When you’re in a conference call with an important client or partner, or you’re new to the team, you’ll likely be eager to make a great first impression. Sounding smart on a conference call can let a new client or team know that you’re up for the job and can handle whatever they throw at you.
If you find yourself on an audio conferencing line and you’re not sure what to say or do in order to sound as smart as possible, follow this quick guide on five hacks for appearing smart during conference calls.
1. Know Your Content Beforehand
The first thing you’ll need to do to set yourself apart from the other callers is to know your content inside and out.
Even if you’re just joining a simple introductory call with a new client or partner, you should know everything about your organization and how it can benefit the new people.
Know your prices, products or services inside and out, how long the company has been around, who the management is, etc., etc.
Knowing all of this information will not only help you sound smarter, but will make your new client or partner feel much more comfortable about working with a company that’s confident and knowledgeable.
If you’re giving a presentation or discussing big changes to the company, you must know the content, or else you’ll get left behind and seem like you’re out of touch with what’s going on.
Let’s be honest; no one wants to stop a productive call because one of the callers has no idea what’s going on. Keep yourself informed and updated so that you can have the best possible conference calls and will be able to impress the other callers.
Make sure you have the right information for the call as well. Showing up late to a conference call is just as bad as showing up late to an in-person meeting, so you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the time right and are ready to show up and be productive. Make sure you know whether the call is being hosted via a phone line or digital service as well.
2. Don’t Interrupt
Nothing is ruder than cutting someone off or interrupting their sentence. Someone who constantly interrupts may even be asked to leave the call altogether, and that’s just embarrassing.
Avoid any potential frustration among the callers by keeping quiet until the person who is speaking is finished.
Remaining quiet shows the person you’re not only respectful and courteous, but that you possess the emotional intelligence to not allow emotions to get the better of you during a meeting.
Interrupting serves only to derail the conversation, created a heated environment, and may even scare away potential customers and partners.
Keep your cool during a meeting and always wait for your turn to speak. While you’re waiting, make sure you use the mute button if you have significant background noise.
If you’re at home, things like kids running around, dogs barking, or even a lawnmower going outside can serve as distractions to those in the call. Minimize your background noise as much as possible.
3. Ask Intelligent Questions
What you ask is just as important as when you ask it. If you’re constantly asking silly or repetitive questions, you’re going to seem like you have no idea what’s going on or haven’t been paying attention to the call.
Keep your questions content-related and specific. General questions often don’t have a definitive answer and can cause the conversation to spiral off into another area entirely.
Remember that knowing your content is crucial to a good conference call, and many silly questions can be avoided if you know what’s being discussed in detail.
4. Take Notes
If the call is proceeding at a quicker pace than you’d originally anticipated, you can bring a notepad with you so you can take notes.
You’ll be able to keep up with the information a little better, and you’ll have a written record of everything that was discussed for later review.
This also helps if you get lost or have questions during the call; you can simply refer back to your notes so that you’re not asking empty questions. Chances are, you’ve already written down the answer to your own question.
5. Continue to Educate Yourself
While you can certainly “appear” smart in a conference call, nothing beats genuine intelligence. Taking the time and effort to continually educate yourself will remove the need for deception and help you sound genuinely intelligent when you speak.
One should always be learning new things, and you’ll be amazed at just how much there is to learn. Continually strive to educate yourself in new areas and topics, and don’t stop growing!