Teleconferencing Etiquette

Teleconferencing is as much part of today"s business
routine as pens and paper were to conferences of days
gone by. But with new technology comes the necessity
to "mind your manners" when communicating with global
participants.

When you are mid conference call, how do you make it
known that you have something to contribute? Do you
wait until there is a lull in the conversation or do
you just "jump in"?

Did you know that the Japanese will listen to what you
have to say, and then consider what they will answer,
leaving that uncomfortable – to us in the Western
World – silence that we feel compelled to fill up
sometimes with inane chatter!

Unless you are on a video conference, there is no
clear way to interrupt, especially when you are not
familiar with the seniority of all the participants.
Cutting off a colleague may be forgiven but
interrupting the boss – well that is a whole other
ball game!

If possible, discuss this sensitive matter with the
organizer before the meeting takes place. If you are
the organizer, produce an agenda and distribute it in
advance.

Maybe you could factor in a question and answer
segment at the end of each subject being discussed
which would also allow time for other suggestions or
ideas to be tabled. It is important, and to keep the
"flow" of the meeting going, that someone directs
events.

Organization is the universal language used when
setting up a successful teleconference whether it is
"in-house" or international.