Conference Call Solutions: Facilitate Now!!!

Yael’s Presentation on Conference Call Solutions At The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) NYCconference call solutions

Do you need conference call solutions?  Do you often find yourself having to lead a group of people, perhaps at church or philanthropic events or on a conference call, and wish you had more training?  Or, are you a professional facilitator at work and want to learn new techniques?  There is an excellent group of people and an organization I would like to recommend to you — The International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting on conference call solutions to the NYC Facilitators Chapter of this very credible organization. This is a knowledgeable group of women who hosted the event (not a gender-specific organization by the way…so, join up guys).  Deb Seidman, the woman with the colorful scarf directly to my left in the photo, arranged my visit.  I’ve known Deb for many years and am grateful our schedules finally coordinated for me to interact with the members and speak on the topic of facilitating virtual team meetings.  Over the past couple of years, I have seen a disappointing drop off in enthusiasm for face-to-face facilitation among corporations.  Facilitation should be supported and respected as a finely-developed craft in every organization.  Those who do it well are effective at communicating highly complex details to diverse groups effortlessly.  So, I am fully behind the IAF’s mission.

For this event, I chose a facilitation exercise called “Conference Call Blues”, which I adapted from my latest book, A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams.  It depicts the horrors of bad phone etiquette and the confusion that occurs when conference calls are poorly organized, and is based on actual events. Sound familiar?

The group really took to the role-playing portion (I’m convinced a few have had formal acting training).  All functioned beautifully in teams during the breakout sessions and delivered great suggestions at the conclusion of our program — more reasons why I encourage participation in this organization.  Some of the topics covered in the session were: the top 10 keys to leading successful virtual team meetings, tips for drawing out silent riders, tips for maximizing participation in a conference call, and tips for avoiding excessive multitasking.

Julie Larsen, to my direct right in the photo, helps plan the bi-monthly meetings, which attract notable guest speakers on worthwhile topics.  To learn more about the NYC chapter and the national organization, here are their links: NYC Facilitators and IAF.

For more facilitation ideas and conference call solutions, check out Yael’s book, A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams or visit


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