Make Conference Calls More Productive!

I use conference calls all the time – whether it’s for interviews, chatting with fellow co-workers, or with my interns to brainstorm ideas for this blog.  Group calls always seem like a good idea until you get on them.  It’s easy to lose track of who is talking or what the topic is at hand with so many people trying to talk at once.  It can get overwhelming and unproductive fast!

So for this week’s “Fab Find” I want to share a website and app called Speek which makes conference calls super easy and simple!  You can sign up for a unique URL for free and share it with people when you want to conduct a call.  I have been testing it out this week and have come up with a list:

 

Pros:

1.  Multiple ways to join the call:  You can do it the old fashioned way by dialing the number and pin provided on the URL.  Or you can have Speek call you. All you have to do is type in your number and in seconds your phone is ringing.  My favorite way to connect though is through your computer.  The site will connect to your speakers and microphone and you can chat right through the computer. I love this option because you can be hands free and are able to take notes or pull up files while on the call.

2.  Custom URL:  You can pick your custom URL to be your name or your business name and make it easy for people to connect.  This URL is much easier to remember than a long phone number.
3.   Analytics:  After the call you can check out who spoke most on the call, how long it lasted and other interesting information.  From a productivity standpoint — this could be useful to be able to set time limits on who speaks so you can get more done.
4.  File share: You can share files while on the call through the site.  This makes it simple to make sure everyone has the information you want to discuss.
5.  Comments: There is a comment section that can be used as a chat box to ask questions or share thoughts. Also a good feature if you want to do a phone webinar.
6.  Always know who is speaking: One of my pet peeves with conference calls is losing track of who is speaking.  Sometimes when you aren’t familiar with the other people on the call it can be a little disorienting.  However, with Speek each participant on the call is given their own box on the screen.  The box contains their name and photo if they’ve uploaded one.  When someone speaks, their box lights up.
 
Cons: 

1.  Glitches:  Because it is a relatively new service there are sometimes glitches with dialing in.  Each of my interns had an issue dialing in at least once.  They were waiting on hold and no one else joined the call.  But it turns out the rest of us were already on the call.  Eventually they hung up and got on the correct call.  There is a customer service button, however we did not test that yet.
2.  Some features are pay only: To be able to record a call you must be a paying member.  Same goes for including your brand name.  But depending on how much you will use this service, it may be worth it.  To record calls for free, I will still be using FreeConferenceCall.com

All in all this is a really great service that will make your conference calls much more productive and simpler! If you use it, let me know what you think and which features are your favorites.

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