Why Your Brain Hates Bad Conference Call Skills[HowStuffWork's Video]

Posted by Bridget Beirne
February 27, 2014

conference call skillsIs it just a clichè that poor conference call skills can drain the joy from your life? Is it simply that we're exhausted and overwhelmed, and that the state of the professional communication skills of those around us has nothing to do with anything? Is it just that we all hate those endless calls?

Or is it science?

The folks at Stuff to Blow Your Mind have created a video that explains just that. Our brains have a difficult time with virtual communication- especially due to the facts presented by that classic Mehrabian study. (Our brains love visual input!) Combine that with the fact that the brain also likes to look for tidy verbal patterns- and that conference calls are usually full of anything but- and you've got a brain that's buzzing with communication dissatisfaction.

But truly, not all is lost! Robert and Julie have some great tips at the end of this clip that get our seal of approval, and we've got a few more to add. (We've shared some with you before, but we've got more to pass on to you!) Take a few minutes, check out the video, then read three quick tips to appease that brain, and improve those virtual communication skills and relationship building activities overall. (Conference calls a relationship building activity? When done right, ABSOLUTELY!)



1. How you sound matters!: According to Mehrabian, after visual input, next on the list of importance when it comes to communication is how you sound. Vary your pitch and tone to keep your audience's interest. Monotones will quickly bring on the audience zzz's...


2. Give yourself a visual focus: You might not be able to see the face of the person who is speaking, but you can give your brain something to focus on when YOU speak. Use anything around you- a mug, a push pin, a pencil holder, and speak to THAT- it helps you simulate an actual face-to-face conversation. Just don't choose something that might blink, buzz, or distract you in any way.


3. Breathe, breathe, breathe!: Your brain thrives on oxygen, and a deep, cleansing breath can be like a refreshingly cool glass of water for your brain. So, water your brain! (Stay with us here...) When your feel yourself starting to zone, energize your brain with a few deep breaths.


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