The recession that hit many companies across the United States led to cost-cutting measures being imposed. One way that businesses cut costs was by reducing the number of in-person meetings. This allowed them to minimize their annual travel budget as well as minimize the time that key employees were away from work. As a result, companies began doing more conference calls over the phone or using VoIP software.

While this change did help companies cut expenses, it also presented a new challenge for employees, many of whom never led conference calls before. Some approached conference calls with a lackadaisical approach. They would be disengaged from the conference call or try to multitask during the conference call. The negative ramifications of this are obvious. Now many businesses are focused on teaching their employees how to do conferences the right way.

Use the Conferencing Software before the Meeting

One mistake that was minimizing the effectiveness of conference calls was that many times the meeting was the first time that the employees, including the conference leader, had used the conferencing or webinar software. This brought about a series of glitches that wasted time and minimized the impact of the meeting. It is good to set up a practice call and learn the features of the software that will be used, including how to mute and unmute callers.

Have the Right Hardware for the Job

A conference call or web presentation is pointless if the speaker cannot be heard or if the speaker cannot hear other participants. Purchasing high-quality wireless and wired headsets, as well as external mics and speakers from online stores like Headsetplus.com can drastically improve the quality and smoothness of the conference.

Prepare for Worst-Case Scenarios

A constant with technology is that it will fail. So having a backup plan that may include a digital copy of the agenda is a perfect way to plan for the what if’s. If something goes wrong during the seminar, participants can be instructed to switch over to the presentation that they were sent electronically.

Connect to the Conference Early

By connecting to the conference 10 to 15 minutes before the meeting starts, the conference administrator will be able to serve as a host. They will get to know the people who log into the meeting and make sure that everyone has the information they were emailed, that they have it open on their computer, and that they have no problems with their connections.

As conferencing technology improves, businesses will rely on it more for communication across the country and internationally. With training and preparation, a conference administrator can ensure that their attendees are engaged and actively participating.

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .