Many Area Directors oversee large geographical areas that make having regular in-person meetings with RCs, board members, etc., nearly impossible. In these situations, hosting weekly/monthly conference calls are best. Here are 11 simple tips that will make your conference calls easy, constructive and efficient.
Read AYSO's 11 simple conference call tips:
- Quiet please! Try to eliminate all background noises - go into a private room, and refrain from chewing food, shuffling papers, etc.
- Designate a leader. This person is the call manager, whose job it is to determine who has the floor so there aren't a lot of people speaking at once.
- Be punctual. If you're the moderater/call manager, be sure to call in a couple minutes early so that you're the first one on the line to greet others as they arrive.
- Do a roll call. Make sure that everyone that is supposed to be on the call is present by having callers take turns stating their name and what they represent. Ex: "John Smith from Region 34"
- State the rules. Let callers know the "call ettiquette" beforehand so that everyone begins on the same page.
- Who are you? Identify yourself before talking - don't take for granted that everyone recognizes your voice. It's important to state your name.
- Who are they? Identify who you're addressing - because you can't see each other, always state the name of the person that you're responding to.
- Wait your turn. Like in any other meeting, wait for someone to finish speaking before saying anything. That way, voices won't get jumbled and there will be less confusion.
- Follow an agenda. Remember to send out a call agenda to everyone beforehand so that callers can follow along and make sure that they're on the same page. Also, this help the call manager stay on task.
- Designate a time for responses. Instead of waiting for anyone to jump in to comment on a point just made (which can result in everyone speaking at once) ask callers to comment in sequence. Ex: "First we'll hear from John, then Sally, thenâ€¦"
- Wrap it up. End the call by reminding everyone of the points made during the conference, and a checklist of what specific people need to attend to if applicable.