Voice call or video? Three tips to decide which is best.

I simply have one question for you today. Why are we on so many video chats?

With the spread of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders many of us are under, to say video conferencing is booming would be an understatement. Zoom said daily users spiked to 200 million in March, up from 10 million in December.

But depending on the situation, video may not always the best form of communication. You see, even before social distancing hit, when we coach our speakers, we always start our conversations on the phone. Not face-to-face. That allows us to simply focus on the message, without extraneous distractions that come with an in person or video discussion. The same holds true for many of the conversations we’re all having now from our home offices. And even as some stay-at-home restrictions are loosened, it’s not expected that we’ll be back to normal business operations for a while.

In this short video, I’ll share three quick tips for deciding which tool is most appropriate and when– voice call or video conference.

  1. When you’re planning, problem solving or idea sharing, you can probably do so via a voice call. You don’t need to see the other person or people. You just need to hear the conversation.
  2. If you’re trying to build a relationship, make a connection with someone new, or reflect on a time emotionally, a video conference probably is a better choice.
  3. If you’re trying to share updates that require visuals, you could do that through video chat by sharing your screen, which often happens already on WebEx, Zoom or Skype. Or you might send the visual ahead of time, but review it over a voice call.

I hope these tips help you regain some energy!

If you need to improve your virtual presenting skills, I invite you to check out our new, online classes. We can help you develop your storytelling, messaging, virtual speaking, and presentation skills. See all our virtual class offerings here.


Ruth Milligan is the Founder, Managing Director and an Executive Coach and Trainer with Articulation. She is perhaps best known as one of the original curators for any TEDx event (the license program for TED). Since 2009, Ruth has selected and coached over 200 speakers who have taken the TEDxColumbus stage. She is often tapped as an expert in the TED-style of speaking and has authored a class on how to be a TEDx speaker coach. Connect with Ruth.