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March 2009

Five Ways to Be a Better Conference Call Participant

March 09, 2009

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.