A Conference call is a telephone call involving multiple participants is also known as teleconference. When we talk about conference calls, it means that a small to very large groups of people can participate in, or at least listen to, the same phone conversation. Through conference call we can speak speak to several people at the same time.
Conference call can be either simply audio or video. A conference call can be designed to allow callers to participate during the call, or just listen in without participating. Conference calls require something called a conference bridge, a special server that can receive and route up to thousands of calls at the same time. Many companies might own their own conference bridge, but it’s also possible to subscribe to an outside company to host your conference calls on their bridge.
Role of communication in conference call
Conference call are widely used communication medium in most of the offices and organizations. Conference call is the primary communication tool for offices or work environment. It helps the teams to interact and communicate quickly and easily. Conference call services will improve business communication. It is indeed a quick and efficient way to communicate with the team members and complete the task on time.
What Are the Types of Conference Calls?
We need to stay connected with each other and it ‘s becoming more difficult day by day to have face to face meeting in real world. But virtually we can stay connected with each other thorough conference calls.
Conference call has expanded to include three different types of remote collaboration:
• Audio conference call
People can participate in traditional conference call by audio only collective call with a group of three or more. Audio conferencing enables multiple people on multiple phones to connect on the same call. Each person dials in to a central conferencing line and can hear and speak to all the other people who call in to the same line.
• Video conference call
People can join a conference call that includes real-time video of the participants. With a strong internet connection, the people can see, hear, and talk to each other in real time, no matter where in the world they are.
• Web conference call
People join a conference call, and a presenter delivers a presentation to the group over the internet. This is primarily a live one-to-many call, but participants can usually interact in some limited capacity that differentiates a web conference from a prerecorded video.
How does a conference call work?
Conference call work in the same way like simple telephone phone call but with three aur more people . There are mainly three ways to initiate a conference call:
Caller adds members to the call: A caller starts a call by dialing a participant. Then, other participants are added to the call as the caller dials additional numbers.
Members connect to a conference bridge: A participant dial a number that connects them to a conference bridge, a special server that can answer multiple calls simultaneously and patch the audio through for all callers to listen and participate.
So, that’s how the conference calls are a quick, simple and accessible way for people around the world to communicate.
Benefits of confrence call
Conference call service is the most effective telecommunication tool in today’s business world. No matter what the size of your business and how far you are.
Some benefits of conference call are described below:
1.Ease of use
Conference call services can be set up with high speed and are very simple to use. A group of number of people can be linked together over a phone for an important meeting.Technological advances have vastly improved conference call services and simplified their controls for optimal ease of use.
Cost effectiveness: Many conference call service providers offer an extremely competitive flat monthly rate with no fees.
Conference call service can usually be accessed via a local number, meaning that no matter what the duration of the call or what time it is made the cost will be minimised by avoiding premium rates.
By linking clients and business partners together the need to travel is removed and therefore energy is saved and pollution from fuel usage is reduced. Because they are conducted over a phone line or internet connection conference calls also do not use any paper and therefore do not produce any waste material which needs to be recycled.
The conference call service can be accessed from any online interface, meaning they can be scheduled and organised from anywhere with internet capabilities .
Reliability and security: Conference call services are accessible 24 hours a day and can be accessed from mobiles and from abroad with no loss of communication quality. Conference calls are also extremely secure, using a personalised security code and encryption for all calls and the ability to block outside lines once your conference callers are securely locked in for the meeting.
Some disadvantages of conference call:
• The major disadvantages are the technical difficulties associated with smooth transmissions that could result from software,hardware or network failure.
• When several parties are involved the chance of two of them talking at the same time are great and neither of them will have their thoughts heard.
• Jokes and remarks can be taken the wrong way when those involved can not see a caller’s smile of facial expression.
• It is also difficult for those who are uncomfortable with technology to use web conferencing efficiently.
• Financially, the cost of video conferencing is quite a bit higher due to the equipment that is involved and if the equipment is not high quality it can also be limiting because the video feed can be jerky or delayed.
• Some conference callers miss the human interactions that happen before and after meetings, as well as non-verbal in the duration.
• Plan on interruptions during telephone meetings when calls are dropped and Internet connections go dead.
Tips for effective conference calls
Every day, businesses large and small all over the world conduct conference calls.
Here are some tips for smooth and effective conference calls.
Organize and prepare: Be prepared before starting of the meeting with the items you needed for meeting, check network connection so that no interruption occurs during the conference call. Create an outline of the topic you want to discuss, so that you don’t waste time on irrelevant topics.
Be punctual: Just like any other business meeting, it is important to arrive early. Dial the call a few minutes earlier. If you wait until the last minute you may face some technical issues that take time to fix.
Introduce yourself before speaking: If there are people who are new, it is always a good idea to introduce yourself at the beginning of the teleconference. Knowing your name and your exact role in the company would help everyone to understand your role in the discussion and ask you questions whenever required.
Record the conference call: Many conference call services allow hosts to record meetings. This can be a valuable tool for various reasons. Recording is a way to keep track of the meetings and verify what information was discussed and presented.
Keep the meeting short: One of the fastest way to lose participants’ focus is to go beyond that time allotted for the call by keeping the meetings short and to point your colleagues will not concern your meetings.
Take care of noise: Any sudden background noise can interrupt people thought and the flow of the meeting. A busy Cafe or any other noisy public space is certainly not a good option for a meeting. Whenever possible wear headsets . Headset microphone will eliminate most background noise.
At the end of the call, before you hang up summarise the key points of discussion during the call. The last thing you should do is thank everyone for their time and bid them a good day.
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