(Note: This is Part One in a three part series)
When it comes to making a phone call today, you have a number of options.
From prehistoric landlines to super-cool mobile phones – and all the specialty apps in between – there’s no shortage of the ways for business professionals to get connected today.
Once relegated to our desks or huddled around that spherical object we call a conference phone, the proliferation of choices in communications has enabled us to virtually meet from anywhere (and any device) these days.
Wireless networks have been great for many people’s work-life balance, making it easier and more convenient to do business and arming us all with a sense of super-productivity but, it often comes at the expense of the quality of the meeting.
What’s that you said? Wait a second; let me adjust my headset. Hey I’m sorry, I got dropped and had to dial back in; what were you saying? Hello, hello, guys, ah, are you, umm, there….
Are you at the airport? What’s all the honking? I’m having trouble hearing you over the soccer game in the background.
We’ve all been there before. A suboptimal use of money, resources, time and something that can get embarrassing pretty quickly; especially if you’re the one leading the call.
The meeting is a performance and your roadies and sound-check guys just hung you out to dry.
So what you say? Who cares? It happens all the time.
Yet, have you ever really thought about the impact of this experience on your clients, meeting attendees and peers? After all, are they paying you for the cream of the crop or the bottom of the barrel? Even if they don’t explicitly complain, they probably leave the call thinking “That wasn’t a very pleasant experience.”
That’s why it’s important to understand that the choices you make before you dial-in, makes all the difference on the quality and reliability of your performance.
You need to pick the right tool for the job or run the very real risk of performing inadequately.
For example, if you are going to be leading an hour-long kickoff call with a new client, your mobile phone is not your best choice for voice. You’re going to want a high-quality, reliable voice line and you’re going to want to be in a relatively quiet place.
On the other hand, if you’re just in the background of the meeting listening, your mobile phone (on mute) might be great because you can do that AND drive to your next destination.
This isn’t an attack on mobile phones – we love them and use them all the time – even for virtual meetings.
All of this is to say that while they are great for some things, they are not great for everything. Especially, formal, important, long duration virtual meetings.
Over the next two posts in the series, we will take a deeper dive into why this is the case and how improper voice selection can quickly turn your five-star performance into a one-star call.