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Tips to conduct a successful teleconference.

The teleconference is rapidly becoming a preferred business meeting method because of its convenience, immediacy and cost effectiveness. A teleconference enables a company to complete an entire meeting - with participants located around the country - for less than the cost of one airline ticket. According to a recent study conducted by Darome Teleconferencing, an international company, the total cost for the average teleconferencing meeting - ten participants convening for 50 minutes - is $170. Compare this to the total cost of airline tickets, accommodation, meals - not to mention valuable time lost - and everyone comes out ahead.

Successful phone business conferences do require advanced planning and basic meeting etiquette.

Meeting moderators need to modify some of the basic procedures used at a traditional meeting and learn some new tricks on managing a session by phone. Some guidelines include: * Identify the subject of the meeting in one sentence * Pinpoint meeting objectives. What do you want to accomplish? * Develop an agenda. Limit the meeting to three or four items. Set a time limit for each item. * Make the conference call reservation * Determine equipment needs, will an ordinary phone suffice? If meetings last longer than half an hour a hands-free, amplified unit is best for comfort. It is important that all participants can be heard, so microphones may be required. * Notify participants. Inform them of date, conference call number (if required) name of moderator, subject and agenda, preparation needed and start and end times. * Prepare and mail printed materials or any visual supplements. * Plan the conference call itself: Arrange for frequent changes in speakers and ample opportunity for dialogue. For example, poll participants for reaction and comment. Or schedule several people to deliver short reports on different aspects of the topic. * When conducting the meeting stick closely to the agenda. Keep it, along with a clock, close at hand. Have people who speak spontaneously identify themselves and pause occasionally to allow others to raise questions. Ensure the meeting is free of interruptions.

If you prepare properly, your teleconference will run smoothly and be productive.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Canadian Institute of Management
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Executive Director's Corner
Author:Milne, John P.
Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Sep 22, 1991
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Next Article:Remarks by Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor Province of Saskatchewan Canadian Institute of Management National Conference Saskatoon - June 21, 1991.

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