Teleconferencing is simply having a meeting over the phone. You can meet with a single person or with multiple people at the same time. It is often used as a cost effective way for people to make important and quick decisions where you don’t need to travel for miles to meet with someone in person. Advancements in technology have made it possible to have quite sophisticated meetings with ever increasing features such as sub-conferencing, polling and question and answer sessions. There are a few downsides to consider with teleconferencing such as the lack of face to face conversation and the fact some people can get quite distracted when talking on the phone. However, if structured properly they can make a big difference to businesses in terms of decision making ad cost savings. There are a number of different types of teleconference which are detailed below: Dial In Teleconference The host of the teleconference advertises their call and invites all participants to phone in to a specific number and are given a special access code to join in. This is great for broadcasting information to a large group of people. You can set it to listen only or where the participants can join in. Dial Out Teleconference This is where the host calls the participants which negates the need for a special dedicated phone number and access code. It is better for smaller meetings. Question and Answer It is possible for participants to “raise their hand” and ask questions. The participant will press a special key and the host can patch them in to answer the question to the rest of the group. The host has the opportunity to review the question first. Sub Conferencing You can break the conference up into smaller break off groups. They can then re-join the main group again at a later time. This is great where lots of interdepartmental discussions are required as part of a bigger meeting. Polling Teleconferencing Multiple choice questions can be asked over the call and the participants can answer using the keys of the phone. A really effecting and quick way of garnering a groups opinion on an important matter of getting customer insight. Recorded Broadcast The host can record the phone call and make it available later for those who want to recap on the call or for those who missed it originally. This is a great feature for seminars held over the phone. The telephone has come a long way as a tool to do business with and with modern technology has made it possible for it to be far more versatile than a one on one conversation. The next stage is for businesses to employ telepresence which builds on tele conferencing and makes it feel in meetings that you are in the same room as people who are based remotely with the use of technology and TV screens.