Audio Conferences in 2017 – Don’t be a Dave

Who is a Dave? The video example below is a real classic. Not only is it amusing but it’s true to form. I’m sure most readers would have experienced ‘the Dave’.

Dave is the employee that silently joins a call. Depending on your software you have no idea of the participant details and must rely on introductions. Doing a Dave isn’t the only issue with conference calls.


Let’s play true of false. Are the statements below true to form with a dodgy conference call?

True or False:
Someone has dialled in from home. I can hear birds, a lawn mower and is that a dog barking?

True or False:
I had a brilliant idea that fell on deaf ears. Oh, I was on mute!

True or False:
Who is that talking? I don’t recognise that person? Is that you Dave? No, it’s Betty… my bad deep voice!

True or False:
Is this the meeting for sales? No, this is not the meeting for sales? Oh, do you have the meeting number for sales? No, I don’t. Okay, sorry about that. 

True or False:
I’ll just send an instant message to ask my mate why that person from sales won’t shut up and is hogging the call! 

True or False:
Did someone just join the meeting? Yes, it’s Mark I just got cut off! What did I miss?

True or False:
What the hell is that feedback I’ve just lost an eardrum. Does someone have a mobile too close?

True or False:
Hi, is this the weekly performance meeting? No, it’s for sales! Hi, is this the meeting for sales? No this is the meeting for performance? Oh, but I had this number for sales? Well I had this number for performance. Oh, looks like we double booked the meeting! Who would like to move to another line? Can someone stay on and tell the performance people to use the new number?

True or False:
Oh crap, I forgot to send out a passcode for the meeting!

True or False:
Excellent everyone is talking over each other – so productive!

True or False:
Mark sounds like a great update but you’re cutting out. I’m playing work bingo!

True or False:
Hi it’s Dave here. Dave? Dave have you been in the meeting the entire time? We had no idea!!


What are our learnings from a bad experience with conference calls?

Conference calls are an important part of the business world but used incorrectly it turns quickly to a bad experience. As such, it is important to learn from these experiences and look towards modern solutions that will ensure your business gets the best out of the conference. At the end of the day we are at work to work. Let’s make sure it all works for you and not against you!

In today’s business world, the majority of conference calls are conducted using a service provider and in conjunction with web conferences. What does this mean? Services providers maintain the conference bridge and provide you with numbers to access the meeting. Typically, you will have a dial in number, a host code and guest code that will be sent with an invite. If you wish to modernise your conferencing you could move to a provider that provides static numbers for groups of staff, for work groups or for business areas. One of the key benefits for customising your dial in number and host code is the certainty and ease of always having a number at hand. No incorrect dial in’s! No rushing around 5 mins prior to the meeting obtaining a number!

Conference calls are true to the definition of conferences “A conference call is a telephone call in which someone talks to several people at the same time. Conference calls may be designed to allow the called party to participate during the call, or the call may be set up so that the called party merely listens into the call and cannot speak”.

Selecting the right service will enable you to avoid ‘the Dave” and enable you to host a conference with visibility of all participants and ensure you can actively engage with everyone.

Selecting the right service will give you more control. Maybe, due to background noise or the “phone hog” you access the mute button. This type of technology does exist and is designed so that the called party can participate during the call or so that the called party merely listens in and cannot speak.



Here are some tips for ensuring you have a successful conference call

  1. Circulate an Agenda.  Providing an agenda gives structure and assist participants with preparing in advance.
  2. Ensure that everyone in attendance introduces him or herself up front. This will assist with people who don’t know each other’s voices especially well to become familiar as quickly as possible.
  3. Don’t book a meeting for the sake of booking a meeting. If you can avoid having a meeting with one-on-one call or a focused e-mail exchange – do it! A conference call is designed when you require a group of people to enter an in-depth dialogue, team meeting or for brainstorming
  4. Adhere to the agenda. Make sure your agenda has adequately factored in the time and ensure participants adhere to the time. This will ensure the meeting flows smoothly.
  5. We are only human but wherever possible stay focused. Try to avoid or limit your desire for “electronic grazing”. Once people start the graze their attention span will diminish. Switch of your instant messaging, your mobile and don’t read emails!
  6. The ship needs a captain to stay to course. Meetings require a chair to ensure the meeting runs to the agenda.
  7. Time is money and money is time. Stick to the point. Don’t stretch out a conference for the sake of it. If the meeting finishes early then you’re winning.
  8. Don’t invite someone for the sake of it. Only invite participants that need to be there.  The most frustrating experience is turning up to a meeting that appears pointless and there is no value added with your participation. How often do you hear “Well that’s 60 minutes of my life that I won’t get back”?
  9. Silence is power or in a conference it can be courtesy. Wait your turn to speak. Don’t talk over the top of people and try not to interrupt. One has to listen and concentrate much more acutely over the phone than is necessary in person. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey
  10. Wrap it up! Make sure you end the meeting with a summary of actions, takeaways, resolutions etc. And it doesn’t hurt to thank everyone for their participation!


Don’t be afraid to use the technology available. What does a good audio conferencing software provide you?

With CommuniCloud UnifiedVoice™ and InView™ you’re always just a call or a click away from the people you need to talk to most.


Need to talk now? Integrate with existing infrastructure?

With UnifiedVoice™ all you need is a phone and within seconds, anyone in the world is within reach. Dial the number, join the call, and share information quickly and easily, no matter where you are.

The CommuniCloud UnifiedVoice platform is designed to overcome technological barriers, creating a seamless, integrated approach to audio conferencing. A simple solution to reduce costs and increase control. With the ability to integrate with existing infrastructure such as Microsoft Lync, and provide global inbound numbers for multiple party conference calls, UnifiedVoice lets you be where you want to be, whenever you want to be there. No matter what voice platforms your team members are using, you can be sure the technology will just work.

With UnifiedVoice you will not be compromising face-to-face meetings. Voice conferencing doesn’t need to be stuffy, awkward, or tedious. Your office can experience the same quality sound you are used to with a face-to-face meeting, whether your partners are on the other side of the building or a continent away. An unforgettable experience, which includes unique noise suppression, spatial voice technology and amazing clarity.

Meeting attendees truly feel as if they’re in the same room, no matter if they are at home, in the office, on the move or in a meeting room. Participants are more able to engage naturally in a dynamic conversation. This service delivers:

      • High quality sound: high definition combined with background noise reduction and audio levelling of each participant
      • Voice separation: participant voices come from different directions (just like being around the meeting room table)
      • Best-in-class audio conferencing brought to you.


Who joined the audio conferencing meeting? Don’t be a Dave!

With UnifiedVoice you will kick off with productive meeting by:

      • Identifying when other people are trying to join in the conversation or break in, so everyone can participate more easily.
      • Understanding who is talking and what they are saying, so more time can be spent focusing on the content.
      • Understanding what is said if more than one person talks at the same time, so the conversation can flow naturally.
      • Run meetings with global teams when English may not be everyone’s first language and accents can confuse.


Cost savings without compromising service
We provide competitive pricing that does not compromise services. In conjunction with Dolby Voice we offer best-in-class audio conferencing service that delivers more natural and effective audio meetings.

With audio conferencing – reduce total cost of ownership
Reduce access costs with IP connection replacing carrier toll and conferencing toll free charges at home and abroad.

Audio conferencing that provides global secure access
You can access UnifiedVoice anywhere with internet access. Communication is encrypted.

Powers your UC strategy
A great stepping stone for those organisations that are new to Unified Communication (UC), as well as a key accelerator for those with more mature UC set ups, BT MeetMe with Dolby Voice works alongside and in conjunction with the full range of VoIP, IM and presence solutions.

Stay ahead of the game. Would you come to work and agree to using a substandard desk and a wooden crate for a chair? Don’t think so! Don’t set up your workplace with substandard conferencing. These decisions are a reflection on your business. Put your best foot forward.


Don’t be a Dave. CommuniCloud will help you choose the right service.

CommuniCloud MeetMe with Dolby Voice, your meetings become easier and more productive. Understand who is talking, and what they are saying — so more time can be spent focusing on the things that matter.

        • Identify when other people are trying to join the conversation or break in, so everyone can participate more easily.
        • Understand what’s said even if more than one person talks at the same time, so the conversation can ow naturally.
        • Run meetings with global teams when English may not be everyone’s first language and accents cause confusion.


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