There are a number of communication tools that are frequently used in a business setting. Each communication medium has its own advantages and disadvantages. While email allows clear articulation of thoughts, it does not allow immediate feedback. In-person meetings allow immediate feedback and brainstorming, however, it is not practical to conduct frequent in-person meeting with colleagues located in other offices. In-person meetings are also limited by the number of participants that can actively participate in a discussion.
The next best thing to an in-person meeting is using video conferencing. A video conference allows participants to lend a personal touch to their communications. Video conference allows individuals to establish eye contact which is crucial for fostering trust quickly. It also allows participants to absorb the non-verbal communication that supplements spoken words of the speaker. By analyzing the body posture and facial expressions of the speaker, participants in a video conference are able to understand the subtle nuances of the communication which go beyond the spoken words. At the same time, the speaker can analyze the facial expressions of listeners, and accordingly adjust the tone of communication to suit the communication style of the listeners.
Video conference applications allow recording of meeting for future reference. Recorded videos are much more insightful than written meeting notes. This is especially helpful for strategists trying to analyze the reasons for success/debacle of a business strategy. Snippets of actual meeting videos can be used in external marketing communications published on the corporate website. They can also be used as reference materials for communications module of new hire orientation programs. Finally, videos can be used for marketing the company to investors, and potential clients.
Video conference applications can also allow for communication in emergency situations such as the volcanic eruption in Iceland that grounded airlines for several weeks across Western Europe. In such emergencies, executives cannot fly to their destinations for conducting business meetings. However, using video conference they can ensure that the volcanic eruption does not delay their business tasks. This could result in millions of pounds in savings.
Video conference applications do not require huge initial outlays. They do not even need professional equipment installation. Instead, companies can download and install free video conference software available on the internet, synchronize it with high resolution video cameras and microphones, and start using video conferences. The entire process of setting up a video conference application can be completed in a matter of minutes. The slew of advantages, ease of use, and low running cost make video conferencing an unmatched communication medium.
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