As I started building a team with bamboopink I was told that it was time to start leading conference calls, to quickly reach out to new team members to help them feel acclimated, informed and supported.
Leading a conference call… that doesn’t sound so hard to me. The trick with bamboopink team conference calls, though is there is not really a conference… or a discussion. It is more like a monologue while others listen! Confused by this format at first (why not field questions and ensure our listeners have understood the message?) I now understand. How could you field questions from 100 people on the phone? It gets really crazy really fast when even 3 people are trying to talk over each and you can’t see each other to point or nod with that understood statement of “I’ll stop talking for now, you go ahead.” For that reason these calls are in listen only mode.
OK, no problem, I like to talk (my dad says too much!) and I am always on the phone (my husband says too much!), so surely I could talk on the phone for 15 minutes about a new company that I love.
I went to freeconferencing.com, got my number, set a time and date and emailed it out to my bamboopink team. I jotted down an outline, went over mentally exactly what I wanted to say and picked up the phone.
“uhm…. welll….you see….” My palms began to sweat and I stuttered my way through the entire call. Have you ever tried to talk to a group when no one is looking? When I speak to an audience I like to read them… see their reaction and adjust my topics based on what I’m seeing. I missed that eye contact.
My mentor Paul Gravette was on that first call… and probably on at least the next 5. I finally stopped inviting him because, although he was supportive in every other aspect of my involvement with bamboopink, he wasn’t thrilled with my conference call performance. “So, what did you think?” I’d ask.. once he honestly said, “well, that was really terrible! Just no excitement!” No excitement? I am so excited about this company I can’t even see straight…. how in the world can that not be coming through in my voice?
My husband suggested I listen to the recordings. I thought he had some great advice. He said, “Meredith, you do not have to mimic Paul on these calls….you never could. People will like these calls when you are genuine…. listen back to them and see what you hear.”
Well, they were both right. What I heard was a moderator…. a moderator with a squeaky voice, but still a moderator. Where was the passion? So I practiced! I went in to our guest bedroom where I hoped no one could hear me and I practiced being on the call. I finally figured out something that worked for me. This may seem very obvious but I pictured the person I was talking to… a friend that I knew had signed-up. As I moved from topic to topic I imagined her nodding with approval.
I now have 2 standing calls a week with my team and a myriad of others that I jump on as my team members become leaders and lead their own conference calls. After moderating approximately 20 calls I hung up on Thursday and called my husband and said “I did it! I had a really good call.” The best part is, others seemed to agree…. I received several emails and facebook posts from listeners/team members that said they learned quite a bit from the call.
Mission accomplished! It was so rewarding to provide information to a team member working to build her business.
End note: My regular bamboopink team conference calls are scheduled on Monday at 8:00 p.m. CST and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. CST on dial in number (712) 432-0075, with access code: 430331. Join us if you are interested in learning more about bamboopink!