September 22, 2010

Presenting via Conference Call

Some initial thoughts on how to be an effective and engaging presenter via teleconference:
  • Announce yourself each time you speak. Not all listeners will remember the association between your voice and your name. People may have joined the call since you last spoke. And this simple, gracious act draws attention to what you are about to say.
  • Summarize your points after you make them. Most likely, listeners will be multitasking, and offering a summary focuses their attention. It also provides a strong conclusion to your communication.
  • Summarize the information to which you are connecting your point. For example, "Earlier, Jane said x. I am going to build on the idea of x by adding..."
  • If you are facilitating, take the time to summarize the ensuing conversation throughout the call.
  • Provide examples. Say, "Let me give you an example..." Research shows that listener attention is sparked by the announcement of a forthcoming example.
  • Share stories. Short and simple stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • Think radio. Good radio broadcasters paint a picture with words. Provide sensory details so that your listeners can picture what you are talking about.
  • Stand up! Again, think radio: you need to convey energy through the phone lines, and the best way to do this is to bring energy into your voice through your body. Stand up, move around. Invest in a good headset.
  • Smile! A smile conveys energy and passion. Try it: say "Hello" while smiling, and then without smiling.
  • Look at yourself. Catch your reflection on your computer screen, or in your window. Are you relaxed? Do you look like someone with whom you would like to speak? Provide your listeners with the same level of bodily engagement that you would if you were meeting with them in person.

1 comment:

  1. These are really great tips, Thaler. Some of them apply to phone job interviews, too.



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