I just finished an audio-only call. Funny how fast we get used to video calls, where teleconferences are now the odd-man-out.
The teleconference experience brought to mind the basics of communication: 1) body language (55%) 2) tone & pace, (38%) 3) the words (7%). While video calls, don't have the same level of body language communication as in-person meetings, the difference between video and teleconference was stark.
Perhaps most striking was the collisions of people talking over each other. Without the video, we lack the visual cues to signal who wants to talk next. Instead, we jump in, and if we're lucky, no one else jumps simultaneously. Or, we announce our intent "This is Mark....", since we can't visually see the name-tags that video provides.
And then there's the broader differences. After an hour-long teleconference, I don't feel like I "met" anyone new. There's dramatically less bonding and rapport, since I couldn't connect a voice and a key point to a face or a name.
Soon we'll have more options for in-person meetings. But remote meetings will remain more important than they've ever been in the past. Get comfortable with video calls quickly. Lesson's learned for all professionals:
Learn the "etiquette" and best practices for running an effective online meeting.
Learn to observe the body-language and ques, whether online or in-person, you'll increase your communication effectiveness.
Learn the tools. Breakout rooms, polls, quizzes; Chat. All these enhance the experience.