Many chorusing insects and anurans acoustically compete for females under conditions of high background noise produced by conspecifics and have developed a variety of strategies for improving their conspicuousness in a chorus. In this study, I present a novel female preference shift that can explain the synchronous chorusing of males. In the running frog Kassina fusca the median degree of overlap found in pairwise interactions between males (20.8%) and in response to playbacks of conspecific calls (21.4%) corresponded remarkably well with the preference function of females. Although preferring follower male calls when the degree of call overlap was low (10 and 25%), females shifted their preference towards leader male calls when the degree of call overlap was high (75 and 90%). Males were physiologically capable of calling with short latencies and, thus, high degrees of overlap. This suggests that follower males can control the degree of overlap with neighbours and do so to their advantage. These results stand in contrast to recent findings in insects and anurans in which chorusing structure has been described as an epiphenomenon.