Nearly 6.5 million people have viewed Tripp and Tyler’s YouTube video “A Conference Call in Real Life" (see player below). It’s a hilarious portrayal of what teleconference meetings would look like if they took place face to face, but with all the usual audio-only oddities.
From the constant interruptions as the meeting gets underway to the dog barking in the background to the technological difficulties, the video nails exactly why conference calls can be so frustrating. Here are a few of the challenges they highlight.
It’s tough to start any meeting promptly. Some people show up early and grow bored waiting, while others figure they’ll be just a little late to avoid waiting, and still others try their best to get in on time but just can’t make it. For conference calls, delays can be exacerbated by the need to enter long codes or go through several prompts before joining. Meanwhile, the whole meeting suffers from interruptions and attempts to fill in latecomers.
The best way to manage these issues is to be proactive. As suggested in Adigo’s Project Management Meeting Guide, setting clear ground rules in advance of the meeting can be very helpful. Making it easier for participants to join the call with customized call prompts should help, too.
We all love our pets, but the background noise they can create is not welcome on conference calls. A loud “Woof! Woof!” is cringe-worthy, and other noises can be just as bad. In a Wall Street Journal post, “Surviving a Conference Call,” sales executive Erica Pearce recollects being interrupted by a participant vacuuming. Worse yet, she notes, was when a participant put the group on hold and fed elevator music into the call so loudly no one could hear anything else! What choice did the other participants have but to disconnect and try to hold the meeting again some other time?
Unfortunately, it seems people just can’t seem to remember to mute themselves when they aren’t speaking. Luckily, options to manage noise do exist. Adigo, for example, gives hosts the ability to locate the source of the noise and mute the line when needed. (Check out our International Conference Calling Evaluation Guide for more information.)
Have you ever had someone turn your meeting into a tech support session? They can’t see the presentation, can’t find the tools they need, or they chat in that they can’t hear the audio. Everyone tries to help them, and your meeting is derailed for several minutes. Or maybe they’re constantly coming in and out of the meeting because the call dropped, and no one knows they’ve disappeared until they come back online.
How do we overcome these challenges? How about by making it easier for participants to join the call or web conference and making the technology more reliable? It’s also helpful to have participants test out technology beforehand so they can resolve issues in advance, and then they (and everyone else) can focus on the content being presented during the meeting.
Tripp and Tyler’s YouTube video is so funny because it resonates with anyone who’s endured a bad conference call. Of course, while it’s very funny in the video, it’s not so funny for your own meetings! Luckily, there are simple but powerful solutions to most of the waiting woes, noise nuisances, and tech tortures you might encounter. The question is, why aren’t more people taking advantage of those solutions instead of enduring the hassles? We think it’s because… wait… Woof! Woof! Rex, get down!... Sorry, what were we saying?
Oh yeah. We think it’s often because people are focused on the call content, as they should be. You shouldn’t have to worry about the technical aspects. For Adigo customers, that is exactly the case. We tune each account to the specific needs of their types of calls. We hold our customers’ hand to ensure their calls are flawless.
Learn how to survive you next conference call by optimizing your conferencing services. Or just give us a toll free call at (888)552-3446.
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