Stage fright doesn't only occur in person, it can happen over the phone as well. No one wants to ask feel like they are asking a stupid question, and this applies even more so to people who are new to the company or group. No one wants to look foolish or uninformed. When you have your conference call, you may want feedback from the participants. This feedback can come in the form of questions, comments, and suggestions, and all of this information can be utilized to make improvements and gain a better understanding of the participants wants, needs and concerns. In fact, you should definitely utilize feedback from participants to make your future conference calls even more productive. Unfortunately you may find that many people are hesitant to speak out loud when in a large group. No one wants to be the first to comment, or to offer comments that might be taken as criticism in a large group. Giving your participants the ability to ask questions, offer feedback and commentary anonymously will make them feel more at ease.
Eliminating the stress of asking questions for your participants will benefit you in more ways than you can immediately imagine.
- You will receive more honest feedback: If people do not have to feel like they are being put on the spot, or putting others on the spot, they will feel more comfortable discussing matters. Participants will not feel the need to say what they think you want to hear. Staff will also feel comfortable asking for clarification on projects. This will allow you to better the quality of your call in the future.
- Your call will be more productive: If people feel that they can ask a question without being singled out as the person who asked the question it is very likely that they will ask you about items that many other callers are curious about. This means that your call will generate more information and will be of greater benefit and produce better results. No one wants to be the odd man out. Perhaps you can also arrange for someone you know to be the first to pose a question? Once the flood gates are open, you'll be amazed at how many people do have questions.
- You will foster more group collaboration: Once the Q&A juices get flowing, the likelihood of having a lively and productive group discussion increases dramatically. Once the group gets their creative juices flowing, there's no end to the possibilities that will come to light. New business adventures or new ways to solve tough problems that the group is facing.
Conference calls are all about fostering a sense of collaboration, or learning. By allowing people to ask the questions that they have, anonymously or not, you allow people to make the most out of their conference call experience. If you are a company using conference calls to connect your remote staff, this can lead to better business practices. If you are a person leading a teleconference as part of the revenue stream for your company, you will notice a marked increase in attendance when people feel that the call has value to them. Make your conference calls pay for you by using them to the biggest advantage you can, and sometimes that means allowing people to be anonymous.