How to Organize a Conference Call With Skype

Starting a group-calling session

Students with digital tablets watching instructor on monitor

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While not being the best, Skype is a good tool for organizing conference calls, also known in Skype as group calls. You are likely to find people you want to add to your group on Skype, which makes the call free. This holds true for individuals and businesses alike. The most interesting part of this is that it is free. Let’s see how to organize a conference call using Skype.

Participating in a Conference Call

You can have up to 25 participants on a voice conference call, that is you and 24 others. These others need to be on your contact list, so make sure you have them added to it before you initiate the call. If you want to add to your group a person who is not a Skype user, or who is not currently available on Skype, they can be added through a call established via a cell phone or landline phone, in which case the call will be paid (by you the initiator of the group) through your Skype credits.

Before starting any conference call, make the necessary requirements, which include a decent Internet connection, the latest version of Skype running, properly set and configured audio, and other requirements.

How to Start a Conference Call

To start the call, click on the +New button on the interface just beneath your name, or alternatively, select the Call option and select Call again in the drop-down menu. A new conversation will begin, to which you can add one or more participants. A new panel pops up for this new conversation, with a list box of your contacts, from which you can choose who to invite.

The conversation is initially untitled. You can name it by clicking directly on the name and then typing the new name. You can also invite contacts through email, to which there is a link. Skype also gives a web link that you can share, so people can connect through their web browsers. You also have settings to manage the conversation.

As the contacts accept your call, they will be allowed into the conference. When this is so, the color of their icon will change to bright green as is always the case during calls. When someone is talking in your conference, you will see their name and icon being animated with a halo light around.

You can, of course, add more people to your conference once it is started. You can do so by clicking on the “Add” button on the top right of the interface. Some people might leave and others join in, as long as the total number of participants does not go beyond 25. You can also reconnect someone whose call has been dropped during a call.

Skype conference calls don’t only allow you to communicate with your group, but also to share files with them. Holding video conference calls has roughly the same procedure but the requirements are different.