There are many tools and applications for multi-person conferencing. Starting a free conference call has never been easier, from video calling to audio teleconferencing.
Earlier, we showed you how to use Zoom to organize a meeting. In this article, we will discuss several additional programs and applications to help you choose the best conferencing service for your needs.
Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 and has since made significant changes to its features, user interface, and functionality.
If you don’t have a Skype account, create one now The free version of Skype is available on tablets, PCs, Macs and smartphones and allows you to:
- Chat face to face with up to 25 people.
- Send instant messages.
- Add up to 50 participants to your group chat.
- Make Skype calls to other Skype users.
- Share files (max. 300 MB) and screens.
- Add emoticons to chats.
Set up Skype Conferencing
- Skype works like Zoom. Start by clicking the “Meet” button below the top left navigation bar.
- The next screen will show the join link for members.
- Click the blue button to share invitations with Skype contacts via a link, Outlook or Gmail.
- When ready, click Start Call. Make sure you include the video in the upper right corner of the screen.
- You can also invite attendees to join the meeting by clicking the rightmost icon next to the phone.
- Check the contacts you want to invite to create a member list. Note that the green button next to the contact’s picture indicates who is currently signed in to Skype.
- When you finish adding attendees to the meeting request, click Finish. If you’ve forgotten someone, press the blue button to invite more people.
- Click the video or sound icon to call those you invited and start the meeting.
- Download the mobile app from the Skype website.
Schedule a Skype Meeting on Mobile
- Download Objective Mobile app from the Skype website.
- Sign in or create a new Skype account if you don’t already have one.
- Click New Chat.
- Select a new group.
- Enter a name for your group.
- If you would like to add a photo for your group, click the “Image” button, then check the box.
- Click the Change button to select a color; then press the right arrow to confirm.
- Add contacts by clicking the right arrow.
- Use search to find invitees from your contact list.
- Click Finish to create your group and then start chatting.
Create free video conferences with Talky for up to six people in just a few steps. No account registration required, no payments or downloads required.
To set up a conference call with Talky:
Select and paste the name of your conference on the home page.
Check your video and sound settings and that’s it. Once you enter the meeting room, you can:
- use text chat.
- invite members.
- change your name.
- Lock the meeting room to prevent unwanted guests.
Remember to turn on audio and video before clicking Join Call. Tell those you invite to do the same.
GoToMeeting is considered by many to be one of the best conferencing services out there. It also offers a free plan that many are unaware of. While the free version doesn’t have as many features as the paid version, it allows for fast conference calls.
Hold a conference call with up to three people (including yourself) for up to 40 minutes. Other features include:
- Screen sharing
- Webcam support
- Chat during a meeting
- Link exchange
- Browser and mobile meetings for Android and iOS
1. To set up conference calling, register a free account. and you will get a free 14-day trial of the Pro version. The trial version includes features such as drawing tools, meeting recording, key and mouse sharing, and mobile apps.
2. On the Control Panel, click Set Up Room to start a one-time meeting.
3. In the next step, set up the conference room. Add a name to the collection links area. Select a color, edit the user profile, and click Save.
4. Click New Meeting to set up a conference call. The next screen will show the meeting ID, URL to join, phone number to attend by phone, access code, and a link where attendees can install the app.
5. You can also select Copy invitation to send it via email or messaging application. Edit the meeting to add co-hosts and decide if a meeting password is required. On the Audio tab, you select the microphone you will use.
A conferencing solution that integrates well with your calendar is Join.me. They offer a 14-day free trial of the Pro version that includes powerful features like easy meeting scheduling and free conferences with screen sharing.
After the trial, you can have a conference call with up to three people (including yourself), chat, transfer files and show the screen.
To set up conference calling, start your free trial by clicking the orange Get Started button on the home page. If you already have an account, please sign in.
- Decide if you want to set up conferencing from your computer or from your mobile device. In this article, we will be using the desktop.
- To set up video for a conference for the first time, click on the three dots and select Settings.
- Click the Video tab and select a camera from the drop-down menu.
- After configuring the video, click the red X in the upper left corner of the settings screen. During a meeting, hover your mouse over the video icon and click the icon to start playing the video right away.
- Click the Invite pop-up to invite others to the meeting. Copy the link and send it via your messaging app or email.
- When each participant joins your call, you will see a pop-up with their picture or video. Respond to the popup to allow them to enter.
- When you show your screen, the bubbles shrink and move to the side to make room for what you are sharing.
- When you hover over someone’s bubble, you will see the controls for that person and you can assign them the presenter role.
- You can also share mouse controls, chat, send a file, or remove someone from the meeting if they interfere with your work.
- Hover over your video to end the conference. bubble and click the icon to disable.
What is the best conference calling service for you?
The conferencing tools described offer different functions for different user needs. They all also compete for your subscription.
Take your time to try them and choose whichever you like best. They are all free or offer a 14-day free trial. You can even use more than one for different circumstances.