Participating on Telephone and Video Conference
Greater way to communicate with people simultaneously
Meetings are increasingly being conducted over the telephone. The cost savings of such meetings is enormous, and there are actually some advantages to working via the phone, especially if the audio teleconference is conducted.
Video conferencing restores many visual cues that are necessary in long-distance communication. Non-verbal communication constitutes about two-thirds of communication between people. For instance, eye contact enables us to understand the meaning of a message from a speaker that voice communication alone may not completely convey, thus creating essential social bonds and shared understandings. With audio conferencing, these non-verbal cues do not exist.
Most everyone has experienced the neverending “conference call from hell.” Video conferencing basically eliminates those problems, even in large group calls. Important meetings are often shorter and more effective. Video conferencing users report saving a minimum of two hours a week with the technology. The interactivity of group collaboration and document sharing greatly increases productivity.
All of the pros and cons of video conferencing depend on network quality. Early versions of video conferencing had uneven clarity of the audio and video broadcast. Today, these problems still exist for low-end and consumer systems. However, state-of-the-art technology, including WebRTC, now delivers clear, reliable audio and video quality, making this one-time disadvantage rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
Although audio conferencing can still save people time and prevent the expense of travel, video conferencing provides the benefit of visual aids. These viewable objects make it easier for individuals to stay focused on a meeting’s purpose and overall objective. Slide shows or whiteboards can be used with video conferencing to gain interest. Ineffective audio conference calls can create more meetings due to lack of complete understanding, which reduces productivity and increases frustration. Video-centric communications allow participants to make use of multiple senses, rather than strictly their ability to hear a conversation. This heightens concentration levels and allows participants to absorb more information.
Video sessions can also help eliminate the miscommunication that often occurs during the exchange of ideas between team members. Emotionless audio calls leave room for different interpretations of what is being said, and people may misread the purpose of an important point. Video conferencing, however, reduces confusion because people are able to grasp unspoken elements or reiterate facts that may have initially been misunderstood.