Thursday, 1 January 2009

Training tip: Teleconference Don'ts

Esther Schindler of has a great article on PC World, listing 17 Telecommuting Disadvantages. One of them, #8,  is all about the annoyances of teleconferences -- but if you flip those annoyances around, they become training tips.

...people who lead teleconferences (with a half dozen participants) and start out by saying, "Who's here?" Doing so makes everyone on the phone wonder if it's their turn to speak up...  

Tip: take roll call instead, using the list of invited participants. Starting out this way also puts you squarely in control of the meeting. If possible, use web conferencing where rollcall is always available on the screen.

Organizers who show up late. Telecommuters are stuck listening to music-on-hold for ten minutes, during which they wonder, "Was today the right day? Did I miss the meeting?"  

Tip: Be there early if you're leading a session. Just like in the classroom, being early means you get to welcome everyone individually and establish rapport before the group session starts.

People who refer to a lot of visuals without bothering to send the file to telecommuters; and then they don't refer aloud to the data they're pointing at. 

Tip: Reference at least the slide title (and slide number -- you do put slide numbers on your slides, don't you?) when referring to visuals.

[A big thank you to Twitter user Reg Saddler (zaibatsu) for the link to this great article!]

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