12 Rules for Managing Conference Calls to Get Better Results
4. I create a list of any pre-conference call tasks that participants need to complete (for example, someone has to create a presentation), as well as any materials participants are expected to have on hand during the call (such as a proposal we are to review).
Make it easy for the other participants.
5. Unless it's a rare emergency meeting, I always issue invitations at least 24 hours in advance. Since we are in different time zones, someone's workday may have already ended before I ease into my morning, and they may not have time to see and respond to the invite until the following day.
6. I provide most of the relevant information within the meeting request itself. Apart from the phone number and access code to dial in with (even if we use the same details every single week), I include the agenda and my list of tasks and materials. This sets everyone's expectations from the meetings and precludes wasting time explaining the purpose of the call during the call itself.
Respect everyone's time.
7. I always start the call on time. Waiting for late arrivals wastes precious time and inconveniences those who arrived on time. If the meeting can't start because an integral person hasn't dialed in, I'll wait for a maximum of ten minutes, thank everyone on the call and reschedule the meeting.
8. I moderate the discussion and make sure we stick to the agenda. If the discussion goes off-track, I'll guide it back to the topic at hand. This is critical to ensuring that the key objectives of the meeting are achieved within the scheduled time. I make a note of any off-topic issues and schedule a separate meeting (that may not require all the participants) to discuss those or settle it via email.