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My #1 Annoying Conference Call Meeting Tip – It works every time!

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annoying conference call

Want to annoy your telephone conference call participants? Here is a great conference call meeting tip.

Okay, are you looking to annoy the heck out of some of your telephone conference call meeting participants? What the heck, right? We all love to annoy conference call participants through phenomenal facilitating. At least that has been my experience on the thousands of calls I have had the fortune of wasting my time on.

So here is the tip. But this only works if you have someone in the room with you while you are facilitating the conference call meeting. Drum roll…

Please, by all means, make sure when you are facilitating the call that you only talk to those in the room, forget about the people on the call. In other words, ignore those on the call. It’s that simple! Here are five simple ways to let the folks on the call know you are ignoring them and only care about those in the room with you.

1) Laugh real loud while someone is talking and encourage others to do the same.

2) Ensure you have a participant in the room who has a cold and feels the need to constantly cough into the speaker phone. It works like a gem.

3) Make sure your voice is low enough that only those in the room can hear you. You might even want to whisper for effect.

4) Make it clear that people in the room should feel free to interrupt each other while others try to make their point.

5) And finally, make sure you get annoyed if someone on phone ask you to repeat a question or point.

So you get it, right? If you can ignore those on the call you will ensure that not only you annoy them, but that you also confuse, disengage and waste their time. That’s our objective with meetings any ways, right?

What other wonderful tips do you have? Please share, this should be fun.

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  • Jane Browe May 11, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Here’s one to add…
    Show your authority, by tapping you pen loudly on the conference table, right next to the phone speaker.
    Tap repeatedly to emphasize your points.

  • Mike Rogers May 11, 2011, 7:46 pm

    I really like that one Jane. You must be speaking from experience!
    Mike Rogers

  • Tracy May 12, 2011, 8:41 am

    Make sure to leave your cell phone on the table right next to the speaker, and tell someone from your office to call you about every 10 minutes until the conference call is over. Be sure the phone is NOT on vibrate, and in fact, turn up the volume. This also works great on video conference, if you can make sure and have the phone right next to the speaker.

  • Solon May 12, 2011, 7:37 pm

    After disconnecting the call, casually continue the meeting for 5-10 minutes with everyone in the room. Be sure you all return to your desks at the same time so that your IM statuses all go “green” together. This ensures it’s obvious the call participants were left out of a discussion.

  • David Allen May 12, 2011, 7:44 pm

    I think all of these suggestions are very unprofessional and childish. I manage large projects for a living, and I don’t have meetings because I enjoy them. I have them to manage the work, and do what I am paid to do. And that is to make the company more profitable and competitive so they can pay “You”.

  • Mike Rogers May 13, 2011, 6:49 am

    Hi Tracy and Solon.
    Tracy, that is really annoying. That has happened to me as well and is very distracting. Good one!
    Solon, that is a great way to ensure people feel you don’t care : )
    David, I am not sure how to take your comments? I also manage large project for a living, but I really don’t think you should take yourself so seriously. The post was just meant to be fun ; )

  • Robert Aucoin May 13, 2011, 11:10 am

    I have a variation on #3 which I didn’t think was possible until I heard it (or not): Speak low enough that the people in the room cannot hear you, but the teleconference mike picks up everything you say so people on the call can hear you clearly.

  • Mike Savory May 18, 2011, 6:35 am

    Sketch critical concepts on the whiteboard while using the phrase, “Sorry you guys on the phone can’t see this.”

  • Mike Rogers May 24, 2011, 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the additions Robert and Mike! I like the variation Robert. And Mike I love that one “Sorry you guys on the phone can’t see this.” I have heard that many times : )
    Mike Rogers

  • JDub April 11, 2012, 9:25 am

    How about having the facilitator be speaking another language half the time or not familiar enough with the language of the majority to actually get their poitns across.

  • Mike Rogers April 11, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I could see where that might be frustrating JDub.

  • raul May 22, 2012, 2:32 am

    Being from Indian IT, best way to annoy non-Indian conferees is to talk in local dialect with the internal team members and resume in serious voice once internal agreement achieved. Bonus points to jokes in local language in the sub-internal-meeting. Super bonus points if you suddenly say “Don’t say that in front of the client good he doesn’t know our language”.

  • raul May 22, 2012, 2:47 am

    Greatest annoyance, cough loudly ON THE SPEAKER. Cough your chest out as if you are dying. Do it once and remember DON’T APOLOGIZE.
    Ok I do it all the time when the conversation is one to one rambling discussion with all others in slumbers. Anonimity of your voice is the key.

  • Mike Rogers May 22, 2012, 8:04 pm

    Thanks for your additions Raul. The coughing one is a huge pet peeve of mine. Just had that they other day. The person was hacking every minute and then would say “sorry” and go on coughing. Put your phone on mute, please! hahaha


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