I am currently in conference call purgatory. The people I work with on the project are split across 4 locations (fortunately only 2 time zones), and we spend HOURS on conference calls. One of the biggest drawback is the complete lack of visuals, so some of the best MT meeting tips don't work or are less effective.
Plus - if you think blackberry prayers are disruptive, almost everyone (except the person talking) on the call is doing something else - email, surfing, talking to someone .... I am trying to think of some ways to make the calls more efficient, fewer and shorter.
Maybe require that the participants all call from a local conference room rather than their desks?
What kinds of things have people done that have worked - most of my teams spends at least 10 hours/wk in conference calls. There has got to be a better way.