How to win at Conference Calls

No roll call!

Start with “Who’s on the call”, that way everyone can start talking over each other. You could also let everyone annouce themselves once they beep in even if they are five minutes late and someone is already talking.

Arrive Early

Condecend as people join with phrases like, “Nice for you to join us” or “We’ve been waiting so we can get started”. You know, sayings to make them feel bad

Don’t use the mute button

Yell at your other coworkers to keep it down. If you work from home yell at your family. But if you must use the mute button, use it as a stall tactic so you can think of something to say when you are called upon.

Have a snack

If some schedules a call during breakfast hours (8am to 9am) or really anytime after, have nice crunchy snack. Don’t forget to leave your mic off mute.

Arrive Late

Tell everyone you just got the meeting notice even though it’s been on the schedule for days. You could also blame it on another meeting or that you were “heads down” working on a tough problem. Be prepared for passive agressive statements

Make sure people can see your screen.

Don’t trust the techology, after you share your screen make sure you ask the important followup question of  “Can you see my screen”.

Question the Question

Ask a follow-up question anytime someone tries to call you out. Redirection is your ally. Alway blame your faults on an insufficient functional spec or someone not on the call.