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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tips for Teleconferences and Telephone based communication

I, like many others in the globalized business world, spend much of my time on the phone. In particular, chairing and minuting teleconferences, often with a mixture of native and non-native English speakers. Here are my top 5 tips for effective telephone-based communication:
  1. Summarize discussions succinctly and simply at the end of every topic and confirm that key participants understand the agreement(s).
  2. Be conscious of posture and speak from the diaphragm. Standing up also helps with voice projection: a thespian approach to enunciating assists with getting your message across.
  3. Smile as you speak! A friendly tone of voice puts everyone at ease, and we can discern when someone is smiling even without any visual cues.
  4. Further to point 2, speak more slowly and clearly than in a face to face situation. This allows for noise and lag from VOIP connections and transatlantic (or further!) distances.
  5. Don't be afraid to confirm what you understand by paraphrasing someone else, and asking if you're on the same proverbial page.

I'll have more tips on cross-cultural communication in a later post.

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.