Hosting regular teleconferences can be a boon to your business. They will allow you to easily offer coaching services as an extension of your regular speaking business. Through the use of teleconferences you are able to coach many individuals at one time. This is the secret to leveraging teleconferences and coaching to your advantage. This article is part 2 of a 2 part series designed to help you deal with problems that inevitably come up when hosting teleconferences.
1. What to Do When You Only Have a Few Participants
If you do not have a large list of participants, or you only have 2 to 6 listeners, here are some tricks to use to hide the audience numbers from your listeners. Have them send in their questions to you by email. This will allow you to answer the questions you do receive without revealing how many participants you have. You can take time answering a particular question by commenting that “several people had the same question.” You can apologize that you can’t spend more time with each individual, but that for this teleconference you will only be answering 3 or 4 questions.
2. What to Do When There is Feedback on the Line
If two people on the call have their phones next to or near each other, which can happen if they are in the same room, feedback sometimes is a factor. Ask them to go into separate rooms if possible. If you have to ask participants to do this, keep your tone and demeanor light. Never lose your temper. Always be courteous and family oriented.
3. What to Do if Your Service or the Call Goes Down
Your service or the call going down it is probably the most difficult situation to deal with. Try calling your service back and reconnect. If there are alternative numbers use them. A backup service is not a bad idea. If problems persist, just admit that the service is experiencing a problem and reschedule if possible. It is a good idea to tell participants what to do if the call or service goes down at the beginning of your teleconference during your “housekeeping” portion of the presentation.
4. Avoid Problems by Being Professional and by Being Prepared.
Being professional means you are good, not perfect. Nervousness and imperfection are detractors but not as bad as dumb mistakes. Practice openness, listener respect, participation, and focus. Start and end on time and avoid interruptions as a show of respect for your participants’ time. If you use computer slides to compliment your teleconference, get them right, and keep them interesting without being overloaded on the screen. If you are giving facts or procedures get them right. Give correct names and web addresses. Practice helps confidence.
Remember, regardless of what might go awry in your teleconference, remember, “It’s all small stuff.”