Five Reasons Why a Video Call is Better Than an Audio Call

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2018-12-03 (5)

In the age of digital communication, we are often faced with a choice: audio call or video call? While each has its benefits, video calls have emerged as the preferred choice for many individuals and businesses alike. They offer a more personal connection, foster effective communication, and create opportunities for collaboration that traditional audio calls simply cannot match. In this article, we will explore five compelling reasons why a video call is a superior communication tool compared to an audio call.

Differences Between Video Calls and Voice Calls

Switching from a traditional voice call to a video call can seem like a small change, but the differences between the two are quite significant. An audio call allows you to communicate with another party using only voice, limiting the scope of the conversation to purely auditory cues. On the other hand, video calls leverage modern technology to create a more immersive interaction, incorporating both audio and visual elements. This juxtaposition of features enhances the communication experience in several ways, which we’ll delve into in the following sections.

Application

When it comes to applications, video calls offer versatility that audio calls cannot match. In a professional setting, video calls enable virtual face-to-face meetings, webinars, interviews, and team collaborations. These interactions, aided by visual aids and body language, often result in more effective communication and better decision-making.

Conversely, while audio calls are a great tool for quick check-ins or updates, they fall short when more complex discussions or demonstrations are needed. The lack of visual components can lead to misunderstandings and hinder the conveyance of nuanced information. 

For example, during conference calls, it’s often hard to keep track of who is speaking and the absence of visual cues can make the call feel impersonal or disjointed. In contrast, video calls allow participants to see who is talking and interpret non-verbal cues, bridging the gap often felt during audio-only meetings.

Connectivity

The connectivity of video calls far exceeds that of audio calls. With video, participants can join the call from anywhere in the world as long as they have a stable internet connection and a device with a camera. This broad accessibility breaks down geographical barriers and allows for more inclusive and diverse participation in discussions and meetings. 

While audio calls offer similar flexibility, they lack the personal touch and context that come with the visual aspect of video calls. This is particularly important in conference calls, where seeing the participants’ faces and reactions can significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of communication. Thus, the superior connectivity of video calls facilitates not just conversation, but quality interaction.

Uses

In terms of uses, video conference calls are not limited to professional scenarios; they also enhance personal communications. They are a lifeline for maintaining personal connections with family and friends across great distances, providing a platform for shared experiences that could not occur over a traditional audio call. Virtual celebrations, tutoring sessions, workout classes, and even doctors’ appointments have all become commonplace thanks to video calls. 

Conference calls, specifically, have been revolutionised by video technology, transforming them from potentially confusing audio-only interactions into visually rich, highly engaging exchanges. The wide range of uses for video calls in both professional and personal contexts further underscores their superiority over audio calls.

Cost

When it comes to cost, video calls offer a great degree of efficiency and savings. Traditional audio calls, especially long-distance or international ones, can result in significant charges. Video calls, on the other hand, only require an internet connection, making them a cost-effective alternative regardless of distance. 

Additionally, in a business context, video calls can reduce travel costs for meetings and enable remote work, leading to considerable savings. They also encourage efficient use of time, as participants can join from their desks or homes, eliminating travel time. Therefore, video calls are not only superior in terms of communication quality but are also a more economical choice.

The Advantages of Using Video Conferencing Over a Phone Call

1. More Personal Experience

Video calls provide a more personal experience compared to audio calls. They facilitate face to face interaction, allowing participants to read facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal cues that add depth to the conversation. This level of personal connection fosters better understanding, empathy, and rapport among participants, which can be especially beneficial in a business context. 

Whether it’s a virtual team-building exercise, a negotiation with a client, or a routine team meeting, video calls create an atmosphere that’s as close to an in-person meeting as possible. This personal touch is often missing in audio calls, making video calls a more engaging and meaningful mode of communication.

2. Helping Conversation Engagement

Video calls significantly aid in fostering conversation engagement. The immersive experience that comes with visual interaction helps maintain interest and focus during discussions. Unlike in audio calls where multitasking is common, video calls require participants to be present and attentive, contributing to increased productivity and effectiveness. 

The visibility of participants also encourages active participation, as non-verbal cues can signal when someone wants to contribute or react to a point. This dynamic interaction enhances the quality of discussions, making video calls an indispensable tool for achieving fruitful communication.

3. The Ability to Read Body Language

The ability to read body language is a crucial part of communication that is often overlooked in audio calls. Video calls bring this important aspect to the forefront, allowing participants to interpret subtle nonverbal cues and nuances that add context to the spoken word. This helps build relationships, as understanding body language can lead to empathy and a deeper connection with the speaker. 

Moreover, being able to see who’s speaking at any given moment adds structure and coherence to the conversation, allowing people to follow the discussion more easily. In contrast to audio calls, video calls offer a comprehensive communication experience that significantly enhances understanding and collaboration.

4. Having an Agile Schedule

Having an agile schedule is another advantage conferred by video calls. Our world today is fast-paced and unpredictable, making flexibility a crucial aspect of both personal and professional life. In this regard, video calls shine. With a device and an internet connection, participants can join a meeting from anywhere, at any time. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those juggling multiple responsibilities or working from different time zones. 

Mobile phones, in particular, have revolutionised our ability to stay connected. With video meeting apps readily available, one can attend a conference call during a commute, a lunch break, or even from the comfort of home. This agility, coupled with the personal and engaging nature of video calls, leads to more productive meetings and a better balance between work and personal life.

5. Clear Communication

Clear communication is a primary advantage of using video calls over traditional phone calls. With video, the chances of miscommunication significantly decrease as visual cues accompany verbal communication. This becomes even more crucial when discussing complex or intricate topics where visuals can aid in understanding. Screen sharing, as an integral part of video conferencing, allows participants to share presentations, diagrams, or documents in real-time. 

This not only enhances the clarity of the discussion but also ensures everyone is on the same page, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the communication. It’s another way that video calls offer a more comprehensive and efficient communication experience, standing superior to traditional phone calls.

video conferencing

How Video Calls Help Improve Business Communication

In the contemporary business environment, effective communication is pivotal for success. Video calls, with their unique blend of visual and audio interaction, serve as a catalyst for enhancing business communication. They foster a more connected, engaged, and productive workforce, transforming the way businesses operate. This section delves into how video calls help improve business communication, emphasising their role in increasing efficiency, boosting collaboration, and strengthening relationships within the professional realm.

The In-Person Experience

Video calls replicate the in-person experience to a great extent, making remote communication feel less distant. They enable face-to-face interaction, capturing the nuances of communication such as tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. This allows for more effective communication and fosters a sense of camaraderie among team members, even when they are geographically dispersed. 

In a business context, this can enhance cooperation and mutual understanding, leading to more productive meetings and stronger team dynamics. Employees can feel more connected to their colleagues and their work, thus leading to increased job satisfaction and engagement. Despite the physical distance, video calls facilitate the human connection that is intrinsic to any successful business communication.

Saving on Travel Expenses

Creating a significant reduction in travel expenses is another noteworthy advantage of video calls. With high-quality video conferencing, the need for in-person meetings, and consequently, the costs associated with travel, can decrease dramatically. This saving extends beyond just the direct costs of airfare, accommodation, and meals – it also includes the indirect costs of travel time and productivity loss due to travel fatigue. 

By conducting meetings, presentations, and discussions remotely, companies can reallocate these considerable savings towards other growth-oriented investments. Furthermore, this reduction in travel also aligns with sustainability initiatives, reducing the carbon footprint associated with business trips. Therefore, video calls offer both a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for business communication.

Connecting Teams & Employees

Video calls play a pivotal role in connecting teams and employees, particularly in today’s global business environment where teams are often spread across different geographical locations. By providing a reliable and efficient mode of communication, video calls allow for regular interaction among team members, facilitating collaboration and solidifying team cohesion. 

They bridge the gap between different time zones and physical distances, ensuring that everyone stays informed and connected, irrespective of where they are. In addition to this, video calls also enable regular face-to-face interaction, an essential ingredient for fostering strong professional relationships and a unified company culture. Thus, video calls serve as an important tool for businesses, enhancing employee engagement, boosting productivity, and maintaining a strong team dynamic in an increasingly remote and global workforce.

Improving Productivity

Improving productivity is a key benefit of video calls in a business setting. The visual nature of video calls holds participants more accountable, encouraging them to stay focused and engaged. This, in turn, leads to more efficient meetings with clear objectives and outcomes. Furthermore, video calls reduce the time spent on unproductive travel, freeing up employees to concentrate on tasks that directly contribute to business growth. 

Additionally, the ability to share screens, documents, and presentations in real-time fosters effective collaboration, further enhancing productivity. By facilitating instant communication and collaboration, video calls significantly streamline business operations, driving productivity and efficiency.

Reducing Decision Making Time

Video calls contribute significantly to reducing decision-making time in a business setting. The ability to gather all relevant stakeholders in a virtual meeting, regardless of their geographical location, allows for real-time discussion, brainstorming, and decision-making. This immediacy eliminates the time lag often associated with email communication or waiting for in-person meetings. 

Moreover, the visual elements of video calls, such as screen sharing and presentations, allow for clearer, more comprehensive communication, minimising misunderstandings and the need for follow-up clarifications. All of these factors contribute to more efficient and streamlined decision-making processes. In a business environment where time is of the essence, the speed and efficiency offered by video calls can be a significant competitive advantage.

Conveying More Complex Subjects

Video calls offer a particularly advantageous platform for conveying more complex subjects. The combination of visual and auditory communication allows for a comprehensive and detailed presentation of intricate ideas and concepts. With features like screen sharing and live demonstrations, presenters can visually illustrate their points, making it easier for participants to understand and engage with the material. 

This can be particularly beneficial in scenarios such as technical training sessions, product demonstrations, or strategic planning meetings, where visual aids can significantly enhance comprehension and retention. Furthermore, real-time interaction provides the opportunity for immediate clarification of doubts, further ensuring a clear understanding of complex subjects. Thus, video calls not only streamline communication but also enhance the quality of understanding, particularly when dealing with complex business matters.

Better Work-Life Balance

Video calls contribute significantly towards achieving a better work-life balance. By eliminating the need for commuting and reducing the demands of travel, they give employees more flexibility and control over their time, allowing them to better balance their professional and personal commitments. This flexibility can lead to improved job satisfaction and employee well-being, both of which are crucial for productivity and employee retention. 

Moreover, this balance is particularly beneficial for those with family obligations or those living in areas with long commute times. Thus, video calls not only enhance business operations but also support the personal lives of employees, promoting a happier and healthier workforce. This, in turn, helps people on both an individual and a corporate level.

Why Are Video Chats & Virtual Meetings So Important Today?

Staying in Touch

In an increasingly globalised world, maintaining regular communication is crucial for both personal and professional relationships. Video chats and virtual meetings have emerged as invaluable tools for staying in touch. They offer a sense of closeness that traditional phone calls or text-based communication cannot match, simulating the nuances of face-to-face interactions from the comfort of one’s home or office. This immediate, personal mode of communication is particularly important in times of uncertainty or crisis, fostering a sense of community and continuity.

For businesses, it ensures that teams can continue working together seamlessly, irrespective of physical distance, maintaining the flow of ideas, and keeping projects on track. Video chats and virtual meetings play a vital role in our lives today, keeping us connected, and enabling us to maintain our relationships, both personal and professional.

Improving Relationships

Video chats and virtual meetings offer a unique avenue for improving relationships, both personal and professional. They allow for more personal interaction, mimicking the experience of being in the same room, which can lead to better understanding and stronger connections. The ability to read facial expressions, gestures, and body language adds an extra layer of communication that can’t be achieved through audio-only or text-based interaction. 

This non-verbal communication is crucial in building trust and empathy, essential components in any successful relationship. In a professional setting, this can result in stronger team cohesion, enhanced collaboration, and a more positive work environment. In personal relationships, it can deepen bonds, bridge geographic distances, and make interactions more meaningful. Thus, the use of video chats and virtual meetings can significantly contribute to improving and maintaining relationships in today’s interconnected world.

Calling In For Work

Video chats and virtual meetings have revolutionised the concept of “calling in for work”. With their help, employees can fully participate in the work process without being physically present in the office. This has been particularly useful in situations where employees are unable to be on-site due to health issues, personal commitments or even global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Video calls allow team meetings, client interactions, and even major conferences to be conducted virtually, ensuring uninterrupted business operations. 

Furthermore, it reduces the time and resources spent on travel, leading to greater efficiency. It also offers employees the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else, contributing to better work-life balance and job satisfaction. Therefore, “calling in for work” via video chats and virtual meetings is an important tool in today’s professional landscape.

Cutting Down Carbon Emissions

The use of video chats and virtual meetings has a significant, positive impact on our environment by cutting down carbon emissions. By substituting physical travel with virtual meetings, we reduce the greenhouse gases released during commuting or air travel. In fact, working remotely just a few days a week can result in a substantial decrease in an individual’s carbon footprint. Similarly, companies that adopt virtual meetings reduce their environmental impact by minimising the energy consumption associated with office spaces. Essentially, utilising video chats and virtual meetings is a practical step towards sustainable business practices and responsible environmental stewardship.

Teaching the World

The advent of video chats and virtual meetings has transformed the realm of education, opening up new avenues for teaching and learning.  They enable educators to reach students not just in their local communities but across the globe, removing geographical barriers to education. Through video calls, teachers can deliver lessons to students in remote areas or in regions where certain educational resources may not be readily available. 

This democratisation of education also allows for a more diverse learning environment, where students from different cultures and backgrounds can learn from one another. Furthermore, these technologies make continuing education more accessible for adults, accommodating their schedules and commitments. Thus, video chats and virtual meetings contribute significantly to ‘teaching the world’, bringing education to doorsteps and making learning a truly global experience.

F.A.Q.s

What are the disadvantages of voice calling?

While voice calling is a vital tool in our communication toolbox, it does present certain disadvantages. Foremost, voice calls lack visual cues that are integral to understanding context and interpreting meaning, which could lead to miscommunication. Moreover, for business purposes, voice calls may not be effective for larger meetings involving multiple participants since it becomes harder to manage turn-taking and discussions can easily become muddled. 

Another limitation is the lack of a visual component, which can be essential for demonstrating ideas or concepts, particularly during business meetings. Voice calls also do not allow for longer meetings that necessitate breaks or split sessions, as these are more easily managed in a video call where visual signals can be used. Finally, traditional phone systems may also present quality issues, such as poor voice clarity or call drops, that can disrupt smooth communication.

Are virtual meetings more effective than face-to-face meetings?

The effectiveness of virtual meetings compared to face-to-face meetings can depend greatly on the circumstances. Virtual meetings offer several advantages, including the convenience of participation from any location, the elimination of travel time and costs, and the ability to record and revisit discussions. They also enable attendance for those who might not be able to travel due to health or logistical reasons. 

However, face-to-face meetings have their unique advantages too. They allow for a more personal connection and interaction which can be crucial for building relationships or discussing sensitive topics. They also provide a complete range of non-verbal cues that can aid in communication. Technological issues, such as poor network connectivity or hardware limitations, can sometimes hamper the effectiveness of virtual meetings. Thus, the choice between virtual and face-to-face meetings should be made based on the specific requirements of the situation.

What internet speed do you need for video conferencing?

To ensure a smooth video conferencing experience, a high-speed internet connection is indispensable. The level of internet speed required can vary based on the specific video conferencing platform and the quality of the call. However, as a general rule, for a high-quality video call, you should have an upload and download speed of at least 3.2 Mbps for 720p video on Skype, or 3.8 Mbps for high-quality video on Zoom. For group video calls, these requirements may increase. 

Keep in mind that these specifications are per individual user, so if multiple users are sharing the same network, additional bandwidth will be necessary. Also, remember that other factors can affect video call quality, like the performance of your device and any additional equipment you might be using, such as a webcam or microphone. Thus, alongside a good internet connection, ensuring your equipment is up-to-date and functioning correctly will help maintain a high-quality video conference experience.