Conference Call Basics

by Scott Noelle

Note: Some of these details may vary from time to time, depending on the conferencing system we use, the number of participants, etc.

How It Works

You should receive an email with instructions for calling in to the conference system, located in the US.

Note: If you don't receive the instructions, you might want to call me directly for the instructions.

Calling in to the conference system is just like making a regular, long-distance phone call. (Your long-distance provider charges, if any, will apply.)

After you dial the phone number, you simply listen to the voice prompts and enter your access code on the telephone keypad. (Note: the "#" key is referred to as the "pound" key.)

If the conference has not yet begun, you will hear background music.

During the conference call, everyone on the call will be able to hear me. They'll be able to hear you, too, unless your line is "muted."

Line Muting

You'll be able to mute and unmute your phone line, when needed, by pressing star-6 on your phone (the [*] button followed by the [6] button). When muted, you'll still be able to hear the conversation, but the sound in your environment will not be audible to the other callers.

This feature comes in handy when you have child noise in the background, so you don't have to "mute" your kids! It's great if you are multitasking, too, so you can listen to the conversation and others won't hear the noise you're making. Then when you want to speak, simply unmute your line (press star-6 again) and talk.

As the conference host, I have the ability to mute everyone's line at once. This is done when only one or two people are talking (as in a lecture or interview) to reduce overall noise on the line. In some cases, you can still unmute your line by pressing the "6" key.

It's best to use the "6" key for muting even if your phone has it's own mute button, because your phone's mute does not eliminate line noise between your phone and the conference system.