Brought to you by Vast Conference:
Audio-only conference calls are ineffective. Sure, they need to happen for certain business meetings, but they’re usually full of people verbally stumbling over each other and awkward silences. Multi-person conversations can go astray when no one can see one another.
Video conference calling is far more convenient, efficient, and effective than audio-only calls. It’s as close as you can get to an in-person meeting with technology, but it’s more advantageous in a few other ways:
It Enables Long-distance Communication
Both audio and video calling enables long-distance communication. With the future of work becoming increasingly remote, it’s more important than ever for people to be connected wherever they happen to live.
However, audio-calling lacks the personal touch many business relationships require. Being able to look someone in the eye makes a significant impact on trust and enthusiasm.
It Influences the Flow of Conversation
Perhaps one of your biggest frustrations with traditional conference calling is that conversations are consistently awkward. When someone pauses, you don’t know if they’re done speaking or if they’re having technical issues. How long do you wait before chiming in? What if someone else tries to speak at the same time? People can also go on tangents because their minds are more likely to wander without visual cues.
Video conferencing alleviates that. When you’re watching someone as they speak, you know if they’re finished or not. A dramatic pause is not your chance to add your thoughts and embarrass yourself; you know it’s time to continue listening.
It Saves Money
Remote video conferencing will also save your business money. Travel costs include factors like airline tickets, accommodations, food, transportation, and more — and they’re even higher if multiple employees are traveling.
If you have B2B customers in another state, you don’t need to hop on a plane and spend a day or two in a different city for a meeting that will only take an hour. Instead, both parties can find a time that works (keeping time zones in mind), use video conferencing software for small business, and handle their meetings.
There is also the reduced pressure to complete everything in a short amount of time. Did you and your customer not get a chance to discuss a particular subject today? No worries, you can get online again tomorrow.
It Permits More Emotional Connection
Professional relationships are not supposed to be cold and robotic. They require a personal connection too, which is difficult to obtain with voice-only communication. Communications coach, theorist, and author Nick Morgan says that our brains mimic the emotions we see in people around us; when we see and hear visual and aural clues from other people, it causes us to mirror emotions like excitement, anger, fear, and joy back to the individuals initially experiencing them. He elaborates:
That is what human connection really is: the hard wiring in our brains forces us to feel the same emotion that other people around us feel. We crave this emotional connection because we’re hardwired to experience it, and we suffer when it’s removed. In the virtual space, mirror neurons don’t fire, because they don’t get the information they need to do so.”
Of course, video chatting is not the same as being in the same room with someone, but it’s as close as technology allows. People communicating via video calling can still read one another’s facial expressions and body language, and therefore, decipher someone’s mood and tone of voice more accurately. The enhanced connection that video conferencing enables makes a significant difference in making professional relationships healthy and trustworthy.
It Makes Meetings More Efficient
When meetings allow for personal connection, participants are less likely to zone out or do other work while listening. It’s easy to understand why a person’s attention strays during audio-only calls, especially when the subject is not pertinent, but visual meetings enable presenters to be more engaging.
The visual element also opens an opportunity for additional sharing. You can’t show a PowerPoint presentation over the phone but you can with screen-sharing features. Giving people something to look at other than each other helps them visualize data, grasp important concepts, and stay attentive for extended periods of time.
Video conferencing software often comes with recording features. Was someone not able to attend a meeting? That’s not a problem, because they can watch the entire recording (or just the important segments) when they have an opportunity. Do you need to remind yourself what you talked about? That’s fine; you can go back and re-watch parts you don’t remember clearly.
Audio calls are fine for quick one-on-one conversations, but video is much more advantageous and practical for virtual group meetings. What do you prefer about video conferencing over audio?