Social Media Roundup: How to Survive a Conference Call

Conference calls annoying and seemingly useless? Perhaps lowering your expectations might help a little bit. Also: How a story can help shape your website's design decisions.

You can’t get everyone in the same room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be productive—even if making a conference call is a big pain. More details:

Call Collective

A few weeks back, we shared a video that hilariously nailed all the issues with conference calls. We know it’s a problem, but how do you solve all the issues with crossed wires and external distractions, anyway? HighTower CEO Elliot S. Weissbluth has a few ideas—and they start with an expectation that a conference call is, in fact, not the same thing as a face-to-face encounter. “Don’t assume that conversation will flow naturally. In fact, don’t assume that everyone knows the agenda or expects a ‘conversation’ in the traditional sense, with back and forth, give and take,” he writes in a LinkedIn blog post. “A conference call requires more structure to be productive. Once you accept the limitations of the medium and reset expectations, you will have a more effective call.”

Check out Weissbluth’s post for a full picture. (ht @TEgly)

Sort Out Your Story

Have the complicated website blues? Perhaps you need to work some more on your storytelling. In a post for Personify’s blog, the company’s Kristine Covey explains that shaping your ideas around a storyline can help explain why you’re making the design decisions you are. “It can provide order and meaning, or [elicit] feelings and emotions from an otherwise task-oriented site,” she writes. “Stories make material more memorable, they persuade with more than just facts, and they are a key way to interact with your members.”

In her article, Covey describes the thought process of one of the company’s developers, Brandon Harris, as he built a backstory on how the website would be used. Even if end users don’t necessarily know that story, it could help them as well. “Web users will assume or create their own concept or story for your website also, and it may not always be favorable,” Covey continues. “So provide your users a story. Answer their ‘why’ and give them a reason to remain on your site and remember it.” (ht @jennacrane)


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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