As a copywriter, I spend a lot of time discussing projects with clients. While I handle a lot of my business over email, there are always clients who want to talk on the phone. Let me just say right off the top. I hate conference calls. Can’t stand them. They are almost always a waste of time. If it was up to me, I’d cut conference calls out altogether.
So, why do I hate conference calls so much?
- Lack of preparedness runs rampant—I always prepare for my calls, and I try to send an agenda of topics to be discussed to the conference call participants prior to the call. But more times than not, the agenda goes unread and nobody else is prepared for the call. They end up scrambling to find information during the call, and they waste time trying to keep up.
- Calls tend to go longer than scheduled—Thanks to the lack of preparedness and idle chatter that wastes time, conference calls often go on longer than they’re supposed to. Time is money, and lengthy calls cost me money.
- People talk over one another—Whenever there are more than two people on the call, it’s almost always a mess. Multiple people try to speak at the same time, and general chaos ensues.
- It’s like the call never happened—Perhaps the most frustrating thing about conference calls is that people will spend all this time talking about important issues, but after the call is over, everyone just goes on with their lives like the call never happened. Participants forget what was discussed and don’t act on the things they were supposed to act on.
- Everything could have been handled by email—I can’t tell you how many long conference calls I’ve been on that could have easily been handled with a couple of emails. I understand that there are certain situations that do call for a conference call (brainstorming sessions, screen sharing, etc.), but I often find that the things discussed on a call could have easily been handled over email.
Do you hate conference calls as much as I do? Or am I alone?