Tip of the Week: Better Phone and Online Meetings

Suggestions for Conference Calls and Online Meetings



  • Even for small meetings have clear roles: Facilitator (s), Note taker
  • Facilitator should write down who’s on the call / use list for go arounds / call on people directly
  • Send out necessary documents ahead of time and with reminder
  • Prevent and deal with background noise early: remind people and have multiple ways for people to mute their phones if there’s background noise
  • Remind people on land lines to not put their phones on hold.
  • If you have an echo and muting your phone does not address it, you may need to call back in.
  • Webinar/ Technology Dependent Meeting: have a Backup plan

Sample Welcome Blurb:

“We’re going to start the call now for name of committee to decide on x topic. This is name and I’ll be facilitating. Name will be taking notes. We aim to wrap up by time. Please remember to mute your phones if you have any background noise, which can be done on your phone or by dialing *6 your conf call muting instructions. If you’re on a landline, please don’t put your phone on hold. Also, remember to introduce yourself before you speak. Please have the agenda and documents we’ll be discussing in front of you.”

Some Online and Phone Conference Options:

  • uberconference.com – good robust free version for up to 10 participants, auto reminders, call recording, screen sharing, mobile apps
  • Skype (need paid version for multiple videos)
  • Google hangout (multiple videos), screenshare, online participants need google account
  • talky.io – online meetings, good free version, easy custom URLs, screenshare
  • freeconferencecall.com – free, records a call, get a number and code you can reuse
  • GoToMeeting – free plan is only 3 participants, owned by Citrix
  • WebEx – no free plan, similar to GoToMeeting functions, owned by Cisco