If you’re currently on a conference call and you’re reading this, trust me, you’re not alone. It turns out that many have admitted to doing just about anything other than listening closely to what’s said during the call. Let’s be straightforward here, it takes a very talented person to keep everyone engaged in a conference call when only voices are heard, with no visuals. In fact, more than a quarter of those surveyed admitted to falling asleep during a call.
Now this might not sound surprising to you but in case it does, most of us now own at least one mobile device that is capable of participating in conference calls. Since almost everyone is mobile and not confined to a table to take the call, this then backs the question: What exactly are people doing while on conference calls?
Here are some responses worthy of mentioning:
“I was hiking”
“Having a BBQ at my backyard”
“Trying on clothes in a fitting room”
“At the beach working on my tan”
We ventured on a journey to research and find out what people are actually doing. So now we proudly present to you: The 5 things people have admitted to doing while on a conference call. Thanks to the magical mute function on our phones, we can now conveniently carry on with what we’re doing while still being “present” in the call. Yes we’re referring to you guilty people reading this and pretending to be surprised.
- Working on something else
Well not surprising, everyone can multitask right? Two-thirds of those surveyed have admitted that one of the biggest opportunity to get two things done at a time is during a conference call. While overachieving is a good thing, we don’t encourage it as you might unknowingly become too distracted and whatever you are doing plus the call, becomes ineffective.
Surprisingly, more than three out of five people have admitted to emailing while on a call. Although it might sometimes be necessary, you shouldn’t do so unless you can type, read and pay attention to the call at the same time. Otherwise, you will soon find out in your sent items that your email wasn’t as well drafted as you thought it was.
If your mouth is filled with peanuts, you aren’t contributing that much are you? However this is one of the riskiest things to be doing while on a call especially if you’re active and worse still, forgot to put the mute on. Imagine a scenario where you are munching away on your tuna sandwich and suddenly your boss asks for your opinion. Swallow, spit, or chew?
No we’re not talking about squeezing stress balls or hand springs, we’re talking about treadmill stuff. Yup that’s right, exercising while on a conference call. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a treadmill I can hardly breathe! Much to our surprise, some people have reportedly gone for a jog on a treadmill, workout on a bike or even lifting weights while on a call!
- Taking another call
By far the best that we’ve heard, this brings multitasking to a whole new level. People have admitted to taking another call while staying on the conference and we don’t mean short calls, we mean really long calls and holding both handsets to each ear, that kind of stuff.
Here’s a pro tip for you from experience: Let participants in the conference call know that you are expecting a very important call soon. So when they ask for your opinion and you don’t respond, they won’t think that you have already fallen asleep on them.
How to keep your participants engaged
As the moderator of the call, always try to engage users by asking questions to prevent participants from wandering off. This will also make callers feel that their presence matters and are not just listeners. Get emotions into your speech to make things sound a little more exciting, always try to put back what the phone lines have removed even if you’re at the beach.
Nigel Sim for myGC