Hang it up: 5 reasons conference calls don’t deserve your time

If we’ve learned anything from films like The Intern or Madonna’s career, it’s that ageism at work is completely inappropriate. However, ageism with regards to technology is always appropriate, especially when it comes to embarrassing throwbacks like the ye olde conference call. You know you hate them. Who doesn’t? Yet somehow they still manage to worm their way into the meetings of otherwise forward-thinking people. Next time you get invited to participate in one, instead of reluctantly accepting, feel free to forward this blog as your cheeky response. Now, without further ado, we give you the top five reasons conference calls suck.

Only a conference call could make yelling at your boss so unfulfilling.

Notorious for poor audio quality, conference calls by virtue of their invisibility make it impossible for callers to know who’s talking when – much less discern what’s being said, especially since people are prone to talk over one another. Poor quality microphones and speakers only add to the frustrations, ensuring that every crying baby and barking dog is heard, while important things are lost in the ‘muffle.’

I hear ya, Buddy: Next time you find yourself smack dab in the ninth circle of audio hell, be sure to clear your throat and casually let your host know that HD microphones and movie-quality audio come standard in a Highfive video conferencing device. We’re talking Dolby Voice audio with noise cancellation and crystal clarity. Plus, with the Dolby Conference Phone, you’ll be able to hear anyone in the room, anywhere in the room, just by simply listening. 

Teenagers feel more understood than conference call participants.

Irony, sarcasm, humor — all are lost in conference calls. Strip away one’s ability to see others as they speak and you eliminate 93 percent of the content people need to determine the true meaning of what’s being said. That’s a lot of room for error and misinterpretation. It’s also a big opportunity for costly mistakes to be made, such as, “Wait…you didn’t want me to spend our entire third quarter budget on that idea? Then, why did you say so?!” Oh, and not only are you missing out on that 93 percent of non-verbal communication — you’re also missing out on what really happens during conference calls, like online shopping and email.

You totally get me: There’s really no excuse for being misunderstood in the modern work world, especially when video conferencing solutions enable you to engage in face-to-face conversations that allow you to be in on every eye-roll and inside joke. Big TVs make the experience even more amazing by creating an in-room feeling for remote callers that allows them to be real participants.

Taking a calculous exam is easier than dialing into a conference call.

Few things are more infuriating than dialing the 52-digit telephone number, access code and password combination that conference calls require only to discover you got one number wrong and now you have to hang up and do it all again. What’s worse is that dialing into a conference call is easily a five to ten minute process, so now you will be late to the call. Way to look good in front of new clients!

Don’t give ‘em your digits: The great thing about video conferencing (other than everything) is that there’s no number to dial. Here, everything clicks. You send links to attendees with a click. They click the link and they’re in. This means those ten minutes you set aside to call into a conference are no longer necessary. You can have that time back, and your sanity, thanks to video conferencing.

War zones have more reliable connections than conference calls.

Play any conference call bingo card and you’ll find that the dreaded “dropped call” is as ubiquitous as a “free space” in the middle. Aside from being embarrassing and obnoxious, dropped calls also have the unfortunate habit of turning respectable people into super loud fast-talkers. It’s not their fault. Dropped calls trigger a reflexive action in people that causes them to yell everything they want to say in one breath as they desperately try to make a point before their call is woefully dropped again.

Drop them before they drop you: If you’re over dropped calls, it’s time you told team members you’re tabling all discussions until they can be conducted via video conference. Sure, employees may be surprised that you’re breaking up with conference calls for good, but they’ll also be grateful. Meetings will be shorter and more efficient and no one will ever have to get loud again, unless they feel like celebrating how awesome video conferencing is compared to craptacular conference calls.

Attempting to present anything via a conference call is anticlimactic.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you gave a brilliant presentation during a conference call, but at the end there was awkward silence instead of thunderous applause? First, you should know, it’s not you, it’s the conference call. In a world where cell phone addiction is an actual malady, keeping everyone’s attention when you can’t make eye contact is tough, if not impossible. Plus, even if everyone is trying to follow along on the slides you sent beforehand, there’s always that one person who skips ahead and interrupts with annoying questions you were planning to cover later.

Take your presentation to the big screen: If you really want to wow the crowd, slap those slides up on the big screen and take control of your presentation (and the room) via a video conference with wireless screen projection. If you choose a device like Highfive, remote attendees can also share screens with ease. Nice!

Let’s go, video!

The best way to see and hear people clearly during a meeting, and give presentations on par with TED Talks is to meet via video. Highfive makes video meetings simple, affordable and easy. With Highfive, you don’t need some elaborate access number or a hearing aid. Our all-in-one video conferencing devices are easy to use and equip you with everything you and your team need to connect for a vivid video meeting anytime, anywhere. Go ahead, say goodbye to conference calls and give yourself a Highfive.

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By Sara Moseley