How to get your message across in a teleconference

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25 September 2017
Written by Speak First Linked-in icon

Like a lot of people I now spend much of my business life on teleconference calls. Some of them can be productive, but a lot of them result in frustration as you can’t hear what others say, people talk too much to fill the empty space and there are few tangible actions.

Where most people will have learnt to communicate from seeing others do things well, teleconferences can be frustrating as there aren’t any clear guidelines for how to be effective. So here are some key things to bear in mind as you embark on your next conference call to maximise your impact and effectiveness:

 A man frustrated with how his video conference is going.

Using your voice well
  • Keep your energy high – standing up can help
  • Aim to speak between 130 and 170 wpm – this is the optimum pace
  • Enunciate to improve clarity – especially where there are consonants at the end of the word
  • Vary your pitch to avoid being monotone
  • Use a warm, interested tone
  • Pause rather than ‘um’ and ‘er’
  • Emphasise key words and ideas to make them memorable
Getting your message across
  • Prepare ahead of time – this helps you plan your contributions
  • Wait for a pause if you can – aiming for a pause is polite
  • Interrupt if you have to – with talkative, strong groups be prepared to jump in
  • Say “excuse me…” – this is a way to interrupt and still be polite
  • Make sure you’re not muted – you’ll be frustrated if you forget and miss the moment
  • Appeal to the leader – the leader should help everyone to get ‘air space
  • Use the speaker’s name – this gains their attention and indicates you want to speak
  • Be assertive – you have the right to make points and have them considered