I find that recently more of the meetings I have are on the phone. Generally one on one telephone meetings are difficult but at least you know the person on the other end is engaged but in larger meetings keeping everybody engaged is a real issue. I expect people have done some thinking about this and have some suggestions to make telephone meeting more effective. I really have very few suggestions but a key to successful meetings is a good chair, clear purpose and agenda, and clear timings.
One suggestion would be that the chair go around the metaphorical table and ask each person their reaction to the subject or presentation. You may think of this as a time waster but if you want the person to spend their time you need to get their input. It really is a matter of respect for their time.
One duty of the chair is to make sure everybody speaks up and stays on the subject. Respecting everybody’s time and making best use of the time.
I think the chair should spend some time planning for the meeting. Considering carefully the timing for each subject, etc., However those items are important in every meeting. I really want to focus on the unique things for the phone.
Many people on the phone put the phone on mute and do other work and even leave the meeting. I am not sure if that is a problem, but maybe they really do not need to be at the meeting. I am not sure what the best way to deal with that issue. Going around the metaphorical table will help that.
I would love to hear about things people have produced or read about this subject. I must do a goggle search on the subject.