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March 09, 2009

Five Ways to Be a Better Conference Call Participant

March-3-conference-call-par If you are frequently on conference calls, it’s important to know a little conference call etiquette. And, if you’re the one hosting the meetings, forward this information on to your participants or make it a part of your meeting invitation. These tips will make for a smoother meeting and give participants the common courtesey they'd receive during an in person meeting.

  1. Be on time - Holding up any meeting is inconsiderate. If you’ve been asked to participate in a conference your opinion is important. So make sure you arrive on time.

  2. Identify yourself - State your name each time you begin speaking. Not all callers will be able to identify you by the sound of your voice.  Quickly saying your name can eliminate a lot of confusion.

  3. Nix the speaker - When it’s your turn to speak on a conference call, make sure you pick up the handset or use a headset. Speaker phones can be responsible for feedback and static. Background noise disrupts the meeting for everyone and may prevent other participants from hearing the information they need. It also makes it hard for you to hear with other people are speaking and you end up talking over them.

  4. Make friends with the mute button - When you are not speaking, use the mute button on your phone. If you don’t have a mute button, your conference call provider may have a touch tone command that you can use to mute your line.

  5. Stay away from the hold button – If you leave the conference call to answer another line, you may end up playing hold music or messages into the conference, preventing the meeting from continuing until you return. It’s best to devote your full attention to the call at hand. If you need to handle an emergency, disconnect from the audio conference.

These tips are basic conference call etiquette that everyone should know. So, feel free to pass on this information or add a few tips of your own in the comments below.


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Thank you for Tip 4 “Make friends with the mute button”. No one wants to hear you blowing your nose or what you’re ordering for lunch during a conference call. Your article should be read by my associates before every meeting.

Conference etiquette is so important. I especially like tip #1. Just because you’re invited to a conference call doesn’t give you the right to be late. One of the benefits of conferencing is that you don’t have to travel to a meeting location. We started using legal conference calling at our law firm through http://www.24conference.com/legal.php which made it a lot more convenient for our clients and partners. Thanks for the great tips, these are very helpful.

These tips are great. Just by following a few of them, a conference call's quality can be vastly improved. We've written a blog on a similar topic, but concentrating on improving a conference call recording. Maybe this will help people too. http://www.audiofilesolutions.com/blog/2010/06/5-tips-to-get-the-best-quality-conference-call-recording/

Very nice blog post about Conference etiquette. Indeed, many people behave strangely and not polite. They should read your tips in order to change their behaviour. When using conference calls to avoid travelling the participants should be able to stick to some common communicaton rules!

Great advice especially not using the hold button or speaker phone.

It is important to have a conference call plan along with ground rules.


It's always a pleasure reading your articles. Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us

Tip 3 is a very good idea. Something I really need to start doing myself.

These are truly very useful advices. I saw in the end you have said that these are basic rules to be maintained during a conference call but after reading your blog I felt that these are the most important things that everybody should keep in mind. Especially, point no. 4 is very important and this is very rarely mentioned in any other blogs that I have seen.

So, thanks a lot and I saw that you haven't posted anything for a long time. Please keep sharing as your tips are really valuable.

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