Internet conference calls are an increasingly popular way for business people to keep in touch. They are given many clever names by the marketers when creating their TV ads, with one thing being clear, that they are a much more cost effective way to communicate with your customers, prospects, and field force.
There are a variety of teleconference services available, ranging from the "no-charge to you" variety to the more professional services that ensure your guests or clients will not pay a fee.
Internet conference calls that are free for you could cost your clients either a long-distance or other toll charge. That might not be desirable. But, it is certainly helpful for people on a budget.
Most of the services require you to install a little bit of software in order for your computer to allow this kind of connection. Naturally, some programs are easier to use than others.
Every Internet conference call service I know of provides the downloadable software free of charge. Basically, the software is simply telling your computer and you "what" to do.
With free teleconference services, you will be assigned a phone number for a specific time slot. It is then your responsibility to let other participants know what the phone number is and the time that they should place their call.
For a fee, you can create over the phone conference calls without making a reservation, sort of on-demand, at your own convenience. This is a good choice for companies with several branches and also to provide important spur of the minute updates or "breaking" news.
Most teleconference services allow a maximum of 150 participants. Because of background noise and other issues, it is a good idea to keep the number of participants low.
If that means having several Internet conference calls, it's still worth your while. If no one can hear what you have to say, then you've wasted your time and possibly your money.
In addition to the telephone conference call option, there are also online services that provide for video and video PowerPoint presentations. If you are making a sales pitch or instructing affiliates, a video feed is a good choice.
You will need some equipment to get started with the video, including a camera. You will also need additional software and a hosting service.
If you want to make the most of your conferencing, you need to practice. Plan for how long you expect your speech or presentation to last. Allow ample time for questions and answers. Have someone listen to your speech to be sure that it is clear. Sometimes people hear you, but don't understand.
One of the key benefits using Internet conference calls is your ability to share information back and forth between presenter and participants. You can also share files, videos and audio recordings, using the Internet, rather than a phone. This kind of system requires microphones and cameras as well.
There are numerous options available when considering the Internet conference call option. The one you choose should be the subject of some meaningful research in advance.
But don't worry. If at first you don't succeed (based on your expectations or those of your target audience) try another service next time!