affect your global conference call. If the sound quality is bad enough, attendees will struggle to hear, or worse, abandon the meeting.

Schedule the international conferencing with convenience in mind. This isn’t always possible, but it should be attempted when possible. Use a world time zone map or world meeting planning tool to determine which block of time falls within business hours for most attendees.

Determine who needs to attend the call in real time. Not all international conferencing participants need to actively participate in real time. Consider who will be asked to speak and whether there will be an opportunity for questions and answers or other interactive exchanges. For example, you may decide that you want your regional sales managers present so that they can provide input and get their questions answered; however, their sales teams may not need to participate in the live call and could benefit by listening to a recording at their leisure. By limiting the call this way, you could reduce the number of participants on the call while offering them a more convenient means of obtaining the information that was discussed. This also reduces the overall cost of the call.

Treat international conferencing as you would treat a meeting. It’s helpful to create an agenda for the call and to actively monitor the call as it progresses. If you’ve allotted ten minutes to discuss a new regulation, for example, and fifteen minutes have passed, your call will likely run longer than expected unless you take action to keep the meeting on track. As the host of the call, it is your duty to keep the meeting on track.

Get familiar with the international conferencing tools available to you. For example, do you know how to mute a noisy phone line if the participant is unaware of the excess noise being blasted to the group? Do you know how to quickly and discreetly get operator assistance while running an international conference call? Do you know how to record your conference call? You may even want to practice using your international conferencing plan with a friend or colleague before you go live for the first time.

Best Practices for International Conferencing Attendees

As a conference call attendee, your duties are less involved than that of the host. However, you do play a role in the success of the call. Below are a few best practices for participants.

Prepare for the conference call. If the host has distributed an agenda or outline for the call, take a look at it a few days in advance. Think about the topic and how it applies to you. What do you expect to learn from the call? What ideas do you have that you might be able to contribute? What questions do you want to ask if the host doesn’t address them? If you’ve been asked to speak during the call, gather any supporting documents you may need (such as sales reports, study results, customer satisfaction ratings, etc.) and prepare your statements. Ask for clarification if you are unsure about what’s expected. For example, if you’ve been asked to discuss customer satisfaction ratings but weren’t told how much time you’ve been allotted to speak, ask the host how much time you have.

Be on time. International conferencing is notoriously difficult to coordinate, and you may be asked to call in at an unusual time of day. Even if you’re expected to call in at midnight, you should be prompt and ready to contribute.

Use a landline if possible. In some countries, the per minute cost of a call is dramatically higher for calls made using mobile phones. While the host may provide you with a toll free number, if you have access to a landline, using it instead of a mobile phone is a courteous gesture that can reduce the cost of the call for the host.

Find out how to mute and unmute your phone line. With potentially dozens of participants on an international conference call at once, background noise is a major problem. Each participant is expected to know how to mute their phone line when not speaking and then unmute it when it’s their turn to speak. It’s usually a simple matter of pressing *6 on your phone’s keypad.

Be respectful of the group. Most international conference calls are scheduled with an agenda that leaves room for questions at the end of the call. Write your questions down and  wait until the end to ask them. While it would be nice to be able to go through your list of questions one after another, make sure to give other people the chance to ask their questions as well. Because time is limited and you may not be able to ask all of your questions, determine which questions are the most urgent and ask those questions first.

International conferencing is a group effort. Whether you’re the host or an attendee, do your part to make the call a success.

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International Conferencing Planning Tools

Some participants may even need to call into the conference from their homes or in the middle of the night to join others in different time zones on the call.

International Conference Call PlanningInternational Conferencing Planning Tools

One of the biggest challenges of international conferencing involves finding a convenient time for the call. With participants located in various time zones, your global call may not fall within normal business hours for some participants. In fact, some participants may even need to call into the conference from their homes or in the middle of the night. There are several methods you can use to plan and schedule international conferencing. Below are a few to try when planning your next conference call.

WorldTimeServer.com – This site has a number of world clock and time zone tools including its World Meeting Planner. Simply enter up to five countries or cities and the desired date and then click on the Submit button. The results page will show 24 hours for the date selected for each country. These times are presented in a color-coded grid. Green times are those that occur during business hours, yellow times are those that occur in the morning or evening, and red times are those that occur at night. By viewing the grid, you can quickly identify blocks of time that could work across multiple time zones.

The times are displayed with individual blocks representing each of 12 hours. The current time is circled so that you can easily see what time it is locally as well as in each of the countries you will be international conferencing with. This tool also uses color to represent business hours (light yellow), morning and evening (light blue), and night (dark blue). Again, the goal is to try to find a block of time for all countries that falls under business hours.

It’s a nice choice for those who prefer plotting points on a map. However, it is useful once you have a time in mind and need an accurate way to tell participants what time the international conference call will be in their local time. For example, once you enter the time and date in your local time, you can then click on the various cities and countries involved will then display a list of all corresponding dates and times for each country.

TimeandDate.com‘s Meeting Planner App – Timeanddate.com has an online meeting planner tool for international conferencing that’s similar to the ones offered by World Time Server and World Time Buddy. However, it also offers a mobile app. The app is available on iTunes for the iPad and iPhone. It allows you to quickly plan international conferencing around various time zone constraints. Like the other tools, color-coded times make it simple to find a time that should work for most participants. You can also save meetings within the app, which is helpful if you frequently hold international conference calls with the same group of people. Once you’ve found a good time and have decided to schedule your teleconference, this app allows you to send the international conferencing time and date to participants via email.

Scheduling international conferencing is challenging, but these tools make it easier. In addition to scheduling the call, you may want help in calculating the cost of your call. While conference call calculators are available for U.S. and Canada conference calls, international conferencing involves so many factors. In order to determine how much you might pay for an international conference call, you may need to do a few calculations on your own.

Start by identifying the countries involved and looking up their per minute calling rates (https://www.aitelephone.com/conference-international-access.html). Once you have this information, you can then multiply the per minute rate for each participant times the expected length of the call to get the cost of the call per participant. From there, add up the cost per participant to get a final dollar figure.

One way to do this is to use a spreadsheet as shown below.

Country Rate Minutes
 
Cost
Participants Cost
China dial-out

$0.09

    10

$0.90

2

$1.80

USA

$0.049

10

$0.49

3

$1.47

Australia

$0.11

10

$1.10

2

$2.20

Total Cost

$5.47

As you plan your call, you will likely find that some countries have higher per minute rates than others. If a country’s rates are higher than anticipated and the call will be long enough (or if enough participants are from that country) for those rates to make a big impact on the total cost of the call, consider setting up automatic moderator dial-out for those participants. Doing so allows you to take advantage of lower dial-out rates.

The next time you need to schedule international conferencing, use a time zone planner to find the optimal time for your teleconference. If you want to take your planning one step further, use a spreadsheet to calculate the estimated cost of your conference call.

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Global access numbers for international conference calls

Expanded plan conference call country access
Expanded global access network for international conference calls

Global access numbers for international conference calls

With 100+ country access numbers, international conference calls with participants located in any country is here.

It’s never been easier to host conference calls with attendees in faraway places.

Even somewhat obscure country toll-free conference call access numbers are available such as Latvia, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and many more.

This means that the geographical location of your conference call guest is becoming less important because of expanded toll-free and local access number availability worldwide.

View the Legacy Plan 65 Countries – country list and rates

View the Expanded Plan 105+ Countries – country list and rates

How to host Global Conference Calls

Host a Global Conference CallHosting Global Conference Calls

Whether you’re overseas and urgently need to speak with your team back at home or have associates scattered around the world, hosting an international conference call is a fast, affordable way to have a conversation with a group of two or more people.

However, making an international conference call isn’t as simple as making a traditional phone call. Rest assured, it’s still easy, especially if you have a reliable, no-contract-required international conference call plan.

Why Choose a No-Contract international conference call?

Conference calling plans typically come in two flavors: contract-based and no contract plans. With a contract-based plan, you must sign up for a specific time period and pay a monthly fee for a predetermined number of conference calling minutes. With a no contract plan, you are not locked into a plan or required to maintain the plan in any way; you simply pay as you go. If you only need to make one international conference call a year, a no contract plan allows for this without penalizing you. If you need to make a 100 international conference calls a month, you can do that too.

How to Initiate an International Conference Call

Once you have a calling plan, you can either preschedule your international conference call or hold an impromptu one. In either case, your attendees will need to be invited to the call. Start by scheduling the call in your international conference calling plan’s account management dashboard. Once scheduled, you can then email the call’s details to the people you’d like to attend.

These details will include:

  • The call’s date and time
  • The phone number to call in the guests country
  • The conference’s PIN number

Because of the global nature of the international teleconference, many of your attendees will be located in different countries. This brings a few challenges to overcome including: time zone issues and toll free access problems. Thus, you’ll need to address each.

For example, a 2:00pm call originating in Los Angeles will take place at 11:00pm in Rome. To further complicate matters, that same call will occur on a different date if you have participants located on the other side of the International Date Line. For example, it would be scheduled for 5:00am in Singapore. Not only is it important to be aware of these differences, you should provide attendees with the correct time and date for their local time.

The next issue to overcome is the actual phone number itself. If you plan on offering toll free access to the international conference call, you can’t simply give everyone the same American 800 number because that number won’t work internationally. Instead, each country has its own toll free numbers. Therefore, your callers in Rome will dial a different toll free number than your callers in Singapore.

The numbers used to access your teleconference ring into the service providers conference calling bridge. In order to connect your attendees into the correct “conference room,” a PIN or access code is used. Each attendee must tell the conference calling bridge which conference room they want to join; they do so by entering the PIN or access code assigned to your conference when you originally scheduled it.

If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Your international conference calling plan handles most of this for you. You’ll be given a list of toll free numbers and PINs to share with participants.

Alternately, you could use the automated group dial-out feature to pre-program the phone numbers of your call’s attendees. When it’s time for your conference call to begin, the automated group dial-out tool will automatically call all of your participants and prompt them to join the teleconference.

Recording Your International Conference Call

Many conference call hosts choose to record their calls. Recording calls ensures that attendees have the opportunity to review the call later if desired, and it also allows absentee participants to listen in after the fact. In some cases, call recording is used for documentation purposes whereas in others, it’s used as a training or educational tool.

For example, if your international conference call is intended to provide your team with formal training, it makes sense to record the call and the reuse it later when new team members need to participate in the same training. This can free the facilitator of the training from having to conduct a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.,) training session covering the same information. It can also ensure consistency as all team members will hear the same message.

Hosting an international conference call is a great way to stay connected with a globally diverse group of people. Not only is it an affordable option that’s available on a no contract, pay-as-you-go basis, it’s easy to use. Extra features such as auto dial-out and MP3 recording make using an international conference call system even easier and more beneficial.

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International Conference Calling Tips for Moderators

International Conference Calling Tips
International Conference Calling Tips for Moderators

International Conference Calling Tips for Moderators

You’ve just signed up for an international conference calling plan, now what? You’re officially a global conference call moderator. As the moderator of an international conference call, you have several roles and responsibilities. Use these tips to make your first, and subsequent, global conference call, a success.

Get to Know Your International Conference Calling Plan

As with any type of service, it’s smart to get to know the various features your new international conference calling plan offers as well as how to use them. Spend time exploring your online account management dashboard, read any tutorials or quick start guides offered, and set up a test call. By getting to know your international conference calling plan in advance, you’ll be less likely to stumble when you need to make your first conference call.

Don’t worry, international conference calling is easy to learn and use. Spend a few minutes getting acquainted.

Plan Your Conference Call in Advance

Whether you’ve moderated hundreds of global conference calls or are about ready to host your first one, planning your call in advance is advisable. Think about what the call’s purpose is, what needs to be discussed, and who needs to attend. By determining these three crucial points, you can then figure out how much time to allot for the call (based on the purpose and discussion points) as well as which countries will be involved in the call (based on who needs to attend).

Allotting sufficient time for the call is smart as you must manage costs and be respectful of your participants’ time. Ideally, you’ll want to stay within your budgeted timeframe without going overtime.

Identifying the countries involved in your international conference call helps you to schedule the call so that it’s as convenient as possible for the bulk of your participants. You can also use your country list to see if it makes sense to use moderator dial out to some countries. Some countries have dramatically higher rates for callers to call into your global conference call than it would cost for you to dial them directly. Look up your international conference calling plan’s rates for each country and choose moderator dial out where it makes sense. You can set up automatic dial out to these participants. At the appointed time, the system will dial them and connect them to your teleconference.

Take Advantage of Your Plan’s Tools and Features

Once the global conference call begins and all participants are on the line, begin your conference. While you could conduct the call successfully from this point forward, your international conference calling plan has several tools and features that can enhance the conference. Make sure to use them!

For example, what if one of your participants calls into the call from a noisy environment and doesn’t know how to, or has trouble with, mute the phone? Instead of subjecting all participants to background noise, you can mute the participant’s noisy line. You can also mute all participants’ lines except yours when you speak if desired. This is ideal for teleconferences where the moderator presents content to an audience of listeners.

Your international conference call can also be recorded for future use if desired. Create an MP3 recording of your call with just a few mouse clicks in your online conference call management dashboard. After the call completes, you can use the MP3 recording as you see fit. For example, you could make it available to participants who were unable to attend the call live, you could create a podcast, you could post it on your internal website for your employees to listen to at their leisure, and more. Many global conference call users use conference calls to create information products and then sell their MP3 recordings to interested parties.

If you need help during your international conference call, a live operator can help. Make sure to take advantage of operator assistance as needed. By handing off a problem to the operator, you can resume your presentation. For example, if a participant has emailed you informing you that for some reason she cannot connect to the conference, you could have the operator attempt to connect her to the call. This way, the teleconference is not unduly delayed due to a small hiccup affecting just one caller.

Holding a global conference call is a great way to communicate with participants located all over the world. It is also extremely affordable. With a pay-as-you-go international conference calling plan, you can hold conference calls as often as needed without minimum usage requirements. Make the most of your plan by taking the time to get to know it, planning your calls, and taking advantage of the tools and features available to you.

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How to Keep Your International Conference Call on Track

Keep Conference Calls on Track
Keep Conference Calls on Track

How to Keep Your International Conference Call on Track

When it comes to international conference calling, your calls can easily run over your allotted time. Not only can individual speakers dominate the conversation or send the conversation off track, questions and answers sessions at the end of a global collaboration call can quickly gobble up valuable conference calling time.

While you certainly want to answer everyone’s questions, international conference calls that continue beyond the scheduled timeframe can quickly become more expensive than planned for. After all, you pay per participant, per minute.

In addition, participants may be reluctant to join future international conference calls based on fears that their time won’t be respected. Keeping your budget intact and your participants willing to join you in the future requires managing your international conference call to keep it on track.

Create a Global Collaboration Agenda

In order to stay on track, you will need a solid plan for the international conference call. The best approach is to create a global collaboration agenda and map out every topic you want to discuss. Your agenda could be as formal or informal as you need it to be.

For example, you may prefer to keep it simple by listing topics of discussions and assigning time limits to each one such as the following:

• Introductions / icebreakers – five minutes
• Discuss sales figures for quarter 1 − ten minutes
• Brainstorm ideas for increasing sales – ten minutes
• Training opportunities – five minutes
• Company news – five minutes
• Questions and answers – ten minutes

If you prefer more details, your global collaboration agenda could include the names of individual speakers, descriptions, and exact times such as the following:

8:00am – Introductions / icebreakers: Nancy introduces herself and asks each participant, one by one, to do the same.

8:05am – Discuss sales figures for quarter 1: Bob presents first quarter sales figures for the company as a whole. Recognizes Region 2 for top sales performance.

8:15am – Brainstorm ideas for increasing sales: Nancy guides the team through brainstorming session.

8:25am – Training opportunities: John from HR introduces new online learning portal and recommends the social media selling course for each regional manager.

8:30am – Company news: Nancy discusses pending acquisition, reassures team that it’s a beneficial move that brings more opportunities for personal growth.

8:35am – Questions and answers: Nancy and Bob to field questions.

8:45am – international conference call ends.

No matter how detailed you prefer to make your international conference calling agenda, the  most important task is to identify the topics and allot sufficient time for each one.

Share Your Agenda with Participants

Agendas are valuable planning tools for international conference call moderators. However, they’re also useful for your call’s participants. If, in the example above, Nancy were to keep her agenda to herself, Bob and John might not realize that they’re expected to discuss first quarter sales results and training opportunities.

In fact, they’ll likely arrive unprepared because it’s impossible to read Nancy’s mind. Bob may need to excuse himself for a few minutes to find, download, and briefly analyze the latest sales figures. Meanwhile, John, who’s on the spot and unprepared, may discuss the wrong training program.

By sharing her agenda with Bob and John, Nancy is taking another proactive step to ensure that the global collaboration call moves efficiently from one topic to the next and that the exact topics she wants to address are discussed.

In addition to sharing the conference’s agenda with other speakers, consider sharing it with all participants in advance. This gives them a chance to prepare as well, and it shows them how their conference call time will be spent.

Use a Timer during the Conference Call

Use either a stopwatch or a timer during the conference call to ensure that each topic stays within its allotted time period. As the call’s moderator, you should take an active role in managing the call. For example, Nancy might prompt Bob that he has two minutes left to wrap up his presentation by saying, “Bob, this is fascinating.

You have about two minutes left. Would you mind telling us which region had the most sales this quarter and how other regions might emulate their success?”

Allow for Questions and Answers

Scheduling time for questions and answers at the end of an international conference call provides participants with the opportunity to ask questions. It also allows you to revisit topics that may not have had enough time to explore thoroughly earlier.

Make sure to schedule a Q&A session into each international conference call. Doing so gives you a little extra padding should your call run longer than expected. At the same time, if there are no questions, or if the Q&A session ends early, you can release participants from the call a few minutes early. No one appreciates a meeting that runs long, but most everyone appreciates getting out early.

Worldwide Conference Call details

Tips for Better Communication during an International Conference Call

Conference Call Tips for the Moderator
Conference Call Tips

International collaboration using a conference call is a cost effective choice that allows you to accomplish many tasks without the high cost of travel. For example, you can negotiate deals, conduct training, conduct creative brainstorming sessions, get feedback, conduct research, and much more with an international conference call. Just about anything you can do face-to-face, you can do on a teleconference. However, with audio-only conference calls, you may miss non-verbal cues such as facial expressions. In addition, not all callers will recognize one another’s voices. Use these tips to enhance communications during an international conference call.

  • Ask each participant to announce their names and departments before speaking – While you may recognize Glen from accounting’s voice, other participants might not. Asking each participant to quickly say their name and department or job role before they speak helps give context to their comments.
  • Use active listening techniques – Some participants may be difficult to hear or understand for any number of reasons. As the moderator of the international conference call, part of your job is to ensure that everyone is heard and understood. If the sound is muffled or a person’s accent heavy, it’s helpful to repeat what you believe was said and ask the speaker to confirm. For example, you might say, “Barbara from our San Diego logistics office just said our freight contract expires in two weeks. Did I hear that correctly Barbara?”
  • Allow a few minutes for questions and answers at the end – At the end of the international conference call, open up the meeting for questions and answers. As you wrap up the call, thank participants. You might even leave the lines unmuted for a few minutes, allowing for a little friendly banter which builds a sense of camaraderie.

Many international conference calls suffer needlessly because of telephone system quality issues. Many communications problems can be avoided by choosing an international conference calling plan known for quality connections.

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How Do Companies Use International Conference Calling

International Conference Call Sales Tool
Conference Call Sales Tool

How Do Companies Use International Conference Calling?

Companies use international conference calls for all kinds of purposes. For some, the international conference call is a cheap way to keep virtual teams connected. For others, teleconferences are a convenient way to share ideas with a global audience. Some sales professionals use conference calls to pitch their products or negotiate deals. The possibilities are endless. Below are a few ways that businesses of all types have used international conferencing:

  • School is in session – Virtual schools, charter schools, colleges, and other educational institutions often use teleconferences as part of their distance learning programs. For example, students may be required to attend weekly teleconferences where they’ll be able to hear the instructor’s lecture, get their assignments for the week, and have the opportunity to ask questions. Schools also use international conference calling for administrative purposes such as staff meetings and as alternatives to in-person meetings.
  • Legal proceedings – Court reporters, lawyers, and litigation support services firms often use international conference calling to conduct some legal proceedings. Not only does doing so eliminate travel, it’s possible to record conference calls and the calling plan can create an accurate record of who was present during the call.
  • Board meetings – From charitable organizations to Fortune 500 companies, many businesses use international conference calls to hold virtual board meetings with attendees scattered around the world. This saves on travel expenses while accomplishing the agenda items.
  • Mentoring and coaching – Many businesses and entrepreneurs use teleconferences to mentor and coach others. One of the benefits of using an international conference call to host a mentoring or coaching session involves recording the call for later use. Not only can the original attendees benefit from the session, future ones can listen to the call and receive the same information.

These are but a few of the many ways that businesses use international conferencing. How will you use your international conference calling plan?

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The Benefits of Recording Conference Calls

Record Conference Calls
Record Conference Calls

The Benefits of Recording Conference Calls

Recording conference calls is a simple matter of clicking a button in your conference calling dashboard (if this feature is offered by your service provider). While you may not have given much thought to this feature, there are many benefits to recording conference calls. Below are just a few creative ideas to prompt you to click that button the next time you host a conference call.

  • You can include participants who were unable to attend the live event. By recording conference calls, you make it possible for those with schedule conflicts to listen in after the fact. For example, if you held a conference call and one of your law firm’s attorneys could not attend because she was in court all day, she could listen to the call later that night, the following day, or at some point in the near future. Recording conference calls allows absentee participants to receive the full value of the teleconference despite schedule conflicts. This also reduces your burden because you do not need to rehash everything that was discussed.
  • You can use conference calls to create reusable resources. Conference calls are often used for training purposes. By recording these teleconferences, you can reuse them indefinitely. Not only can this save time and resources, it also ensures that future trainees receive the same exact training and guidance that the original participants received.
  • Participants can listen at their leisure. By recording conference calls, you can offer participants a convenient option for receiving information. Not only can they choose when to listen to the recording, they can do so from virtually anywhere. MP3 recordings, for example, can be downloaded onto portable music players. Your participants could listen to your conference call while jogging, working out at the gym, or commuting to or from the office.
  • You can create podcasts with a conference call. While you may see your conference calling plan as an internal communications tool, your marketing team may see other possibilities. For example, you could create podcasts by recording conference calls and saving them as MP3 files. From there, you can upload them to iTunes or your website if desired. You could even create a series of audio recordings for a paid membership site.

Recording conference calls creates a valuable, reusable resource that you can use time and time again. You can use your MP3 conference call recordings internally or create podcasts for a wider audience. The possibilities are endless!

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US Conference Call Affordable Hosting Includes Canada

Quality Conference Calling
Quality Conference Calling

Hosting an Affordable US Conference Call

US conference call with employees, virtual team members, colleagues, and business partners scattered across the United States, collaboration becomes more challenging. While a variety of online technologies and mobile apps help facilitate collaboration, sometimes you need to connect audibly.

Hosting a U.S. conference call is a great way to get the entire team together for a voice meeting. While free and low-cost conference calling options are available, it’s important to find the right balance between features, quality, and cost. Though paid and toll-free plans may be more expensive than a so-called free US conference call, it is possible to get the features you want at an attractive and affordable rate.

The Problem with Hosting a Free US Conference Call

Free conference calls aren’t as free as they sound. If you choose a free conference call plan with a local phone number in Washington, DC, everyone who calls in from outside of the area will incur toll charges. This option can be attractive in some circumstances but is detrimental in others. For example, some participants may have concerns about how much the call will cost them; as a result, they may opt out of the call. If your U.S. conference call involves an interesting prospect, the prospect could be concerned about the non-local phone number or question your cost sensitivity to others or credibility.

Some free US conference call providers offer free conferences with advertisements. Others use unreliable VoIP telephone networks with poor sound quality. Ads and interference may be fine when you need to collaborate with your assistants but could be disastrous when your professional image is at stake.

If your US conference call will involve customers, prospects, VIPs, or budget-conscious consumers, it’s smarter to provide them with toll-free access to the conference call or use the moderator dial-out option, if available, to call these individuals directly.

US Conference Call Conference – A Paid and Affordable Alternative

In the US, toll-free conference calling rates are extraordinarily low. While you’ll pay for each minute per participant, per minute rates of less than a nickel a minute are available. Imagine a 60 minute U.S. conference call with five participants at a rate of 4 cents per minute. The entire group could collaborate via the US conference call for just $12 per hour.

Holding a toll free U.S. conference call is an affordable choice that doesn’t jeopardize your reputation or subjects your participants to advertisements or toll charges. It’s not necessary to enroll in a long-term conference calling contract, either. Choose a pay-as-you-go conference calling plan and enjoy low-cost conference calling as needed.

See the U.S. conference calling plan here….

Using Conference Calling to Communicate with Teams

Using Conference Calling to Communicate with TeamsWhether you’re forming a committee, organizing a team of service providers, or need to communicate with managers from branch offices, conference calling is a cost-effective means of communication.

All you need is a conference calling plan and the desire to hold group meetings over the phone. With the right calling plan, you can hold impromptu and scheduled conferences with minimal fuss.

Why Use Conference Calling

Any time you have three or more individuals working on a team from different locations, phone communications become more difficult. Rather than holding multiple phone calls, use a conference call to keep everyone informed and engaged.

Conference calling allows you to:

  • Hold group meetings over the phone – Why hold a meeting in the office or a conference center when your entire team can collaborate over the phone?
  • Eliminate costly meeting room rentals – If you usually rent meeting space, a conference calling plan can quickly save your business a substantial amount.
  • Record group conversations for later review – Some conference calling plans feature MP3 recording. You can then email the MP3 file to team members who were unable to attend the teleconference.
  • Eliminate travel expenses – Need to meet with team members from across the country or around the world? Instead of booking flights, rental cars, and hotel rooms, plan a conference call. Just about any topic can be discussed in a teleconference.
  • Improve productivity – Conference calling requires much less time than physical meetings. There’s no commuting, no need to take anyone on a grand office tour, and no need for small talk before and after the meeting. Simply host the conference and begin at the appointed time.
  • Hold impromptu meetings – Conference calling can be used on the spur of the moment, allowing you to hold meetings with key team members during times of crisis or inspiration.

How Conference Calling Works

When you think of conference calls, what comes to mind? Complicated phone systems and speakerphones are no longer the norm.

Today, conference calling service providers make conference calling a simple process that can be carried out on any phone including mobile phones and smartphones.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for an international or domestic conference calling plan, ideally one with low per minute rates and no monthly fees, contracts, or penalties.
  • Notify your participants when the call will take place.
  • Share the conference call’s details including scheduled time, phone number, and “PIN” number with attendees.
  • At the appointed time, everyone dials the phone number, enters the PIN number, and the conference begins.
  • As the conference moderator, you may have several tools available to you in an online dashboard. For example, you should be able to mute and unmute callers, dial participants, and start MP3 recording.
  • Once the conference is over, everyone hangs up. Depending on your conference calling plan, you will most likely be billed per minute, per participant.

Conference calling is a low-cost alternative to holding live meetings.

The more you use your conference calling plan, the more indispensable it will become.

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An In-depth Look At Conference Calling

conf-call
An in-depth look at conference calling

Any successful business will usually agree that communication is crucial to the attainment of business goals and objectives especially for business entities that are global.

Advancement in technology has led to the development of conference call features that enables collaborative meetings over the phone without requiring physically being together in a boardroom.

However, it is recommended to plan well for this event so as to ensure that everything takes place as planned.

Below are some tips on how to plan a conference call like a professional.

Set the date and time:

Just like face-to-face meetings, you have so set a date and time that you intend to hold the meeting. If some of the participants are located in different time zones, ensure that you facter in their local time so as to avoid any conveniences. Bottom line is, the set date and time should be convenient for all the participants, if possible.

Communicate with the attendees:

It is important to send an agenda and communicate it all the associates so as to keep them informed on the specific topics that will be discussed during the meeting. This will help them prepare and save time. In addition, it will provide them with all the relevant information such as dialing instructions as well as Pin Numbers so as to ensure that the meeting takes place smoothly. In addition, you should develop a criterion that will be used to ask and answer questions so as to foster attainment of the meeting objectives.

The Agenda:

The agenda should encompass all the topics to be discussed. Be sure to allocate enough time to each task so as to achieve the expected results. Remember to send the final agenda document to all the members to avoid any confusing during the meeting.

You may want to contact the attendees just to be sure that they received the agenda.

Let us proceed and look at some of the major benefits that can be derived from this form of communication.

Economics:

Conference calls are more economical on time and money since participants do not have to travel to the designated conference area. Instead, all they need to do is ensure that their telephone line or internet connection is working. This in turn helps businesses save thousands of dollars that could have would have been spent on housing and transport costs.

Convenience:

Most conferences calling services can be accessed from virtually all online platforms. Hence, businesses are able to still hold meetings and carry on with their daily business activities conveniently. In addition, it is possible to re-organize or re-schedule the meetings in case of any unforeseen occurrence easily. It is also important to note that this mode of communication is not prone to various problems such as traffic jams, flight delays and a long list of other items associated with meetings in another city or country.

Secure:

Virtually all businesses have strict confidentiality rules. These calls are totally safe and secure since only the participants have access to the system. All attendees will have their caller ID’s visible to the host who uses the free online roster feature.

Conference call is indeed the most convenient and modern way of holding corporate meetings especially the international conference call.

We offer the best conference call services at very affordable rates. In order to meet diverse client needs, we have tailored out services into different packages hence no matter your specific needs we have a solution for you.

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The Conference Call Bringing Your Business into the 21st Century

Making your mark

In today’s world, it seems as though business is only getting bigger and a lot more complicated. As the world of communication technology continues to expand on a global basis, it can be easy to get lost in the mix, not knowing exactly what you need to help your business thrive in the long run. With the advancement of technology, terms like “foreign country” seem to not really apply anymore, as it is become a lot easier for people to communicate with each other on a worldwide basis. And because of this, it is very important for your business to make sure that it is on the top of its game, that way you can securely make your mark on the 21st century.

THE INTERNET HAS BROUGHT US TOGETHER

If there is one thing that the Internet has done for us, it has brought us the ability to communicate our business needs no matter where a person may be. Whether we are making a sales pitch to a potential client in China, or if we are discussing investor relations with co-workers in India, or even if we’re having a general board meeting with executives in Canada, the Internet has made it extremely easy to make this type of communication possible. Because of the Internet, the world of the conference call has forever been changed.

POPULARITY IS GROWING

Ever since the Internet allowed for such communication, the idea of a conference call has grown dramatically, oftentimes being one of the official forms of communications between business executives. Whether it through a networking program or a video conference calling software, the popularity of organizing a meeting of this type has grown a lot over the past couple years and it will only continue to grow as technology continues to improve.

MOVING PAST CHAT ROOMS AND MESSAGE BOARDS

In our world today, group communication through message boards and chat rooms are just not good enough. If you are communicating through a message board, things may seem a little bit too impersonal, things do not happen in real time, and you will most likely be reading through a lot more useless information than you need to read through. When it comes to chat rooms, things can get a little too jumbled and a little too chatty. Yes, you are communicating with each other in real time, so it is a lot better than a message board, but again, it does not feature any of the personalization and customization that a conference call provides.

VOICE INFLECTIONS

With conference calls, you will be able to understand and use voice inflections. Voice inflections are very important in the world of communication because it helps you understand what someone else is saying and how they are feeling about the given topic. Chat rooms and message boards or any other type of typing interface will not allow you the luxury of doing that. When you are talking to someone, you will want to have a full understanding of their various range of emotions, making it easy for you to reply in a manner that fits the situation.

RELATIONAL VERSUS INFORMATIONAL

Message boards and chat rooms are typically informational, whereas a conference call capitalizes on how relational communication can be. In fact, the informational and relational difference between these forms of communication is the biggest difference you will ever see in the world of communication. If you are looking to make a sale, you will make a sale by forming a relationship with a customer, not by simply relaying information.

In another example of the difference, you cannot simply encourage your employees by simply relaying information to them. You can encourage and motivate your employees by building relations with them, something that chat rooms and message boards cannot do.

OTHER IMPORTANT BENEFITS OF THE CONFERENCE CALL

  1. The sound quality is exceptionally high, meaning that you will hear everything that you need to hear with no confusion or misunderstandings.
  2. You will be able to record your meetings easily for future reference. Many conference call providers allow for you to playback all conversations in a matter of minutes.
  3. Having a great conference call service will save you a lot of money and possibly make you a lot money as well. You should never sacrifice good communication because of money. There are plenty of pricing options available for you to consider.

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