As the global lock down due to the outbreak of COVID 19 continues to spread, more people than ever are working remotely and conducting business over the phone.  Here are a handful of hints on how to do this well – or better.

First, do the test: before the meeting starts, make sure that people on the call can hear you and hear you well. Then, make sure you can hear them.

Second, know your room: make sure you identify all people in the room you’re calling. Remember to periodically identify yourself when speaking, as people on the call might not be familiar with your voice.

Third, keep up the energy: the longer the call, the more it is likely that you will lose some interest, or even sound and look bored. Sit up straight, as if face to face. You can even try standing up (but don’t wander too far away from the microphone).

Four, practice your active listening skills: while the caller talks, make sure he or she knows that your are listening. Saying things like “completely agree”, “I understand”, or more enthusiastically: “this sounds like an amazing opportunity”.

Finally, think “them first”: while on business calls people tend to all speak at the same time. When it happens, let the others speak first. Not only is it a sign of respect, it also gives you the opportunity to better respond, since what they are saying might impact what you were about to say.

While many of us are still adjusting to this – hopefully temporary – new situation of working remotely, we might mistakenly take business calls for granted. If you still need convincing, try recording your next call and listening to it later. You may find ways to adjust your style and tone for even more productive and powerful phone meetings.

We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: