How to moderate a conference call

Telefonkonferenzen sind ein wichtiges Instrument in der Geschäftswelt. Oft sind Sie als Sekretärin nicht nur für die Vorbereitung, sondern auch für die Moderation zuständig. Lesen Sie worauf Sie achten sollten, um perfekt zu moderieren.

What exactly is a conference call?

A conference call is a telephone call with more than two parties participating. In some conference calls, the called parties can participate actively in the call, in others they can only listen. Most companies use specialised service providers to set up conference calls for them. These providers set up a conference bridge, a piece of equipment that links telephone lines together. Participants are given a number to dial and can join in whenever they want.

Wie Sie den Teilnehmern helfen können, sich optimal auf eine Telefonkonferenz vorzubereiten, lesen Sie im Newsletter Secretary Today.

Conference calls can be a useful tool in the business world. They are much cheaper than traditional conferences: there are no hotel costs, no travel expenses and no time lost by participants travelling to and fro.

But to be effective, there has to be someone professional in charge of the proceedings.

If you are this person, there are a few things you should know, and there are some useful phrases you can use to lead the participants through the conference.

Normally, you will not be involved in the actual setting of the conference call. Most companies choose a specialised service provider for conference calls.

The three main advantages of conference calls

Conference calls have three big advantages:

  • because there is no travel involved, there are no CO 2 emissions, they are environment friendly
  • because there are no travel expenses involved, they are more economical
  • because people don´t have to attend out-of-office meetings, they are time-savers

Here are some phrases you can use next time you are in charge of a conference call

  • My Name is Monika Brinkmann. I am Christian Jacob´s secretary.
  • Can everyone hear me properly?
  • I will be your timekeeper during this conference call.
  • This telephone conference will last two hours. After one hour there will be a five minute break.
  • Please don´t hang up during the break. Just put your telephone receiver down.
  • As time is limited, you will be allotted a certain amount of time in which to speak.
  • If you talk for too long, I will have to interrupt you - so be prepared for that.
  • We have six participants and one hour´s time, which works out at ten minutes each.
  • We all like to know who we are talking to, so please remember to identify yourself before speaking.
  • I will be taking the minutes and I am responsible for circulating them.
  • I´m sorry to interrupt you, but could you say your name for the other participants, please?
  • I´m sorry but I´m having difficulty understanding you.

service provider                  Dienstleister
to dial                                   wählen
to and fro                             hin und her
the proceedings                   der Ablauf
to be allotted something     etwas zugewiesen bekommen