What is a teleconference?

A conference call is nothing more than a phone call with more than two participants. A distinction is made between dial-out and dial-in conference calls. In a dial-in meeting, the participants call to the dial-in for their participation. Sometimes the Internet is used to empower the chairperson and the participants of a teleconference. Sometimes a real-time status overview can accessed during the meeting that shows which participants are present, that allows the chairperson to mute and unmute microphones of participants. Also the Internet can be used to make a recording of the conference call downloadable.
Lots of useful information about teleconferencing can be found on Teleconference guide.

Dial-in conference call

In a dial-in meeting, the participants call to the dial-in for their participation. Often the conferencing service provider offers local access numbers in different countries to prevent that participants should make international calls. Konferenco is a good example of a Dial-in teleconference service. Private Meeting is another example but focuses on free time usage.

Dial-out conference call

In a dial-out conference call participants are called by the chairperson or by the conferencing service provider. A comprehensive service like newConference offers both Dial-in and Dial-out possibilities. This service even offers "Call-me", where participants can call theirself for participation to a conference call. In this way they do not have phone charges.

Is a teleseminar the same as a conference call?

A teleseminar is a special form of a teleconference. Usually there is one speaker and many listeners. This requires specific tools for the speaker. For example to mute the microphones of all participants at once preventing the presentation being disturbed by annoying background noise. A teleseminar can be extended with web based services that enable sharing a presentation, the desktop or a webcam. In that case we speak of a webinar. All these features are offered by Teminar.