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Teleconferencing vs. Web Conferencing

Updated on June 17, 2011

Web Conference

Teleconferencing vs. Web Conferencing

Today’s business environment is incredibly competitive. In order to stand out from the crowd you need to be at the top of your game, especially when it comes to your ability to communicate with both current and potential clients. Both teleconferencing and web conferencing have proven themselves to be effective methods when it comes to enhancing your ability to reach your audience, but while they both have the potential to make a positive impact on your business neither is without its drawbacks.

The Pros and Cons of Teleconferencing

Teleconferencing is, simply put, the ability to hold a meeting or conference over the telephone. You may already be familiar with simple two-way calling features provided on most telephones, but teleconferencing takes this simple method of communication a step further by allowing dozens of participants, sometimes hundreds, to listen in.

Some of the positive attributes of teleconferencing include:

  • The ability to attend a meeting anywhere in the world without traveling, and the reduction of expenses associated with such;
  • Flexibility when it comes to scheduling meetings;
  • Increased ability to communicate with other business office branches or even clients.

As with most pieces of technology, however, teleconferencing is not without its drawbacks. Fortunately, most are technological in nature and can be resolved with a minimal amount of training. These include:

  • A lack of experience may result in equipment that is not hooked up correctly before a presentation is set to begin;
  • The lack of face-to-face communication may be a turnoff to some potential clients and it may also be difficult for employees to grasp certain concepts without human interaction;
  • Because your attendees can’t see each other they may have a hard time working together to brainstorm or come up with solutions and may also be less likely to participate by asking questions or making comments;
  • You have to find a room from which to hold your teleconference that will not conflict with your phone or equipment. You need a room that provides for optimal sound to make sure you don’t echo, sound far away, or pick up disturbing background noises;
  • Unless you have the proper tools to mute callers, it will be difficult to control who is speaking and even more difficult to interrupt someone who is attempting to monopolize the meeting by speaking out of turn.

While it seems like teleconferencing has more drawbacks than positive attributes, all are issues that can be resolved with proper planning and equipment. Establishing guidelines for the participation in a teleconference and giving them to participants in advance will greatly enhance your success as well.

Online Web Conference Room

Web Conferencing

The Pros and Cons of Web Conferencing

Web conferencing is a little different than teleconferencing. Instead of using the phone to communicate with your clients or employees you’ll use the internet. The use of the web allows you to incorporate a few more helpful features so that you can make your points more effectively.

The benefits of web conferencing include, but aren’t limited to:

  • The elimination of travel and related expenses,
  • The same flexibility as with teleconferencing when it comes to scheduling meetings;
  • The ability to incorporate real-time white boards where participants can see the presenter write and draw notes to illustrate his thoughts;
  • The ability to incorporate cameras, PowerPoint presentations, and real-time screen sharing to demonstrate or illustrate points;
  • The ability to prepare a presentation with a face-to-face feel even when you can’t be in the same place.

The drawbacks of web conferencing, as with teleconferencing, are again more technological than anything else. They include:

  • The need to learn about advanced communication tools such as how to use a web camera, microphones, and other recording devices;
  • Equipment failures, such as broken cameras and loose wires;
  • Equipment glitches associated with not knowing how to upload a presentation or work the system once the presentation begins;
  • The need to find a designated place to host a web conference in order to avoid distractions, noises, and clutter;
  • The need for very careful planning in order to make sure the presentation runs smoothly; you can not go off on tangents, allow attendees to monopolize your speaking time, etc.

Web conferencing allows businesses of all sizes to provide their attendees with functional and well rounded presentations, no matter when or where the meeting is held. The real question, though, is whether or not it’s necessary to make a choice.

Which is Better – Teleconferencing or Web Conferencing?

The truth of the matter is that the only reason you might have for having to choose between teleconferencing and web conferencing is financial. Businesses on more limited budgets may only be able to afford teleconferencing, but the costs associated with using tools that combine both teleconferencing and web features are usually pretty minimal as well.

At Message Impact we specialize in making sure you have all of the communication tools you need right at your fingertips. With teleconferencing tools like Ready Conference and web conferencing tools like Netspoke, we can show you how to combine your resources to create the most effective presentations possible. Why limit yourself to either the phone or the web when you can easily incorporate the best of both worlds into your presentations? Let us show you how!

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      shaun Marsh 

      5 years ago

      Great article. One may use various web conferencing tools such as WebEx, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. or can even deploy on premise RHUB web conferencing appliances in order to conduct webinars, web conferences, online meetings etc.

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