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3 Things You Should Never Say on a Conference Call

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, conference calls are an inevitable part of your workday. They’re so commonplace that Tripp and Tyler’s video mocking them has, as of this writing, over 8 and a half million views on YouTube. That’s a lot of mockery:

The question, of course, is this: if they’re such a common part of our workday, why are we so bad at them? Sure, technology issues do arise, and they can’t always be helped. But with audio conferencing’s evolution, the technology has gotten quite sophisticated, yet we continue to stumble our way through our calls.

Here are a few examples of some things that, quite frankly, there’s no excuse to ever say on a conference call anymore:

“…sorry, I was on mute.”

This one will happen, without fail, on every single conference call you ever attend, as if some scientific law of the universe had made it mandatory. You will ask a question, there will be a lengthy, inexplicable silence, followed by “Sorry, I was talking on mute!” Cue the awkward laughter and eye rolling.

Don’t throw your presumably articulate, erudite reply into the ether. Master your mute button before your next conference call by identifying 1) where the mute button is on your deskphone, smartphone, tablet or laptop (if you’re on VoIP) and 2) what the mute indicator looks like.

“Who just joined?”

People: it’s 2014. We may not have flying cars yet, but jetpacks are kind of a thing, smartwatches are in vogue (Apple threw its wrist in the ring, so to speak, so let the games begin), drones are going to deliver our packages soon and Facebook bought a virtual reality company. Why are you still flying blind on your conference calls?!

All you have to do is use an app, on your laptop, desktop or mobile device, and voila! Instant talker identification. Or, if you prefer, continue grasping for names in the dark on the call that you presumably joined from your rotary phone.

“Sorry I’m late!”

You’ve meticulously planned your conference call, checked and double-checked everyone’s calendar and gotten RSVPs from all the major players. You even managed to get it started on time! Everything’s good right?

Of course not. Someone will inevitably aurally stroll in 5-10 minutes late, completely disrupting your flow with their entrance ding and forcing you to start over.

There’s no excuse to ever be late for a conference call anymore, especially when we’ve got smart mobile apps that will literally repeatedly remind you of your upcoming meetings and connect you with a single tap. We can’t make you want to go, but we can certainly get you there.

For more conference call Dos and Don’ts, check out 11 Business Etiquette Tips for Awesome Conference Calls!

About Joshua Erwin

Josh is a content creator and strategist with a passion for all things tech, such as the latest gadgets, apps, games and more. Josh loves listening to and playing music and is a big college football fan, especially for his alma mater Georgia Bulldogs. When not writing for PGi, you’ll find him gaming or drumming on Sundays for the Atlanta Falcons.

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