Moderating a conference call begins long before the call starts. By providing an agenda with clear and concise topics of conversation and what the expected outcome or goals of the conversation are, you allow all parties to prepare and come to the call with those goals in mind. Scheduling the appropriate amount of time for each item on the agenda and sticking to that time allocation is also key to moderating a call and achieving the goals that have been set. Leave time for Q&A and expanded discussions to take into account new ideas that typically surface when groups of people come together to work towards a unified goal.
- If you feel that the call is going off track, ask specific and directed questions to bring the conversation back to the topic at hand.
- Be sure to use a conference call service that has the necessary conferencing features for managing your call and participants throughout.
- If you are using audio and visual, make sure that you have practiced beforehand and that you are talking to the visual that is showing.
- Recap the call. Do this at the end of the call as well as in an email after the call. This gives all parties a chance to review and make notes of things that might be missing.