Unfortunately I am the only person in our group from the Dublin office, its like working from home except there are a lot of people around. This does means that I spend a lot of time on the phone for conference meetings, training sessions, one on one calls, you name it and I am on the phone communicating it. In order to help navigate this phone support I have been given a nice headset that allows me to keep my hands free while I spend my 2 hours per day (average) on the phone.

One thing that is beginning to really grate my nerves during meetings is the lack of awareness, on the side of the speaker\trainer, of microphone placement. Usually conferences I am involved with go well, right up until the question and answer session. It usually goes like this:

SPEAKER: "... I hope that was helpful to you guys. Are there any questions at this point? ... yes ... you in the back."
VOICE 1: "mumble ... mumble ... mumble ... mumble ... and ... mumble ... mumble ... mumble?"
SPEAKER: "Good question and the answer is yes, yes we should!"

Aaaaahhhh! I am left helpless, having no idea what the question was, and only occasionally can I discern the nature of the question from the answer. It is starting to get really old! In small groups this is not an issue, but large groups tend to consume the thoughts of the speaker and we phone prisoners get no joy.

So what is the solution? The main moderator\speaker should always repeat the question for people that are at a distance from the phone. For example:

SPEAKER: "... I hope that was helpful to you guys. Are there any questions at this point? ... yes ... you in the back."
VOICE 1: "mumble ... mumble ... mumble ... mumble ... and ... mumble ... mumble ... mumble?"
SPEAKER: "So the question was 'Should we be preparing for next quarter and the following year?'. The answer is yes, yes we should!"

By simply repeating the question you easily ensure everyone knows where the conversation is headed. Just simple common sense.

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