Overview of Teleseminars
A TeleSeminar is a conference call, like a chat line. You and between 10-30 other registrants (or more) call a regular phone number in the United States (commonly in Orlando or Las Vegas) at your class time and you are welcomed by the TeleSeminar Leader. No operator assistance is needed, nor is a conference call manager.
Prior to your TeleSeminar, you will be sent an email that contains the TeleSeminar phone number AND a special code number (also called a "Conference Bridge Number"). When you dial the phone number, you're prompted to enter the special code and when you do, you are immediately 'on' the call.
The instructor hears a beep in their ear when you join the call, and will usually say something like, "Hi, who just joined the call?" or "Welcome, hold on a moment while everyone joins the call."
The TeleSeminar begins promptly at 2 minutes after the listed start time. A TeleSeminar is similar to a grad school discussion -- some lecture, some questions, some discussion.
If this if your first time taking a TeleSeminar you may wonder if and how it works. It just does. It's highly interactive and the 'flow' works well. You can listen and absorb and/or engage in the discussion. You can always ask questions of the TeleSeminar Leader.
Most TeleSeminar sessions last an hour. Some meet one time only, others meet weekly for 4-8 weeks, sometimes longer. You do not need a computer in order to be in the class. All you need is a regular phone!
Note: The cost to call into a TeleSeminar is a standard long distance charge. There are no conferencing fees, so you would just pay your long distance carrier whatever your rates are. Most carriers charge $3-6 an hour for long distance, so the cost is minimal.
Protocol for TeleSeminars
1. Mute Button
Use your telephone's mute button, if there is one. Background noise, the dog barking, radio, etc., could be a problem if 30 callers all aren't using their mute buttons. If you don't have a mute button, not to worry. Just try to call from a quiet location. Depending on the phone service used for the TeleSeminar, you may be able to hit your 4 and then * key (thats four and star key) to mute and un-mute yourself.
Some people breathe 'heavier' than others. And most of the heavy breathers don't realize it. (Who, ME?) So, we ask everyone to hold the mouthpiece or telephone headset microphone a bit away from their mouth and nose, unless they are speaking. This sounds pretty silly, but when you're on a call with a heavy breather, you'll understand why it matters!
3. Two-line phones
If you have a two-line phone, please turn the ringer off of the second line. If you don't, and you get a call during the TeleSeminar it can really be a shrill noise that everyone hears.
4. Dogs (and cats)
If you're on a smaller TeleSeminar (like 10 callers), your dog will probably woof at exactly the time needed for some comic relief, so it's not usually a problem. But if you're on a larger TeleSeminar (30 callers), please put Fido in another room
Please don't use them, period, unless you use the mute button. Speakerphones are wonderful things, but we ask that you not speak into them when sharing. The clarity/quality simply isn't good enough. Pick up the handset when you share and put the mute button on when you're just listening.
The Instructor will usually ask for callers to share or respond, throughout the call. However, please wait to be prompted -- don't just speak up, unless invited. If/when you do share, say something like, "Tom (or the instructor's name), this is Bob from Tampa." The Instructor will say, "Yes, Bob, go ahead." Then you can say whatever you'd like to. Always use the Instructors name and wait until they respond, indicating that you can proceed. Note, however, that on smaller calls this formality isn't usually needed and there is a natural flow to people sharing and discussing.
If you want to comment on something that another caller has said, please keep your comments extremely positive. Don't say things like: "I disagree with Bob." or "I take exception to that...." or "That's incorrect." Even if all of these are true! Just say what you want to say and if you want to relate it to another caller's comment, make it positive!
If another caller says something that you want to comment on or ask more information about, go through the Instructor, don't speak to the person directly, at least at first. Let the Instructor play traffic cop. You could say something like, "Tom, can I ask that Marlene rephrase the point she just made?" Again, on smaller calls, this isn't as necessary, but on the large calls, it really is.
Please don't call the bridge before the scheduled time -- another class may be being conducted. If you're late to the call, no problem, just dial in and be silent until you catch on to what's being discussed. The Instructor may or may not officially welcome you -- but probably won't so as not to disturb the flow of the call. That doesn't mean you're not welcome! And, finally, if you're more than 10 minutes late, be really careful about asking questions, as they may well have been asked earlier.
You may not audiotape the TeleSeminar. There is intellectual property involved. If the Instructor is taping a call, s/he will let everyone know at the beginning of the call.
11. Cell Phones
Don’t call into the TeleSeminar using a cell phone. They cause all kinds of problems, mainly involving excessive noise. Only call from a land line.
12. Turn Off “Call Waiting”
If you have call waiting, we ask that you first disable it before dialing in. For most local phone companies, you disable call waiting by picking up the phone, waiting for the dial tone, dialing *70 (that's star seven zero), waiting for the dial tone again, and then dialing the bridge number.
13. Don't Put Us On Hold!
This is a common mistake people make if they have to step away from their phone during the TeleSeminar. If you put the call on "Hold" you will also cause "on hold" Muzak to start and it will be hard to hear everyone. If you have to step away, just hang up and call back in when you can.