Understanding that there is much more to telecommunication than simple videoconferencing that comes in very handy and saves you from some awkward and disappointing moments at the workplace. Sometimes the line between the two can be very thin, with both referring to the use of video to conduct a conference. In pure technical terms thought, the two words cannot be used as like-for-like and it would be shrewd to learn the difference between the two.
As a term, teleconferencing alludes to the act of conducting a conference with several individuals who are in different locations as opposed to just one place at the same time. Telephones, computers, televisions (video), internet and radio are some of the tools that are utilized to successfully carry out a teleconference. Videoconferencing, while referring to the aforementioned way of conferencing restricts itself to the utilization of video, implying the ability to see and hear all the participants in the conference.
Due to its features, teleconferencing offers massive flexibility which is its greatest advantage. It is possible to do a teleconference with just a phone, for example, in the event that one lacks other teleconferencing gear such as a webcam. Videoconferencing on the other hand gives one the ability to see the people at the other end of the conversation which is a huge plus. This is because not only is one able to see and hear the other party but they are also able to see their body language and emotion. The non-verbal aspect of communication is too important to be missed and just like the verbal part, it carries so much information. Videoconferencing therefore gives one a much deeper understanding of the persons he is transacting with.
The one major drawback that comes with some of the teleconferencing methods such as through telephone is the lack of visibility of the other parties in the conference, meaning that there will always be some degree of information missed which could have easily been acquired via videoconferencing. While videoconferencing gives one an edge in being able to see the person they are talking to, it might warrant the acquisition of a range of more equipment, and in some instances software to facilitate the communication with the rest of the group. This could mean a significant financial outlay is needed just to be able to be part of a conference.
In the event that someone invites you to a place or you convene people yourself, you should be in a position where can clearly tell what the meaning and purpose are. By doing this, the convener makes the participants have a clear picture of what is to be expected. Discern in advance all the necessary items for one to be part of the call. For many businesses, web-based applications such Skype and Google Hangouts are the applications of choice for their teleconferencing and videoconferencing needs. Others teleconferencing and videoconferencing applications include ooVoo, ezTalks and WebEX. These applications come free or may be subscription-based with some charges for one to access their videoconferencing and teleconferencing services.