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Entries in Audio (1)


Audio Bridge Etiquette


As IT Consultants specializing in Program/Project management and data centers, we spend a lot of time on audio bridges with clients, partners and suppliers.

One particularly lengthy call gave the opportunity to reflect on what works, and what doesn’t work in audio bridges. 

Here are some pointers:

  • General Meeting Ideas
  • Use an agenda – audio conferences are great for status meetings, updates, and troubleshooting, and not terribly good for brainstorming.  An agenda allows attendees to prepare, focus, and helps keep the meeting on track.
  • Start the meeting on time – Few things infuriate more than punishing everyone attending on time than the words, “Let’s give everyone a few more minutes to join.”  Encourage prompt attendance by starting on time
  • Do a roll call at the beginning of the audio conference.  Levelset all attendees.
  • If you use a handout, distributed in advance, make sure the pages are numbered
  • Take good minutes.  “Good minutes” are action item oriented, along with key decisions and risks.
  • Audio Bridge Specifics
  • As you join the call, announce yourself.  If you have to drop from the call, announce your leaving and your intentions to rejoin.
  • As you speak on the call, get into the habit of announcing yourself.  “This is Gary, and……”  Once everyone knows everyone’s voice, you can eliminate this step
  • When not speaking, mute your microphone.  Nobody wants to hear your order at Starbucks or “home sounds (kids crying, dogs barking.)
  • I often put long calls on the speaker of a speakerphone rather than use a headset.  I find it less tiring.
  • Assume out of band discussions will take place, either via email, text, or instant message.  This means people will not always be paying attention.  That said, sometimes goodness comes from those discussions.
  • Assume there will be other people “lurking” on the bridge, especially if there is a production issue.  Executives will often join bridge calls to get “the feel” from the participants.  Keep the conversation professional.
  • Technical
  • If you use a professional service, like an Intercall or WebEx, you can “drop” callers where there are noises.  Use these features rather than disrupt your call.
  • Do not put the call on hold if you have music on hold. If you do, the other participants will hear your music until you return.  Use MUTE instead.
  • Whenever possible, use a telephone (not cell) to call in to the conference bridge.
  • Make sure there are pauses to solicit responses from participants, particularly if there are participants from overseas when there may be a slight delay.

What pointers would you add?