The secret of effective decisions in conference calls lies in their preparation. The goal must be to produce a (albeit minimal) written decision paper. The decision paper is distributed to all participants beforehand, in order to allow for maximum focus on question, answers and decisions as well as measures that need to be taken.
Frequently, decision papers are created as PowerPoint slides. PowerPoint slides are not effective in conference calls. Formulations must be unambiguous and clear. Content, background information and framing are more important than style.. Therefore, decision papers should be prepared as structured texts.
We recommend the following structure for a target-oriented decision template - based on the "Steps for good decisions" by economist, entrepreneur and author Fredmund Malik
Decision makers / participants
Only decision-makers themselves should participate in the conference call. If they are unable to attend, they will send an authorized representative to make decisions on their behalf.
The decision paper must be available to all participants at least 24 hours before the conference. The contents of the conference call are assumed to be known by everyone.
Length of the conference
The length of the conference call is determined by the number of participants, the scope of the problem and the number of proposed alternative solutions. However, it should never exceed one hour.
Question and Answer session
During the conference, each participant is given the opportunity to ask further questions one after the other. The author (possibly with the help of one or more specialists) answers these questions based on the facts presented in the decision paper. If further facts need to be introduced, these will be mentioned and/or submitted subsequently.
At the end of the conference call, a vote is taken on the basis of the formulated resolution proposal. The author prepares a short protocol of the results and sends it to the participants.
Would you like support in preparing your decision paper and in telephone conferences? We are happy to help.