Teleconferencing refers to communication among three or more people that is done via an electronic medium. The participants of teleconferencing do not have to be in the same place in order to talk. They can be located at polar ends of the earth and still be able to discuss matters. In short, what teleconferencing does is bring individuals together in one virtual location.
The American Telephone and Telegraph introduced the concept of teleconferencing in the 1960s through its Picturephone device. During the time, people didn't really see the need for such technology, but over the years, as the cost of traveling from one place to another increased, more and more people were beginning to see the merits of of the Picturephone.
There are basically three kinds of teleconferencing deviec: one that allows audio conferencing and verbal communication, which is carried out using the telephone, one that allows video conferencing, and one that allows computer and printed conferencing via computer terminals.
Areas that are far from the city are able to maximize the use of teleconferencing services and devices; so do businesses that have branches or micro-staff in other parts of world. Businessmen no longer need to travel to meet a certain client. He can just audio- or video-conference with the other party and close deals through this medium. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using teleconferencing devices to communicate.
Advantages of Teleconferencing
The main advantage of teleconferencing is the reduction of communication costs. The savings come because people do not need to travel miles to meet with each other anymore. In fact, according to statistics, teleconferencing can cut down business travel-related expenses by around 30 per cent every year. That could translate to billions of dollars!
Another advantage is that people who are unable to attend meetings personally can still gain access to important discussions. Follow up meets have also become more often because of the reduced expense and greater ease. Unless, there is a major blackout, no storm or amount of traffic will stop participants from holding a meeting, as these external annoyances are bypassed.
Disadvantages of Teleconferencing
Teleconferencing, while considered a savior of many businesses, is not without its share of negative characteristics. For instance, in the event of a major blackout or a technical failure, you will not be able to teleconference. This communication method relies heavily on technology and modernity to operate well. When these factors are suspended, meetings are likely to be suspended, too.
It's also difficult to negotiate and bargain if you're teleconferencing. This is because the other party can simply turn you off if he or she does not fancy what you're proposing, as opposed to face-to-face interaction, where the other party is compelled to stay and continue to listen to you. The impersonal feel of teleconferencing also makes persuasion difficult to maneuver.
In sum, while teleconferencing is highly convenient alternative to person to person meetings, it still isn't able to deliver the personal touch that is present in all FTF transactions. It is more difficult to judge another person's reaction to a certain issue if you just teleconference. However, the cost factor is a major issue and it cannot be denied that teleconferencing can save us millions of bucks.
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