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

By Sara Drury

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

Here are the worst offenders in teleconference etiquette:

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

When you hit that hold button, the rest of the conference attendees can hear every single note of your elevator music hold tone.

Try these instead:

  • 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, but as an organiser, this behaviour is capable of generating annoyance hot enough to power the country for a week!

Try these instead:

  • Have your provider conduct the Q&A and mute and unmute 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.“9,5,7,8,5 – whoops, slippery fingers!”

Want to know how to really push people’s buttons? 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.

4.“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*


*Susan has joined the conference*.

If you have settings for a collaborative session, 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 more tips, please check out our Top Tips for Teleconferencing Etiquette. Click here to read.

If this has struck 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.

TAG: teleconference, teleconference top tips, teleconferencing,