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Advantages Over Conference Calls and Group Email

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Advantages Over Conference Calls and Group Email

Telephone conference calls and group-email discussions are probably the most popular ways of conducting private group discussions electronically.  But Voice RoundTables have many advantages these methods.  Please click on any topic listed below for a full explanation of it.  (If you don't know how a series of group emails can create a group discussion, click here:  Group email discussions.)

Advantages over group email:

 Greater mobility:  cell-phone mobility
 Universal accessibility:  no PC required
 The emotional expressiveness of voice
 Increased productivity:  a hands-free, eyes-free medium
 Faster, easier, more natural participation

 Advantages over telephone conference calls:

 Time-flexible participation
 Sharply lower cost
 The advantages of message-based communication

Advantages over group email:
Greater mobility:  cell-phone mobility

Why stay chained to a personal computer?  Because Voice RoundTables are accessed by telephone, they offer you more freedom and mobility.  Land-line telephones are available in many more locations than online PCs, and if you have a cell phone, you can take a Voice RoundTable with you wherever you go.  With a telephone headset and other appropriate equipment, you can even access a Voice RoundTable safely while driving in your car.

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Universal accessibility

Some members of a group you belong to may not be on line.  This will often be true in non-business groups, like social groups, community groups, or church groups.  Individuals who are not online would be left out of any Internet interaction.  But most people have or have access to telephones.  When you use a Voice RoundTable to convene your group, no one gets left out.

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The emotional expressiveness of voice

Few things are as emotionally expressive as the human voice.  This emotional expressiveness is lost in email interactions, but it comes sailing through in a Voice RoundTable.  The sound of the human voice makes interactions with friends and family a lot more personal—and a lot more fun.  Emotion is important in business as well, and can be of paramount importance in a support group.

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Faster, easier, more natural participation

Talking is faster than typing.  And for most of us, it’s easier and much more natural.  In addition, dialing into a Voice RoundTable takes only a few seconds, whereas booting up a computer and going online can take several minutes.

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Increased productivity:  a hands-free, eyes-free medium

It’s hard to cut vegetables or pump iron while you’re sitting at a PC reading group email.  But while you listen to the latest round of messages from your Voice RoundTable group—through an inexpensive speaker phone or telephone headset—you can be doing something else constructive, and boosting your personal or business productivity.

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Advantages over telephone conference calls
Time-flexible participation

With a telephone conference call, all participants must be available to be on the phone at the exact same time.  That makes scheduling difficult.  And after you do find a workable time, someone’s schedule often changes, and you have to start all over again—or else leave someone out.  But with a Voice RoundTable, group members don’t have to be available at the same time, because participation is time-flexible.  You will never have to bother with scheduling issues again.

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Sharply lower cost

An hour-long telephone conference call with just six or eight participants usually costs $100 - $200, and this is with no participants calling long-distance.  But you can conduct a local-call Voice RoundTable every single day for a month, with a total expenditure of only about $15.  If you have 10 members in your group, and you are sharing expenses, this comes out to only $1.50 per member per month.  If you are holding weekly Voice RoundTables (about four/month), this comes to about 38 cents per person per "meeting."  If you are holding daily Voice RoundTables (about 30/month), the cost comes to about 5 cents per person per meeting.

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The advantages of message-based communication

A telephone conference call allows for instant feedback and a lot of spontaneity.  But the time-delayed communication process offered by Voice RoundTables has the major advantages of all message-based interactions (like email).  Besides being convenient for scheduling, the non-live format allows you time for reflection.  You can think things over before you answer questions asked by others, or before you make comments about opinions they've expressed.

Voice RoundTables also give you more control over the communication process than telephone conference calls.  For example, in a Voice RoundTable, you can listen repeatedly to crucial parts of any participant’s message by “rewinding” it and playing it again.  Research has shown that, in most cases, interactions do not need to be live to achieve their goals.  This is why email and voicemail are so popular.

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Conducting a group discussion with group email

To launch a group discussion using group email, all anyone has to do is type an email message, address it to each member of a group they belong to, and send it to all these members at once.  Then—later—someone else in the group will write a second email and hit the “Reply to All” button, so that this new message will also be sent to everyone in the group.  Other group members will continue in the same manner, and a non-live but highly effective group dialogue will develop.

In fact, it is probably because this kind off discussion is non-live that it is so popular:  those involved are not required to be at their computers at the same moment in order to participate.

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