Use Video Mail and Video Conferencing to Improve Your Communication

Posted on August 31, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Email has long been a communication tool of choice for businesses and consumers. The person does not have to be online when you send it; they can retrieve it later at a convenient time. You have to be careful in your wording so people do not misinterpret your meaning. We are all familiar with the rule of NOT TYPING IN ALL CAPS AS IT LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING. But even using normal letter writing rules it often is difficult to convey emotion and expression. For example if I write “That is really great.”, how do you react? Am I being sarcastic? Am I being sincere?

The inability to detect emotion and expression is even higher with text messaging and networks like Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, these are great communication tools. Really. But in 140 characters or less it is even more difficult to convey how you feel when you type a message. Audio calls are a step forward, as you can hear inflection in a persons’ voice. However most people on audio conference calls place it on mute and multi-task. So what are they really thinking?

To me there is nothing better than being able to communicate face-to-face and have the other party see your facial expressions, see you smile or frown, laugh, or any other reaction. You are more likely to get your meaning across when you can be seen. The best scenario is to be right in front of the other person live. A second option is conducting a live video conference call with the other parties. A third option is to use recorded video such as video mail. TV news shows use recorded video frequently, using videos taken earlier in the day or on a previous day.

In-person meetings are great, but they can be costly if travel is involved, both from the travel cost as well as lost productivity. Live video conferencing service is a great low-cost method of obtaining a face-to-face experience. Desktop conferencing services like Vonei Meeting fill the need for being able to hold multi-person video conference calls from your computer anywhere with broadband Internet. But how about the 3rd option? Well, one can record a video on their webcam, and attach the video file to their email. But have you seen the file size? Some formats could consume 8Mb for a 1 minute recording. This would not please your IT department, and may cause you to exceed the storage space allotment you have for email. You could post the video on YouTube, and then put a link in your email to it. This would keep the email from being large, but doesn’t exactly give you a professional image for a business email. Also, how many people really click on hyperlinks? Did you click on any of the links on this Blog?

A solution for recorded video communication would be an embedded video clip within the email. The embedded clip would have a still frame of the sender with the right triangle Play button on it. I believe you are more likely to get a click on the Play button if the recipient can see your face in the square. Storage of the video files is done outside of email in storage servers. Clicking the Play button within the email downloads the video right to the recipient. This provides all the benefits of an embedded video clip without the file size difficulties of attachments, or a nonprofessional technique of sending your recipients to YouTube.

Video mail sounds exciting right? However I don’t see it being used. I plan to include video mails in future updates on this Blog instead of all text. How do you feel about using video in emails? Would you like to see and hear the other person as opposed to just reading text?

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One Response to “Use Video Mail and Video Conferencing to Improve Your Communication”

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If you have access to the email address on my account, please feel free to send me a video email. As a work-at-home parent and professional, cutting down on travel time is essential.
The logistics of in-person meetings are crippling – a one hour meeting sucks about 2.5 hrs out of my day, once you figure in travel time and arriving a few minutes early. Do that every day and productivity takes a nose dive!
So please send me an email – I would love to start the ball rolling with this technology!

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