Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Audio Conference Calls

Audio conferencing is one of the easy ways to
communicate with a group of people at the same time. Being able to
balance talk time in a day would be such a great help for busy people
who value every second of their waking hours.

But just like any other product or service, there are pros and cons in using audio conferencing.

Let us first take a look at the different advantages that you can get
from it. Audio conferencing is a whole lot cheaper than other means of
conferencing. It can reach more people since it relies mostly on
telephone lines. It is easier to use since it takes advantage of a
technology that is relatively familiar to all of us. Furthermore, we
can enhance it by combining communication lines with other mediums such
as computers. Audio conferencing has a great potential for larger
groups to conference in and the technology used is fairly reliable.
Audio conferencing is also very accessible and consumes lesser time to
set up.

On the down side, Audio conferencing transmission may be of poor
quality at times since it relies on phone lines. Noise can affect the
conversation and may even cut the host out. Also, the presence of a
facilitator is needed especially when a conference consists of a large
number of people.

We all know that communication is not only verbal and this may also
pose as a problem with the audio conferencing. This communication
medium does not support visual images so the participants of the
conference do not actually see each other. This kind of setting may be
a little impersonal since you can not see and understand the body
language and cues of the people you are talking to.

The mentioned disadvantages, only apply if such communication means is
used in professional transactions or meetings. For businesses these
disadvantages could make or break a deal, thus other means of
conferencing would be advised. But if the nature of the conference
involves people who just want to get in touch with each other and catch
up, the down side of audio conferencing should not be a big problem.
Especially if the people conversing are family members and friends that
have a good understanding of each other since knowing someone
personally means you could easily get the idea of what they are trying
to say.

The visual downside of audio conferencing may be hard to solve but the
quality of voice transmission is not really that much of a problem
nowadays. There are tons of providers that offer high quality services
and for cheaper prices too. One just needs to carefully think over
which provider to choose to get the best value.

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