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Teleconferencing: A Quick Guide

Teleconferencing as a method of group communication has increased in popularity in recent years due to advances in technology. Meetings that once forced clients to travel over large distances and span out over days have been simplified to effective communication over the phone or internet.

The world is steadily shrinking, and video conferences can now take place from opposite ends of the world over multiple time zones. Teleconferencing is making it easier to keep businesses and clients connected instantly, no matter where they are located.

If you’re not ready to invest in teleconferencing, get started with web conferencing with one of our many reliable vendors.

Teleconferencing Technology

Though face-to-face interaction still remains the most effective means of communication, teleconferencing technology is making communication easier than ever. If your business frequently reaches out to clients or other business partners, making your lines of communication clearer and more personal will likely benefit the overall quality of understanding on both ends of the discussion.

The following are some of the main aspects of teleconferencing technology.

  • Audio-conferencing consists of verbal communication between the two parties, whether over a phone line or internet connection. Usually the incoming audio is projected through a speaker and the outgoing audio is collected communally through a mounted microphone.
  • Computer-conferencing refers to textual communication over the internet. Message conferencing can take place on a forum or in a private conversation similar to email.
  • Video-conferencing is quickly becoming the most effective method for teleconferencing. Video conferencing displays a video image of both parties involved, allowing the groups to speak “face-to-face” in real time.
  • Teleconferencing equipment can usually be purchased as a part of your phone system or computers. The software (for online conferencing) can either be bought as a package or can be used for a per-minute fee.

Advantages

Depending on your type of business, teleconferencing may be very important to your growth and success. If your business relies on effective communication between service providers, clients, investors, or other business partners, you should consider investing in a high-quality teleconferencing system. Here are some advantages of teleconferencing.

  • Cut back on travel expenses by hosting meetings and conferences online or over the phone.
  • Hold product meetings with employees across the world – you can perform training, introduce new services or products; this makes group meetings easier and allows everyone to be included.
  • Decrease travel and waiting time by meeting instantly at any time throughout the day.
  • Telecommunication and internet services have increased in quality and have become relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages

As with any communication that relies on technology, there are some disadvantages to teleconferencing. Some aspects of in-person interaction are simply irreplaceable, even on the highest-resolution video screen.

  • Body language is extremely important to effective communication. Audio-conferencing completely eliminates the subtle aspects of communication, which could prove to be important in some business deals.
  • There is always the possibility of technical failures of the equipment or connectivity, even the acoustics in a meeting room might affect the quality of the call.
  • If the meeting is to discuss sensitive information, or to test a person’s dedication to or potential for your company, teleconferencing might not be the best option.

The disadvantages associated with teleconferencing ring true with any other form of online communication, from e-mail to VOIP phone calls; while it’s important to consider, the security if information shared is within your control. Consider working with one of our IT consulting vendors to be sure your network is safe and secure.

Every meeting is different, and includes different goals and means of communication. Thanks to the latest computer capabilities, teleconferencing is easier than ever, especially for small businesses. Evaluate your meeting needs to determine whether investing in high-quality teleconferencing equipment could benefit your business’s communication.

If you’re interested in teleconferencing, you may also want to consider VOIP phone systems and video conferencing.

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