How to Keep Conference Calls on Track

Conference calls can sometimes get totally off track and then end up taking way longer than expected. What are some ways to keep your conference call focused.


As a moderator it’s your job to manage the meeting and all the conversations that go around it. This can be complex to deal with sometimes especially when you’re dealing with difficult personalities in a group.

Here are some suggestions:

Make sure everyone shows up on time for the call. Let everyone know that they should be calling in a few minutes prior to the start time. Also let them know you will be starting exactly on time when you send out the meeting invite.

Always start the meeting on time. This sends out the message that you’re not going to wait around for the stragglers coming in late to the call. Be consistent with starting on time. I had a boss that would always start his meeting 15 minutes late. After a while everyone figured this out and would just show up 15 minutes after the meeting was suppose to start.

Don’t cater to the latecomers. If they missed the beginning of the call, don’t go back and covered for them. This irritates all the people who dialed in on time and disrespects their time. If you want record the call and let them know they can catch up on their own time later.

If someone gets off-track let them know right away. Be blunt let them know were getting off track and try and refocus the conversation. If you have to… mute that individual. Or you can press a key to make a sound.

Summarize the conversation. At the end take a few minutes to summarize what happened on the call, review the results and any actions that should be implemented and who has the actions.

Follow up with an email. Send out an email with a short summary of the call, results and actions. You can also send the link to the recording so those that missed the call, were late or would like to review the call can listen to it.

Let us know how to keep conference calls on track at your business.

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