Setting up a conference call can be a tedious task, but Skype makes it easy. While Skype supports free video calls between two users, conference calls are presently limited to only voice phone calls. If you were to begin a video call with a person and then add a third person to the conversation, you would lose the video connection and all parties would only be connected through audio. Despite the inability to provide video conference calls at this time, Skype's ease of use in setting up phone conference calls makes it an attractive option for business and for personal purposes.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Skype software
- Internet connection
Log in to your Skype account from a laptop or desktop computer. If you do not have an account, you can download the free Skype software from Skype.com and register for a user name and password. At this time, conference calls must be initiated from computers. Although smartphone users with the Skype application can participate in free conference calling, they cannot initiate the call. Once logged in, you will need to set-up a conference call group from your list of contacts.
Click on "New" in your contacts list. You will be given the option to add a new contact or add a new group conversation. Select "New group conversation," and a window will appear on the upper-right side of your Skype window. If your contacts are already located in your contact list, you can simply click and drag your desired contacts into the group window. If the intended conference call members are not in your contact list, you will need to manually add them before creating the group conversation.
Click on "New" again to add new contacts. At this point, you can search for contacts by user name, e-mail address or other sortable fields. Once all conference call participants are entered in your contact list and dragged into the conference call window, click on "Call group," which is located just below the conference call window. This will make a simultaneous Skype phone call to all members in the conference call group. As members accept the call, you will be notified through your Skype notification window.
An alternative way to complete the conference call is to use a chain method: Begin by making a single Skype phone call to one member on your contact list. Once this connection is made, you will be given an option to add a new user to the call. By adding another user to the phone call, you can start your phone call with just two members of the group and avoid having to create a conference call group. As members become available, individually add those members to the conference call. This method is not as efficient as creating a group conference call, but is just as effective.
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