How to Set up a Skype Conference Call

Call up to 50 people at once

A Skype conference call is a session where many people communicate at the same time using either voice or video. Free voice conference calls allow up to 50 people to participate in a video or audio group call simultaneously.

Bandwidth Requirements

Inadequate bandwidth—internet connection speed—decreases the quality of a conference call, even to the point of dropping the call altogether. Plan for at least 1 MB of network throughput per participant. If one of the participants has a slow connection, the conference may be disturbed.

Who Can Participate

Any Skype registered user can participate in a conference call. The host of the conference call, who is the person initiating the call, must invite the contacts to the call. Once they accept, they are in.

People making a conference call
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

To start a conference call and add people to it:

  1. Select one of the contacts you want to add to the call. It can be anyone in your contact list.

  2. When you select the contact's name, the right panel of the screen shows contact details and some options. Select the green button that initiates a call.

  3. To add more people from your contact list, select the + at the bottom of the screen, then choose more participants. 

    Someone who is not invited can join the group call as long as the call host accepts. They call the host, who is prompted to accept or reject the call.

Add People Not Using Skype

Also, people not using Skype, but using another phone service—such as a mobile phone, a landline phone, or a VoIP service—can join a meeting. These attendees will not use their Skype accounts. Instead, they dial the host's Skype number. The host may also invite a non-Skype user using SkypeOut, in which case the host incurs the calling cost.

Merge Calls

Merge calls to create a conference line. For example, if you are on two calls at the same time and you want everyone to talk about the same thing on one call, go to the Recent tab and drag any of the calls and drop it on the other. The calls will merge.

Also, if you receive an incoming call while on a Skype call, you have the option to select the Merge calls button to merge your current and incoming Skype calls.

Set up Groups

If you make frequent group calls with the same group of people, set up a group on Skype and add these contacts to it. Next time you start a conference call, start the call right away with the group.

Remove a Participant

If you want someone removed from the call, right-click that person and select Remove.

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