Let's face it: conference calls are never the easiest way to communicate.
Whether it's confusion on who has to speak next, or the awkwardness when two or three people are talking over each other, sizable conference calls tend to devolve into chaos unless someone structures them.
Here's a conference call script sample that will allow you to chair your next meeting with confidence.
To start, make sure to introduce yourself and anyone you're calling in with. Also, introduce participants that are not in your office if they're unfamiliar to the group.
Hi Marty. This is Larry from Microdot Technology. I'm calling in with Jimmy Wayne, Susan Francis, and Lou Denver. [Pause to allow them to greet]. We also have the Chief Financial Officer, James Fitzpatrick, calling in from LA.
2. Get to the Point
Next, open by giving a brief summary as to why you're meeting, and what you hope to accomplish during the call.
Okay. So we want to come up with a strategy for the Cutlas Software buy out. We need to iron out how we're going to handle transferring the money and drawing up the contracts. Our legal team needs to coordinate with our financial officers, and then I need to sign the paperwork. This is going to be a team effort for all of us on the call.
3. Plan Speaking Order Ahead of Time
Plan out the order that each person will speak in, if you know who you need to hear from. Perhaps even email out an agenda ahead of time so there's no uncertainty about who speaks in what order. That way you can avoid dead air, talking over each other, and generalized confusion that can disrupt the call.
Let's get started with our Legal Counsel, Susan Francis. She's been working on the buy out contract for the past month. Susan, what can you tell us....
Thanks, Susan. The next speaker on our agenda is from our financial services department, James Fitzpatrick. James, tell us what the banks want from us...
So that's all for legal and financial. I'm going to say a few words about where Microdot Technology is headed...
4. Steer Discussion Successfully
You may be able to plan the overall order in which topics are spoken about, but you can't immediately control the conversation as it unfolds. Instead, you have to shape the flow of the conversation in a polite way. One way to do this is to acknowledge the previous person's point and offer an opportunity to continue that particular conversation elsewhere.
Susan, can you hold off on that for just a minute? Lou is going to bring that up.
James, that's a valid point, but let's take it offline after the meeting.
These are all good ideas we're throwing out, but we need to focus on the main goal.
Lou, we can save that for the presentation we're giving the shareholders next week.
That's a fair point. But we don't need to worry about Cutlas. It's the shareholders' issue.
5. Give a Summary of the Call
At the end of the call, give a summary of what your group has accomplished. Highlight how the call brought your team closer to the goal you set in Step 2. And remember to list any tasks that need to be accomplished in the future. Give a tentative date for when you'll meet again. Also, thank everyone for their time.
Alright, nice call everyone. We decided to rewrite the contract, so Susan, please get started on that ASAP. And with the banks, we're going to take a step back and use our own capital to buy out the 8% share remaining with Cutlas Software. Susan, please get those financial records to the shareholders today. We'll meet again when the contract gets finalized. Thanks, guys. Talk to you soon.