• Vesna Ilic

    3rd February 2017

5 Annoying Things Everyone Does in a Teleconference (and How to Not be That Person)

Please don't be that person

While teleconferences provide us with a great space for collaboration, communication and training – they sometimes make us wish we could physically reach the people on the other side, grab their phones and fix whatever it is they’re doing wrong.

This week, I took the time to speak to the Redback Support Team to find out the most annoying things people do in teleconferences. Here are the top 5:

1.“Sorry, I’ve got another call. I’m just going to place you on hold”

Background music belongs in movies and at parties, not so much in teleconferences. As soon as you hit that hold button the rest of the conference attendees can hear every single thing! In most cases, it’s that beautiful sound we are all so familiar with – elevator music… sigh!

Want to avoid being that person? Here are some tips:

-Mute your line first so the rest of the conference isn’t interrupted
-Remove the ‘call waiting’ function from the phone you’re using
-If it’s a must, apologise to the rest of the attendees and leave the conference

2.”Hello, hello… oh sorry, I was on mute, silly me!”

Presenter: What are your thoughts John?
Presenter: John are you there?
*5 seconds later*
Presenter: Okay, maybe we’ll move on and ask Susan…
John: ..sorry I was on mute.


As an attendee this can be incredibly frustrating. What’s more, as the organiser of a large conference call you want it to be seamless. Next time you want to incorporate a Q&A Session into your conference, consider the following:

-Operator Assisted Calls – have your provider conduct the Q&A and mute and un-mute the lines for you
-Send detailed instructions before the conference call so everyone knows what to expect
-Combine your teleconference with a web conference and ask your attendees to use the chat box feature

3.“Sophie, for the last time can you please clean up your mess? Oh crap… sorry, forgot to mute myself!” 

Here is a list of places which are probably not suitable for a teleconference:

-Music festival
-Dog park
-Childcare centre
-Motor show

And while I don’t actually think people would join teleconferences from such spaces, you’d be surprised at how audible background sounds are during a meeting. So please be mindful of your children, pets and all other background noise as it can make it hard for others in the teleconference to concentrate on what is being discussed.

4.“9,5,7,8,5 – whoops, slippery fingers!”

Want to know how to really push people’s buttons? That’s right, by literally pushing buttons during your teleconference. Be mindful of how you hold your phone as there is nothing more annoying than having phone key sounds interrupt a meeting.

5.“Please enter your first and last name and then press the hash key”:

Hello everyone today..*John has joined the conference*..today we will be talking..*John has disconnected*…sorry yes. Toda…*Susan has joined the conference*.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? If you have settings for a collaborative session, you should always ensure that the entry/exit tones are disabled to allow for an uninterrupted experience. To learn more about these and other features, please click here.

For tips on how to avoid being THAT person in a teleconference, please check out our Top Tips for Teleconferencing Etiquette. Click here to read.

If this has hit a chord with you, check out the Tripp and Tyler video below that looks at what a conference call might look like in real life.

Until next time,

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