Conference Call Dial-Ins... Ugh!!

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Successful project management is all about effective and efficient communication, often across disparate and/or virtual teams with conference calls being a very common tool of choice. Unfortunately, conference calling tools and techniques introduce some pretty annoying inefficien​​cies.

Have you suffered the pain of trying to memorize and type an access code for a conference call into your mobile phone while driving? Have you experienced the pain of squinting at an access code with tiny font andnospaces in a meeting invite while trying to enter the code before the system hangs up? Well, I have…

According to a survey conducted a few years ago by Zogby International, over 10 minutes are taken up by distractions on a typical conference call. That’s the equivalent of 23% of time spent on conference calls being wasted. If you work out what this translates to when it comes to the productivity loss of all of the participants on these calls, it actually equates to $5.5 billion per annum of lost value. This is a shocking number, almost twice the amount actually spent of conferencing services in the first place!

While some of the offending distractions have to do with technology quirks, there is a way to make the simple act of dialing in to the meeting much faster and easier. In the name of more efficient and effective communication, here are a couple of simple tips related to automating dialing into conference calls that may save you, your clients and colleagues a few moments and some stress.

Create a ‘Conference Call Leader’ Contact in your mobile phone that automatically dials all the extra inputs to start a call that you’re hosting:

Format: 1(800)491-0954,,5551235555#,,*1122#1

Description: Conf Call Number, pause, Your Personal Entry Code, pause, asterisk and Your Leader Code, Pound 1 to start call

Note: Also create a ‘Conference Call Participant’ Contact in your mobile phone for when you’re joining someone else’s call and don’t want any automation saved

Result: Call this contact an automatically join the call as the leader

Create your Outlook meeting invitations with a short-cut link for your guests to automate the entry of the access code from their mobile phone:

Format: 1(800)491-0954,,5551235555#

Description: Conf Call Number, pause, Entry Code with Pound

Result: Guests will be able to tap the location from the Outlook App on their mobile and automatically join as a participant

Here’s hoping that these simple tricks take the productivity sink out of your conference calls, by just a bit!​