Conference calls allow multiple parties to communicate on the telephone at the same time. Sometimes companies or groups use conference calls to allow a speaker to communicate with a large number of people, with no back-and-forth communication between the parties. You can also change the settings so that some callers are muted and others can weigh in on the conversation. Many services online will allow you a to set up a free line for conference calls if you fill out a registration form or provide contact information. They also sell other add-ons like recording, charges for additional participants, dedicated 800-number lines and monthly memberships.
Register with an online conference call service provider. Some popular ones are freeconferencecall.com and freeconference.com. Go to their websites and look for the "free conference call" option. You will need to enter your name and email address and click submit.
Select a specific type of service. Freeconference.com offers a dedicated free line, called Reservationless Conferences, that you can call into anytime and speak with anyone else who has your access code. Freeconferencecall.com offers a free recording service that you can access anytime through your account. Upon registration, they will provide you with a dedicated phone number, an access code, a security code and instructions on how to use their services.
Schedule a conference call. Freeconference.com has a free service where you can schedule a conference call through the web without an operator. You can use this service to conduct calls at a designated time. Once you have the dedicated number and access code, distribute the number and code to all the participants who will be part of the call.
Control privacy by selecting a provider who guarantees secure lines. This is useful if you are discussing sensitive information. You can also play back and download a recording of the call through MP3 and WAV formats. But remember that other callers will also be able to download a recording of the call, too.
You can open several accounts with each service provider for free.
Freeconference.com has a limit of 150 callers on a single call, and freeconferencecall.com has a limit of 96. Beware of long-distance charges if some callers are joining a call from outside the U.S. Generally, the person setting up the call must pay long-distance charges.
- Wide, Hi-key red telephone image by Gerald Bernard from Fotolia.com