Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience

Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Chapter 20: How to be an Outstanding Audio- or Videoconference Leader

Overview

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

—Charles Dickens

Samuel Morse transmitted the first electrical telegraph message in 1844; however, he wasn't the first to try innovative ways to communicate over long distances. Records show that in the fourth century B.C., for example, messages were "transported" by a line of men shouting to each other and passing the message down the line. Smoke signals and mirrors reflecting the sunlight could also be considered early forms of sending messages over long distances to more than one person at a time.

Although the technology has advanced tremendously, the problem remains the same—finding ways to communicate with others who are located in different parts of the building, the town, or the world. Today, the solution often comes in the form of teleconferencing: the holding of a conference among people remote from one another by means of telecommunication devices (such as telephones, video cameras, and computer terminals).

Today, the need for long-distance communication is greater than ever. Because of the Internet and other advancements, more and more companies do business across the country and around the world, and the need to stay in touch with their own employees at distant locations, or with faraway customers and vendors is greater than ever. The threats of war around the world as well as economic hardships have forced many businesspeople to cut way back on their travel time and expenses. Fortunately, however, the tools used to make long-distance communication possible are improving constantly.

According to an article titled "Conference Call Volume Growing at Rapid Rate" by Rebecca Kumar in the Bergen County Record (September 12, 2002), teleconferencing has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with an increase of more than 40 percent in call volume since 1997—and that volume was expected to grow by another 50 percent in 2002.


Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience