Section 9.5

Conference Calls

A conference call may or may not involve speakerphones, but it does involve multiple participants. And, as participants multiply, so do the challenges to efficient, clear communication.

Identify yourself as you begin to speak if listeners might not know it’s you. This applies to the first time you speak and also to your subsequent comments. Of course, if you are the only woman in a group of men or vice versa, people probably won’t have much trouble knowing when it’s you speaking.

Avoid speaking over people. Not only is it rude, but the speaker on the other end will likely miss what you are saying, you will probably miss what he or she is saying, and you will both have to repeat yourselves, wasting everyone’s time.

Also, listen! It can be much more difficult to pay attention when the person speaking to you is not in the room. Do it anyway.

When you are on a conference call, avoid typing or making other tapping sounds, and keep your electronic devices from beeping, ringing, or audibly vibrating. These noises can distract listeners and suggest that your focus is not on the conversation at hand.