How to Lead a Conference Call
Articulate and speak slowly and comfortably. Don't overuse noises like "um" or "uh".
When listening to another speaker, don't over- or under-use "fillers" (words like "uh-huh" that let the speaker know you are still listening). It's okay to use a filler if the speaker has paused, but it's not okay to interrupt with a continuer, or to have dead silence on the line for an uncomfortable period of time. Silence can be a powerful communication tool to allow for understanding of complex ideas and time to formulate questions.
Pause between ideas, every three to five sentences, to give non-native speakers an opportunity to understand before continuing. This is a great time to politely confirm that everyone participating understands what has been said up to this point. Most people will appreciate being given a chance to ask for clarification.
During the call, regularly remind participants that they may ask for clarification. Tell them that it is important to you that they understand. Give them permission to ask for clarification.
"Is that comprehensible?", "Was I comprehensible?", or "What questions do you have?" are all good ways to check for understanding. Do not rush into the next topic. Be sure to give at least 30 seconds between topics for questions and clarification. At the end of each topic, rephrase important details and actions, even if participants do not ask for clarification.
A leader ensures that comprehension is a priority. They concentrate on creating a communication friendly environment for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.
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