How to Make a Conference Call in the United States

by : Sandra Montano

Holding conference calls has become pretty routine in our world today. Still, there are people out there who do not know how to make a conference call. Here are some basic tips.

If your need is simply to connect one or two other parties with yourself, you may consider utilizing the conference feature provided with your local phone service. Typically, the charges are rather high, but if you have a one-time need, this quick and easy solution will usually fill the bill. For instructions on how to make a conference call using your local phone service, contact your local service provider.

Some office phone systems also have a limited capability to create a conference call. The typical PBX will allow a combination of in office and outside connections, usually number no more than a six to eight lines. Instructions in how to make a conference call using your office system can usually be found in the instruction booklets supplied by the manufacturer. If they are not, a call to the manufacturer will usually end with an offer to send you instructions on how to make a conference call via an email or a fax.

Long distance providers are also a source of conference services. Your long distance carrier most likely would be happy to tell you how to make a conference call utilizing their services. One word of warning on this option: unless you have a volume agreement in place for telecommunications services, the pricing may be high. You would most help yourself to check around for something less costly.

If circumstances dictate that you go through a conference vendor, you will find quite a few choices these days. Most conference call providers will be happy to help you select the type of conference service you want and issue you specific instructions on how to make a conference call using their service platform. Among the selections they will assist you with are determining what type of conference call you need, help in setting up your account, booking the conference call and then step by step instructions in how to make a conference call.

Once you have determined whether you will conduct the conference through your local phone company, an office phone system or with the aid of a conference call vendor, you can then contact everyone who needs to attend the conference. Included in your notification should be specific instructions, if any, concerning how the party is expected to be connected to the conference call. Do not skip over basic instructions. Many parties do not know how to make a conference call, or at least may be unfamiliar with the style of call you have chosen. Make sure your instructions on how to make a conference call are easy to understand, and always provide some sort of means for each party to get assistance should they become confused.

Just as it is imperative to provide your attendees with specifics on how to connect with the conference, make sure you have a clear understanding of how to make a conference call using the type of service you have selected. Go over the process you will need to follow in connecting with the conference and make sure you understand exactly what to do. This is especially true with dial-in formats that utilize passcodes. If you fail to enter the passcode assigned to the host, the conference will not begin. If you have any doubts about what you are to do, call your provider and go over the process of how to make a conference call with the service you have established.

It is also important that as you learn how to make a conference call with your vendor of choice that you be aware of any service options at your disposal during the actual conference. As an example, many services allow the host to mute all attendees, which is great if you want to deliver a lecture as part of the meeting. If there is a service option available that you think may be helpful, but you are not sure how to utilize it, ask for suggestions from your vendor. Part of their job is to make sure you understand how to make a conference call using any of the service options they make available to their customers.

One last critical feature to investigate when learning how to make a conference call with your vendor of choice is how the call will end. Some vendors set the conference to automatically end when the host hangs up. Others will allow the conference to continue until the last line in the call releases. Make sure you know how your service is set to work.

Knowing how to make a conference call has gone from being a special perk of corporate executives in large companies to being a basic skill that persons in all walks of life should become familiar with. If you do not currently use conference call services, check around with friends and acquaintances. Chances are you know several people who know how to make a conference call; they can put you on the path to mastering this very useful business practice.