So, you’ve heard about it. But the BIG question – What is it?

Teleconferencing is simply conducting your conferences on the telephone (Did you go “Duh!” ?)

There are a lot of companies that provide teleconferencing software and services to various firms. Like you already know, most mobile phone network providers have an option for three or more people conferencing in their services. And mobiles come with an option of conference calling – this you can use to call between family and friends or even work related calls. Use it well.

Many businesses and companies use teleconferencing for holding their meeting online since it saves traveling cost, accommodation and other expenses – such as booking meeting rooms, etc. It also gives flexibility to the meeting time. In contrast to conferences involving actual people (which need to be planned days ahead), managing travel plans and staying for the participants, teleconferences can be organised in only a few hours. The conference participants can then be informed – just a few hours before too, and they can make themselves available at the time – no matter the place they are at.

And as with all things around, Good comes with bad. The main disadvantage of teleconferencing is during bargaining and negotiations. In teleconferencing you just cannot be receptive of the others’s signal as you could if the meeting were to be in person. The meeting could become quite impersonal, due to lack of familiarity.

Now that you know what can go wrong, here are a few precautions you can take to prevent them. Teleconferencing only means that you are doing your talking on the phone. So talk whatever you would if it were to be in person. Don’t hesitate just because you cant read the other person’s body language. Try to be receptive during a teleconference. Look at what the person (or people) at the other end are trying to say. Try casual talk and ice-breaking if you can afford to. Most importantly – be yourself!

Written by Benjamin Willis