What are the Best Tips for Conference Call Etiquette?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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A conference call can be slightly more difficult to execute than a typical meeting in a conference room; there are no face-to-face interactions, no visual cues to read, and no way to know who is speaking other than voice recognition. When participating in a conference call, it is therefore necessary to exercise proper conference call etiquette, which involves everything from where one sits when taking the call to how to address other participants on the call. Paying close attention to proper conference call etiquette can help the caller avoid embarrassing missteps and instead help run a smooth, effective meeting.

The organizer of the call should start the meeting on time and with introductions all the way around. Conference call etiquette dictates that each person on the call should be recognized and introduced so all participants are familiar with each other and can hear each other. It may be helpful to e-mail or otherwise circulate a meeting agenda to all participants with the names of everyone on the call. The meeting should start on time. A conference call, in other words, should be run just as professionally as a face-to-face meeting, and the organizers should be just as well-prepared as they would be in person.


Adhering to conference call etiquette regarding background noise is perhaps the most important aspect of the call itself. One should avoid talking on a cell phone, as the reception may cause a clarity problem and pick up on distracting background noises. Each caller should participate in the call from a quiet room with little or no distractions. If taking the call at home, one should make sure he or she will not be interrupted by family members, pets, or other distracting interactions and noises. Such noises can distract all participants and keep the meeting from progressing. Avoid creating unnecessary noises as well, such as tapping a pencil, chewing on food, or moving around in loud chairs.

Since no one on the conference call will see each other, conference call etiquette dictates that each speaker identify themselves before speaking. This avoids confusion among the group of callers and allows each participant to take accurate notes on what was said and by whom. A random voice speaking without identification can be unsettling and confusing for other speakers, and identifying oneself on a conference call is akin to making eye contact during a face to face meeting.


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Post 2

One of my own tips on conference call etiquette is to make an effort to use the best equipment available. If conference calls between offices are going to be regular events, then the company should make clarity and interactivity a priority. I would hate to be the employee on the phone who can't understand most of what the other participants are saying, and I'd hate to have my words misinterpreted because of a faulty speaker system.

I think all participants in conference calls should have at least one back-up form of communication available. If a call gets dropped by the cellphone service provider, then a landline number should be available. If the sound quality over a speaker becomes bad, then someone should be ready to use a cellphone with a speaker option. An important conference call shouldn't be completely ruined by a temporary glitch.

Post 1

I've been in a few meetings with conference calling, and one etiquette tip I have is to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. I found myself forgetting that the little speaker box on the desk was actually a very important human from another office. The people in the room would start discussing a topic and the caller would be ignored. I had to stop the discussions and say "Pete in California, do you have anything to add to this debate?". Because he wasn't in the room physically, he had no idea when it would be a good time to interrupt everyone else.

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