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Knowing how to successfully create a conference call saves time and enables you to succeed when communicating with customers and stakeholders. While it may sound like an involved process, it really is not even that you have the right tools to bring it all together. Below, we get into what you need to get started, as well as the steps you need to take to learn how to set up a conference call as if it were of a different nature.
Why it’s worth learning to make conference calls
Do you work with a team that constantly needs to communicate with other team members or stakeholders? When you realize that not everyone can skip a video call because they are out of the office, their hours are different from yours, or they are a distant team member tuning in from halfway around the world, you begin to understand the importance of conference calling.
Conference calls allow large groups of people to meet either via video or voice calls. Not everyone is always able to tune in via an online connection. Conference calling facilitates the meeting process no matter how team members are able to connect.
In terms of communication, this can be a huge advantage, especially if your team is large and scattered around different places. Below we go deeper into everything you need to make conference calls a reality for you.
The investment needed to create conference calls
What exactly do you need to create and run conference calls when you need it? To easily set up a conference call, you need a reliable conference call solution like RingCentral. While you can try to do it yourself from scratch by putting many different tools together, RingCentral is tailored specifically for companies to run conference calls and video conferencing.
You will need to set aside some time to learn the ins and outs of using RingCentral once you have checked it out and chosen a plan that works for your business. Then you want to make sure you have updated hardware that is reliable and ready to host your conference.
Once you have made sure you have both hardware and software, in this case RingCentral and a computer (or phone), you are ready to start setting up your conference calling system. When you do it for the first time, it becomes easier to do from there and out. But first you need to get a few key points down.
6 steps to set up your first conference call
Let’s dive right into the step-by-step process of setting up a conference call with RingCentral.
# 1 – Sign up for RingCentral
At the discretion of our egg expert, RingCentral is one of the leaders in the space in terms of conference calling features. Its conference calling tools make it easy to connect with your team, no matter where they are in the world or what hardware they have access to.
Let’s take a brief look at the different price levels:
Essentials – $ 19.99 pr. User per. Month Standard – $ 24.99 per. User per. Month Premium – $ 34.99 per. User per. Month Ultimate – $ 49.99 per. User per. Month
Its most popular Premium plan at $ 34.99 per. User per. Month comes with access to tools such as video conferencing with up to 200 participants, custom integrations and automatic call recording. RingCentral also offers conference room rental options if you are interested in them.
Remember that RingCentral is not only good at making conference calls. It is also a great tool to host regular video conferencing, manage calls and even be a robust solution for call center needs. It’s a triple threat of sorts. So it can easily cover multiple business needs.
Once you have decided which plan you want and sign up, you are ready to access the dashboard where you can start planning your future conferences.
# 2 – Gather your meeting information
Everyone signed up? Well. Next, you will collect your meeting data. Once you are logged in to your RingCentral dashboard, you will want to get hold of your call number as well as all your participant codes.
What is a call number exactly? It is simply a specific conference call that lets more than one person join a call at one time. This is what allows more than one person to speak at the same time.
A participant code is what your conference participants will use to ensure they participate in the right conference call. The last thing you want is for your conference attendees to attend the wrong conference call. RingCentral makes this an easy task by assigning a specific call number to your business once you are signed up.
From there, each employee on your plan gets their own set of both participant and host codes if they either want to attend a conference call or host one themselves. Easy, right? Then you send your call invitations.
# 3 – Set your conference details and send your invitations
Setting up your conference call details is a fairly straightforward task. You select the dates and check whether the scheduled conference call is a recurring meeting or a one-time thing. You can even set the color that the meeting should appear in your calendar.
From there, you can also add details as if you want to send a conference call reminder ten minutes before it should start. You can then edit the messages in your email and review your settings before sending your conference call invitations.
With RingCentral, there are two ways to send your conference call requests. Neither of them is better than the other. You simply want to use the one that works best for you.
The first option is to simply send a link to conference calls to all involved. The second option is to send your call number for conference calls and additional information via text message, email or chat.
RingCentral allows you to make conference calls whenever you want or you can schedule them in advance. A great conference call hack is to integrate RingCentral with tools like Google Calendar and Outlook.
When you email conference call invitations and your attendees agree, it is automatically added to their calendar at a time that matches their time zone. This helps your conference participants automate the scheduling process, resulting in fewer missed calls.
# 4 – Call it
It’s conference call day. You will want to call a few minutes before it is set to start if you are hosting to make sure you iron out any last minute snaps.
Here you need to use your host code to enter the conference call. This ensures that you have access to host tools that help you handle the call as it continues.
Using the host code gives you full power over the call. You can choose which tools you want to use, who you allow in the call, mute certain people, and start and end the call for everyone.
# 5 – Start the meeting when everyone has signed up
And voila! You are all ready to start the meeting when you see that all participants have signed up and are ready to go.
Each participant will be able to participate with their unique password, whether it is through calls or video. Next, we’ll look at how you can create and run a conference call directly from your phone.
# 6 – To run a conference call through your phone
The beauty of conference calling is that you do not need any special equipment or even a desktop computer. You can easily create and host one via your phone. RingCentral makes it easy.
First you want to download RingCentral’s mobile app. Once logged in, you go through pretty much the same steps that you take when setting up your conference call from a desktop computer.
When you are ready to share your conference call information, you can send it either by email or SMS. Come call time, users can join you via their own smart devices, computer or landline.
Some Conference Calls Tips and Tricks for Best Practices
This conference call guide could not be complete if we did not include some of the best practices for conference calling. If this’s your first time making a conference call, you’ll probably want to brush up on some conference calls that should and shouldn’t.
One of the first things to keep in mind when hosting a conference call is that having an organized approach to the whole situation will yield better results than approaching it in an unstructured way.
Do each member of the conference call know each other? If not, it may be worth taking some time in the beginning for each participant to introduce themselves.
Granted, this can be harder the bigger your conference call gets. But walking around and getting everyone to present themselves can be valuable, especially for those callers who only tune in via voice calls with no graphics to help them add context to the situation.
Next, you would like to make important announcements, set general rules for the meeting and let the participants know the agenda for the call. You will also be transparent and let the participants know if this meeting and everything that has been said in it will be recorded and what this recording will be used for.
How do the participants know when it is appropriate to call in and speak their opinion or make suggestions? These are the kinds of things you want to think about before the meeting takes place, so you know that you are approaching the conference call with clear expectations and rules that make the meeting as fruitful as possible.
From there, you as the host are responsible for setting the course for the meeting and making sure people do not get off track. Is there a checklist of topics to discuss? Is there an agenda for questions and plans to be completed?
Managing your conference meetings the way you want them to go is the best way to ensure you are not wasting anyone’s time. When you have finished your conference agenda and everyone is signing, it is good practice to send everyone who attended (and maybe even those who could not reach it) a brief overview of the most important points and a copy of the recording (if you plan to share it with them).
As you can see, the technical setup of a conference call is only half the battle. Fortunately, software like RingCentral makes it easy to manage.
The other half of successfully conducting conference calls, especially with large teams, manages participation and ensures that your meeting stays on track.
You now know the step-by-step process of setting up a meeting with a reliable calling solution like RingCentral. However, RingCentral may not be your best choice. We understand that.
That’s why we’ve spent hours comparing some of the best conference call software out there to give you a thorough list of the best options for you, depending on your specific needs. See our full list of top picks right here.
Learning how to set up and manage conference calls can be great. But that’s not all there is to know. Are you looking for project management tools to help you keep track of all your team’s projects? Read our guide to the best project management tools.
If you want to learn more about VoIP phone service options out there, here’s where to get started.
And finally, if you are a service-based business, check out our in-depth guide to the best scheduling software for appointment on the market to automate your scheduling efforts for appointment and have increased your attendance.
This article was written by today’s Daily Eggspert.
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