Conference Calls: Tips and Etiquette!


Conference calls!  Today’s businesses and organizations are relying increasingly on conference calls as one of the primary ways to communicate with their clients, other businesses, and amongst themselves.  At Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. we take pride in offering the best phone services available to help make your conference call experience productive, meaningful and maybe even a bit of fun.


Like many forms of communication technology, conference calls involve multiple lines of communication merging into one network.  Problems can and do arise on anybody’s end, and for various reasons (see the attached video for a light-hearted take on the things that can sometimes go wrong).  Below is a list of guidelines that can help to strengthen your presence on conference calls and some general rules of etiquette you should consider.  We invite those of you who are new to conference calls to read these items thoroughly and we invite you “conference call veterans” to consider this list as a refresher.


Enjoy the tips!  We’ll hold a conference call tomorrow to review!


  • Keep track of conference call dates/times and make sure you know when your conference calls are.  Be sure to keep the conference call number and pin handy so you are not scrambling to find it at the last minute – putting it in the calendar invite may help.
  • Call-in to the conference line a couple of minutes early, especially if you know you will have to contribute to the discussion. No one wants to be the reason why the conference call discussion is held up.
  • If you are leading the call, make sure you start on time.
  • If you’re recording the call, make sure all the participants are aware of the recording. Different states have different laws regarding being recorded without your knowledge.
  • Speak clearly and near the phone.  This is especially important if you’re in a room that has an echo or if you are in a public place with considerable background noise.
  • Introduce yourself and let people on the phone introduce themselves. Then use your name each time you talk for a few rounds. This helps the people on the phone to identify your voice and simply helps people to know who is talking. Some of the newer technology involving the internet shows who is speaking with their image.
  • Mute your phone when you are not speaking.  This helps to avoid those distracting sounds, conversations, or noises that are not applicable to the conference call.
  • Do everything you can to maintain good cell phone reception. A bad cell phone connection could cause static or make your voice break up when you speak, making your input to the conference call hard to understand. If there is any question, you may want to consider using a land-line.
  • The agenda is an essential aspect of a successful conference call and it sets the tone of the meeting.  If you are leading, try to stick to your agenda, make sure you leave time for questions, and – when possible – have the agenda (and all other important documents) sent to the participants prior to the call.
  • Pay attention! When you call-in to a conference call there are many distractions in front of you: emails, coworkers asking questions, instant messages, office chat programs, your dog barking, etc. If someone asks you a question on a call and you don’t realize they are talking to you until the end of their question, it can be obvious you weren’t paying attention and be pretty embarrassing!  Minimize those distractions during your call.
  • If you’re leading or presenting, occasionally ask the people on the phone if they need any clarification. Every ten minutes or so, just stop and make sure everyone, both in the room and on the phone, is tracking the meeting.


We’d like to know:

“What conference call guidelines or rules of etiquette do you think are the most important?”