Three things scare me:
- Videoless conference calls
While snakes and clowns aren’t going away, I think video conference calls will largely replace regular, videoless conference calls within 5 years. In fact, I see the trend already taking place in the federal government with secure video conferencing.
There are a four reasons I think this trend is happening
- Video calls seriously improve communication with body language. 55% of communication comes from your body’s movements; therefore, we miss over half of communication during videoless conference calls.
- Video calls are much more common in the last few years thanks to Skype and its competitors. We’re getting used to video calls, so video conferences are a natural extension.
- Calls over VOIP are dirt cheap and sometimes free.
- You can show an object like notes or a physical object during a sales pitch. This is a big help for small businesses pitching services and supplies to governments.
So until we can have video conference calls on our phones, which probably isn’t far off either, look at Steve Ressler’s 5 tips for running an effective conference call.
Perhaps your prediction will come true where you work… but it would take a revolutionary culture shift for videoconferencing to ever be widely accepts at my agency. I see countless people who prefer to remain voiceless, much less faceless! They would rather spend 15 minutes typing up an email (that may or may not get their message across) instead of picking up the phone and talking for a minute or two. They certainly won’t take 5 minutes to walk down the hall to speak with someone face-to-face, and if you think they’ll get on a videoconference with anyone… well… you better get the union rep in here!
Technologically speaking, vidoeconferencing isn’t a new idea; but being able to cost effectively use it on a regular basis at a government agency is both a good idea AND a new idea. And that, of course, will be its downfall.
“It is a good idea, but it is a new idea; and since it is new, we fear it; and since we fear it, we must reject it.”
~ Mike Myers as “Lothar of the Hill People”
Video conferencing via the phone is already available. Currently Sprint has such capabilities on its EVO4G. I’m totally a fan of vido conf calls.
Our fabulous friend to the North, Nick Charney, and I sat down before Christmas to test out the new technologies that Skype is offering in conjunction with Prezi (a really rocking presentation software that can be FREE). The results? Wicked cool.
Charney could actually present one of his amazing Prezi’s via Skype, for free, right to an entire conference room in my office if we wanted to. Furthermore, with the newest features on Prezi, we could actually simultaneously be working in the same workspace on Prezi while conversing over Skype…all for FREE!
In a time when we’re trying to cut, cut, cut, cut, our costs…I don’t see why more agencies aren’t embracing these new technologies. They can be used for everything from collaboration to interviews!