Tips for effective International Conference Calling
As you host international conference calls, it is important that you and your participants feel they were professional and productive at the same time. When you hang up from your international conference call, you want to feel that you accomplished your objectives and didn’t just waste 30 minutes of you or your attendees time. International conference calls can be stressful and puzzling, so we’ve created these useful instructions and suggestions to help make sure they are a success.
Provide the Attendees the Right International Toll-Free or Toll Conference call Dial-in Number
Communique Conferencing offers three methods to connect international participants to your conference call (a) International Toll Free access numbers (97 countries): callers dial a “toll-free” number that works in each country which means there is no cost to the caller (b) international local access (23 countries) numbers: callers dial a local phone number for the country/city listed to join your conference call. (c) Dial out: You press *0 to have the operator dial out to connect the attendee into your conference call. To view your complete and up-to-date list of available international toll-free and local access numbers:
- Go to http://www.meetingconnect.net/l/dial-in-number-lookup.php
- Enter your conference code and click “View Numbers”
Check for Any International Dialing Restrictions Before Sending Out Invites to Attendees
Several countries block calling toll-free numbers from mobile phones. This is not anything specific to Communique Conferencing but an overall restriction imposed by the country on all toll-free calls. Click here InternationalGNA_NumberRestrictions2013 to view a list of restrictions by country.
International Conference Calling Etiquette
Calling different countries around the globe can be complicated. Review these helpful tips before your next meeting with international participants.
Know Your International Time Zones
It is important to understand the time of the call in both the U.S. and all international locations of your participants. Timeanddate.com makes it easy to plan your call across multiple time zones.
Research to Understand Your Participants’ Culture
Business etiquette differs from country to country. To make a great impression, take the time to research and learn about the culture of your participants’ country. Should you use first or last names when addressing participants? Are formal or informal presentations customary? Garner huge rewards with these small efforts.
Be Prepared to Minimize Your Language Barrier
E-mail relevant presentations or notes before your conference call. Having this information to review prior to your call may help your participants with language barriers to prepare for your meeting. It will also give them more confidence to ask questions during your meeting. Or better yet, use one of our web conferencing solutions. Everyone can see what you are talking about and you’ll have a more productive meeting.
Remember to be on Time for Your Meeting
Being just five minutes late in certain countries is enough to upset your conference call participants. If you are late to your meeting, make sure to apologize and briefly explain your delay. The best rule of thumb is to be on your conference call before your participants join.
Take Your Time When Speaking
Be aware of how fast you speak, especially if a language barrier is at hand. Americans usually speak more rapidly than other cultures. Make a conscious effort to ensure you are speaking clearly and slowly. In addition, stop occasionally to ask your participants if they are following along.
Translate Your Conference Call
Ease your participants’ anxiety over the potential of a language barrier. Ask us about our interpretation services to help keep your communication lines open and get your word out around the world.
- Consecutive Interpretation: This is the most common form of interpretation. A speaker speaks, and then pauses for an interpreter to render what is said. During your conference the interpreter(s) and all participants are in the same conference and everyone hears all the languages that are spoken.
- Simultaneous Interpretation: Separate conferences are held for each language that is spoken. The speak hosts the main call in English as interpreters simultaneously render what is spoken in separate conferences. This allows for a conference free of pauses and interruptions.
Watch What You Say
Be careful of your use of humor and slang, as they don’t typically translate well.This also applies with people who may speak the same language as you. People often take what you say literally if they are not familiar with your culture.
Offer Alternate Access to Your Conference Call
At times, regardless of the amount of preparation, it is nearly impossible to arrange a suitable time for all international participants to join your conference call. Our service includes Record & Playback options for those participants that missed your call so they can listen to your meeting at their convenience.
Contact us to learn more about our international conference call options, web conferencing, interpretation services and Record & Playback to ensure you have the most effective and productive conference calls.