Whether you are a freelancer who has a weekly brainstorm session with the company’s marketing team, a business owner who has a project to discuss with their client, or an entrepreneur who has an update to his remote team members, there is one thing they all have in a common: they are about to have a conference call.

No matter what industry or position, we’ve all been there and done conference calls because they tend to be a common work requirement. Although mostly dreaded, conference calls have been viewed as a “necessary evil” that serves as a communication channel to get the most information to a large group of people in one shot.

Although you may not enjoy conference calls, you might appreciate this game we created here at Calendar that we use for our own conference calls. It’s called Conference Call Bingo and it’s modeled on the beloved gambling game of chance with the same name. The squares are based on personal experiences with conference calls – what goes wrong, what people typically say, and what often happens at some point.

Conference Call Bingo

We had a fun time making these squares because one or more of us on the Calendar team have heard, said, and even done these things at some point in our career. Do they look familiar to you?

Maybe during the next conference call, you could print out this bingo card and play it while on the phone to see how many times someone says or does these things during the audio meeting.

Conference Call Bingo Keywords

Here are the most common things said during a conference call in no particular order:

  • Hi, who just joined?
  • Can you email that to everyone?
  • ____, are you there?
  • Uh, _______ you’re still sharing.
  • Hey guys, I have to jump to another call.
  • (sound of someone typing, possibly with a hammer)
  • Hi, can you hear me?
  • (Loud, painful echo/feedback)
  • Next slide, please.
  • Child or animal noise in the background.
  • Hello…, Hello?
  • Can everyone go on mute?
  • No, it’s still loading.
  • I’m sorry, I was on mute.
  • Sorry, go ahead (for over-talkers).
  • I’m sorry, you cut out there.
  • So (fade-out) I can (gone).
  • I have a hard stop at ______.
  • Can we take this offline?
  • Sorry, I’m late for (insert excuse).
  • I’ll have to get back to you.
  • Sorry, I was having connection issues.
  • I think there is a lag.
  • Can everyone see my screen?
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you repeat?

There have been many more amusing and epic inserts into conference calls — a few I didn’t dare mention, but I bet you can guess what they were. Think identifiable noises you wish they would mute — or noises where you can hopefully mute. Get rid of these annoyances — and have a much more enjoyable conference call.