Conference Call Business Etiquette

By Yahaira Hernandez


For some folks, being on a business call comes as naturally as riding a bicycle, but a conference call is another ball game. Why is that? When you are on a business call, you are in a more controlled situation, whereas when you are on a conference call, you are trying to juggle a conversation with multiple people that may all be as talkative and attentive as you are.

Whether you are experienced or not, conference calls can be intimidating for several different reasons. You may get easily distracted during these calls, or you may have the bad habit of calling in late, and so on and so forth. These happenings are quite common but learning how to successfully participate in a busy conference call can make a world of difference in the way you present yourself during a business meeting.

By following the guidelines below, you can soon enough handle your upcoming conference calls like a pro.


Be prepared—Have your alarm to set to remind you 15 minutes before your call begins and set up a second alarm 5 minutes before, that way you can get situated and you can prepare all of your documents in front of you and you can also avoid feeling unprepared or embarrassed for stepping out to get something.

Call in to the conference line early—Try your best to avoid being late, especially if you are expected to contribute to the discussion. You don’t want to be the reason for holding up a call or keeping people waiting.

Be courteous when you call in late—If you call in late and you hear someone speaking, wait until they finish to introduce yourself and apologize for running late. The callers will appreciate your actions much more than if you were to suddenly jump in during a discussion and say, “Hi, this is David.”

Build an agenda—Whether you are the “leader” of the call or not, it’s always smart to prepare a list of bullet points you could use to bring up a question or topic during an appropriate part of the discussion.

Use the “Mute” button—If you know there will be a lot of noise or loud distractions, be sure to press “mute” when you are not speaking, this will help the discussion run smoothly and without any outside interruptions.


With these five etiquette tips in mind, you should have no problem having a smooth conference call. Keeping the proper etiquette during a conference call will surely make your meeting run in an efficient manner and will make everyone much more productive.