How to Set Up Conference Calling

By Chad Buleen

  • Overview

    Although a conference call is a fairly simple thing, setting up and organizing for a conference call can be anything but simple. Because there are often many people who need to be accommodated during a conference call, it is the responsibility of the person setting up the call to make sure that everybody understands what the call will entail and how it will work before the call begins.
  • How to Set Up Conference Calling

    • Step 1

      Disperse the materials. Before a conference call takes place, the person in charge of the call must make sure that all participants in the call receive the information they need to actively participate in the call. For example, if the call is for a business meeting, it is important that all participants have the information relative to the topics that will be discussed. If the conference call is set up to allow reporters to question a politician, perhaps it would be wise to send out a press release with potential questions on it. Through phone calls and e-mails, make sure all participants receive the items they need.

    • Step 2

      Find a workable time. If the conference call is being set up for the media, simply name a time and they will sort it out among themselves who will take part in the call. However, if the call is for business, it is more important to try to accommodate all with a time that works well. Using an appointment scheduler in Outlook or a similar program can help a person more easily find a time that all participants have free. If necessary, conference calling could be set up in two sessions to accommodate those who were unable to attend the first session.
    • Step 3

      Accept the calls. In the information sent out informing participants of the conference call, a phone number that participants should call to be connected to the conference call should be given. As each participant calls in, welcome them to the conference call and let them know the call will start shortly. When all participants have called in, remind them that the conference call will work much like any other meeting. Specifically mention that because all participants will be able to hear one another, speaking out of turn or being in a noisy place could disrupt the flow of the meeting.
    • Step 4

      After the conference call, the person in charge of the call is responsible for making sure that those who participated in the call receive any new information discussed during the call that was not included in the information they received earlier. Send this information out expeditiously, especially if imminent business decisions need to be made or if a reporter needs to finish a story before deadline.
    • Step 5

      Ask for feedback. The best way to improve on the ways to set up conference calling is to ask for feedback from those who participated in the conference call. A simple e-mail that asks participants to answer five short questions about their conference call experience would likely yield some good feedback that could be used when setting up the next conference call.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Multivoice-capable telephone
    • Quiet room
    • Tip: Do a few tests before the time for the call comes. Make sure that the phone will be able to handle the amount of people who are expected to join the call.
    • Tip: Be sure that the call is not set up in a noisy area. The room in which the call is to occur should be cut off from outside noises.
    • Warning:
    • Do not set up conference calling without testing the equipment. An equipment failure during a conference call can be a major annoyance for supervisors.

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