Earlier this week I was scheduled to be on a conference call. I dialed in, entered in my pin, and was told by an automated voice that I was the first person on the call. After five minutes of elevator music, I hung up and dialed in again. Once again, the system told me that I was the only person on the call. Sensing a glitch in the system, I sent out a few emails to the other individuals on the call. Apparently, they had successfully dialed into the call and I had used a wrong number. It was yet another chapter in my seemingly endless array of unfortunate conference call experiences.
If you have ever been part of a conference call, I recommend watching the video embedded at the top of this post. It's a wonderfully humorous and honest sketch about what most of us have endured during a conference call. However, there is hope for those of us who frequently make conference calls. Next time a conference call needs to happen, I'm going to recommend that we try using Speek.
Speek simplifies the conference call experience by eliminating some of the complicated elements of the genre. Instead of using a unique phone number or pin, users are directed to an easy to remember URL (e.g. speek.com/yourconferencecall). Additionally, the web-based interface allows you to see who is talking at any given time. It's like a visual walkie talkie. Anything that eliminates that awful aspect of talking over someone on a conference call is a huge victory in my book. The free version of Speek has a 5 caller limit. However, let's be honest, do we really need more than 5 people on a conference call? You also get a dedicated conference bridge, the aforementioned visual interface, call history/analytics, message/file sharing, and the option for Speek to call you after you enter your phone number into their website.
Now, I realize that Google Plus Hangouts are often a preferred method of group communication/collaboration. And, I am a fan of G+ for group conversations. However, sometimes a conference call is a more comfortable option for folks on a call. If you have to participate in a conference call, check out Speek and let me know what you think.
Thanks to John Dennett for introducing me to Speek. I don't like to conference call...but when I do, I use Speek.
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