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Chapter 16. Telephone and Videoconferenc... > Recognize the Advantages and Disadva...

Recognize the Advantages and Disadvantages

It helps to acknowledge in advance that a conference call, or even a videoconference, is not the same as a meeting “in real life.” Simply acknowledging the limitations and building on the strengths can help the group involved use the tools most effectively.

What are the Disadvantages?

Conference Calls: Participants’ attention wanders because there is no visual element.
  The voice is only an “involvement” technique—no opportunity for nonverbal communication.
  “Speaker phone” syndrome—you’re never sure who is really listening!
  Poor phone etiquette—people are impolite because they feel somewhat invisible.
Videoconferences: Equipment is not used to the best advantage. If the camera is preset on wide-angle, and participants have difficulty focusing on who is actually speaking.
  Unrealistic expectations of clear communications. Voice activated mikes make two-way communication difficult in some situations.



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