Using Conference Modes

The Conference Mode setting controls the speaking privileges of participants in the conference call. You can take advantage of this feature too minimize disruptions and background noise during your conferences. Any host can change the Conference Mode during the conference using either a Keypad Command or the Host Control Panel. For lecture-style conferences, most participants should be in listen-only mode, allowing only the conference hosts to be heard during the conference. (You can have as many hosts as you need, each of whom would be designated as a host by entering the Host PIN or by clicking the corresponding Host checkbox in the Live Conference tab in the Host Control Panel.) There are two choices for automatically muting participants:

  • Presentation Mode – All non-hosts are muted, and they cannot un-mute themselves. This is the best mode if you do not want audience interruptions while the host is speaking.
  • Question & Answer Mode – All non-hosts are initially muted, but they hear an announcement saying that they can un-mute their lines by pressing *6. (They can press *6 again to re-mute their lines.) This mode is appropriate if you wish to allow the audience to interrupt the speaker. If you do not have access to the Host Control Panel, this also allows for audience participation for questions or comments after the formal lecture is completed. If you do have access to the Host Control Panel, you can better manage audience participation using the Raise Your Hand featurein combination with Presentation Mode.

Helpful Tips

Starting in Hosts Only mode.  Hosts Only mode allows multiple conference speakers to have a private conversation to coordinate a presentation prior to beginning the general conference. Non-hosts who arrive early will be placed on music-on-hold while the hosts speak privately. When you are ready to begin the general conference, press *41 to place the conference into Presentation mode. At the conclusion of the general conference, you may wish to return to Hosts Only mode by pressing *44 to engage in a private wrap-up conversation.

Pausing the conference using the Hosts Only mode.  You may encounter a situation when you want to pause a live conference call. For example, perhaps you want to allow a short break during a long departmental conference call, without requiring participants to hang up and re-dial into the conference. Pressing *44 essentially places the conference call on hold if there is only a single host in the conference – all parties would start hearing hold music. When you are ready to re-activate the conference, press *40 to return the conference to the previous Conference Mode prior to the break.

Using the Question & Answer mode to remove noise in the conference.  Occasionally, you may encounter a situation where there is disruptive background noise or echo in the conference call. Most often, this is coming from one of the lines connected into the conference, and the source is not apparent. Pressing *43 will immediately mute all the non-host lines, which in most cases will immediate eliminate the noise or echo. If it doesn't, then the problem is being caused by one of the host lines, who should then press *6 to mute their own lines. When a participant needs to speak, press *6 to un-mute that line. If the noise or echo returns, then the problem is being introduced by that line. That caller should hang up and re-dial into the conference. If that doesn't solve the problem, the caller should try a different phone or dial-in number.