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"There are two types of speakers: those who are nervous and those who are liars."
Mark Twain


The leader is responsible for capturing and keeping the attention of those on the call.  If they are multitasking, they are not interested.  These guidelines, along with proper planning by the leader, will help insure that no one's time is wasted.

1.  Know exactly what you want your call to accomplish and who should be involved to achieve your goal.  Keep the number of participants to only those needed.  Avoid having anyone on the call that either has nothing to contribute or will not gain value from the time invested.

2.  Send out an agenda well in advance. Let everyone know what they are expected to contribute.

3.  Run your conference calls as you would any effective meeting.  Begin the call on time.  Stick to the time allotted for your agenda items.  If other topics come up, address them at the end of the call if there is time.  If not, set another call to discuss them.  Your audiences will learn that they can count on you to be disciplined and respectful of their time.
 
4.  The impression you make in the first 30-60 seconds of a conference call will determine whether your audience decides to listen. Speak with energy in your voice and use your voice inflection to emphasize key points.  Avoid, at all costs, delivering a monotone, boring, monologue.  Keep people engaged.

5.  Enunciate clearly.  Control your speech rate. 

6.  If you use visuals, include only one point per slide, clearly illustrated.  Otherwise, the slide will cease to do its job of keeping your listeners on point.  Instead, it will become a distraction.

7.  Keep your calls short (less than 30 minutes) and to the point.  Do not ramble.  You should have rehearsed, and have a bulleted outline of what you want to say. 

8.  Let those on your call know whether to interrupt with questions or hold their questions until the end.  Each person, even though they feel everyone should recognize their voice, should identify themselves each time they speak.

9.  Before ending the call, restate the main points, expected next steps, and who is responsible for what.

10.  Send out minutes or notes of what took place in the call to all participants within 24 hours.  You, as the leader, should not try to wear too many hats.  Have someone else be responsible for capturing the meeting in notes and sending them out.  If it is not worth the time to send out the minutes, reconsider whether the call was necessary.