One of the things I struggle with during meetings where one or more individuals are participating via conference call is remembering that those who are on the phone also have a voice. It is very easy for individuals who are attending the meeting in person to get caught up in the discussion and completely forget about those who are participating via conference call. Having been on both sides, it is very frustrating for those on the phone, particularly when they have something to contribute to the discussion.
One of the things you can do to remember those on the conference line is to put up tent cards in the meeting room with each caller’s name. For example, if Don is participating via conference call, those in the meeting room could put up a tent card on the table with Don’s name on it as a visual reminder that he is a virtual participant. I have tried and tested the tent card solution and you would be surprised at how well it works.