A Tool to Add to Your Reflective Practices Toolkit: "Oh Life"
Conference Homophily is a Problem--Maybe Conference Mashups are the Solution

The Conference Call or "Death by a Thousand Bleeps"

Glen Ross of the American Cancer Society recently shared this hilarious video of a typical conference call. I probably spend a good 10-15 hours a week on these things and I have to say that the video pretty much captures my experience. So in support of more effective conference calling, here are some resources that might help:


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That is, in reality, a pretty mild day for some of the teleconferences I've been on. You'd be amazed at how many people work from home and never consider muting their phone, or that never consider adjusting their volume or getting a technical problem with their equipment fixed.

And the bad part is most of the virtual meetings I've been in don't get started until 7-10 minutes after the original meet time (because everyone is coming in from other meetings), immediately reducing the time by 15-18%...ah, I could go on but I don't think I need to.

You're so right, Paul! My number one rule for teleconferencing is that we start on time and we end on time. We also have an agenda--another big problem I've seen with teleconferences.

The agenda is something that's been quite common in my experience. It's keeping to the timings that's the problem, because those are never followed. And, I've seen many an agenda get shuffled depending on which presenter showed up first (because we can't wait all day if the first person arrives last, right?). Other times there's a hierarchy of meeting importance that drives who shows up and so on. The environment I was in most recently was a daily string of wall-to-wall virtual meetings.

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