Phone calls, video calls, conference calls and video teleconferences are in that hybrid zone of not quite face-to-face, but much more personal than strictly digital communication. That makes them a ripe place to show your personable side.
Since calls are a hybrid form of communication, the tips in each category are a hybrid as well.
Calls via Telephone
Isn’t it funny that most of us have a smartphone, and yet that is the functionality that we use least? Sometimes, if we can’t physically visit someone, a phone call IS the next best thing.
Phone calls let the listener not only hear the words you use, but also the inflections you use and your tone of voice. That increases the chances that your message is received correctly dramatically. Additionally, here are some other tips:
- Answer the phone physically smiling. The listener won’t see it, but they will hear it in your voice. Why not set the stage on a positive note, regardless of message?
- Make noises of confirmation. A few well-placed hmms, uh huhs, or tsks go a long way in letting them know vocally you are paying attention.
- Start with pleasantries. Not a lot, but if you want to get through the 7 Levels of Intimacy, it’s the first level.
Calls via Video
- You are on video, so make sure at least your upper half looks presentable! Feel free to wear your jammie pants if you are sitting at a desk or table, but even a scarf over a sweatshirt will work.
- Be comfortable with your tech ahead of time. No one wants to waste 10 minutes while you are figuring out where your camera is and whether you are muted or not.
- All the personable tips from last week are applicable here!
As travel budgets dwindle, conference calls are also becoming a way of life in the modern workplace. Jokes abound, so my tips on this are DON’T do or say what is in Conference Call Bingo!
Video Teleconference Call
Video Teleconference Calls, or VTCs, are like conference calls, but have the video component as well. The rules listed above for video calls all apply here, as you might expect but I especially encourage you to know your tech in advance. Even if this means you start the log-in process 15 minutes early, I encourage you to do that. You can always mute the sound and stop the camera feed once you are set up until the call actually starts.
Another tip is that if you have a comment for the group, by all means, type it in the comment box on-screen. If your comment is for only one person, please send it to just that person instead of the feed that everyone can see! Even if you put their name on it, there’s enough going on so why clutter up the feed for everyone?
A Few Closing Thoughts
This closes out my mini-series on personable communication, so I hope you’ve learned to connect with people more personally, whether it’s it’s digitally, on social media, in personal, or via a call.
This series has exhausted me, so I am going to take a short hiatus from posting.
Just kidding! But I am going overseas for three weeks and choose not to write and post while I am traveling!
I wish all of you the best, and my post on 22 Sept will be about my trip, so stay tuned!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: A conference call is a phone call between multiple business people who want to waste each other’s time, but can’t do it in person.