skype http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7116/all en-US How to Have a Successful Skype or Video Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-skype-or-video-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-successful-skype-or-video-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-656378092.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all had a good laugh over the British journalist <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY" target="_blank">being upstaged by his kids</a> while trying to give a BBC video interview. All laughs aside, it did bring up an important subject: How do you conduct a great video interview for a new job?</p> <p>It's now possible to interview for positions all over the country, if not the world, using modern technology. It's also easy to get distracted or interrupted. If you're getting ready to jump online for your next interview, follow these steps for success.</p> <h2>1. Clean up the area</h2> <p>It's imperative that you have everything you need at hand before starting the video interview, including a clean home office. Organize your workspace thoroughly, clean the desk, and tidy up the room. You may look the part, but a messy, disorganized background can send red flags to the interviewer.</p> <p>If you really don't have the time or ability to clean up the space behind you, consider a backdrop. Something as simple as a plain bedsheet (nothing patterned or &quot;loud&quot;) hung from the ceiling can work. Black or gray works best, but as long as it doesn't distract, it will do the job.</p> <h2>2. Look directly into the camera</h2> <p>This cannot be emphasized enough &mdash; the camera lens should be treated like the eyes of the person interviewing you. If you don't focus your attention there, you're not making eye contact with the interviewer, and that can come across just as rude as if you were doing it face-to-face.</p> <p>There are a few steps you can take to make this easier. First, you could place something next to the camera, like a bright sticky note (you can even draw eyes on it as a reminder). Throughout the interview, that will prompt you to focus your gaze there.</p> <p>Another option is to turn off the webcam preview that shows you what your interviewer is looking at &mdash; you. It's in our nature to look at ourselves, and when we see that little window with our picture in it, our eyes immediately wander there. By turning that off, you'll be much more inclined to look at the camera.</p> <h2>3. Go to the bathroom first</h2> <p>It may sound like a no-brainer, but before you know it, you're shifting in your seat five minutes into a one-hour interview. This is not good. Not only will the interviewer pick up on how uncomfortable you are, but it will totally hamstring your performance. You won't be able to think clearly, your responses will be rushed, and you might even start sweating.</p> <p>Do yourself a favor: Go to the bathroom beforehand, even if you're not feeling the need. And don't drink a lot of water right before you start.</p> <h2>4. Keep the interview room off-limits</h2> <p>If there's one thing we can take from the poor journalist being interrupted by his kids, it's that he should have found a way to secure the room. If you have the ability to lock the door, do it. If you don't, consider putting a bolt on the door, or use something to block the entrance (as long as it isn't showing on camera).</p> <p>Take it a step further and ask the people you live with if they'd be willing to step out of the house when the interview is scheduled. Even if the room is secured, noises from outside the room can still be very distracting. Ideally, you want a quiet room in an empty house.</p> <h2>5. Do your homework</h2> <p>Just like any other interview, you need to have your ducks in a row. With a video interview, your facial expressions are actually more apparent, because that is all the interviewer will be focusing on. So, when you're stumped on a question, or struggling to find a reply, it will really show.</p> <p>To avoid that, spend time studying the company. Prepare a series of questions to ask the interviewer. Do a practice run with a friend or colleague. Make sure you know as much as you possibly can, and then, practice a great response for questions that really will stump you.</p> <h2>6. Check the equipment thoroughly</h2> <p>Any time anyone does something live, they fear gremlins in the works. Technological glitches are common, and they can happen to anyone. Life being what it is, they often happen at the worst possible times.</p> <p>So, do everything you can to test your equipment thoroughly the day before the interview. Make sure the camera is working, and focused. Check the microphone. Check the sound levels. Check the cables. Do a test run, record yourself, and play it back. By doing this a day before, you give yourself plenty of time to fix the issues without risking missing your interview.</p> <h2>7. Dress for success</h2> <p>A video interview is no excuse to wear casual clothing and look like you've just gotten out of bed. This is not a phone interview. You are presenting yourself to your potential employer, and you want to look the part.</p> <p>That means dressing for the occasion, and that can differ between industries. If you're in a corporate career, you'll need to dress for business. If it's a more creative profession, you can obviously be a little less formal, but you'll still need to look the part. And of course, you need to look fresh and camera-worthy. Hair, makeup, clean teeth, clean nails, the works. Treat this just like you'd treat a regular interview, and give yourself plenty of time to get ready.</p> <h2>8. Remember you're on camera</h2> <p>The interviewer can see you, and you can see them. But if you're sitting in front of a computer that doubles for your personal use, it can be easy to forget, and slip into a more comfortable position. Gradually, you may start to slouch, scratch your nose (or pick it &hellip; disaster), divert eye contact, or even start flicking through messages on your phone.</p> <p>If these things happened in a face-to-face meeting, you'd be hard pressed to finish the interview. You'd have blown it. It's just the same over video chat. The interviewer will feel insulted and disrespected, and you will have blown any chance of a follow up. If it helps, put a sign next to the camera that says &quot;Smile, you're on camera!&quot; It may sound silly, but it really makes a difference.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-skype-or-video-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-red-flags-to-watch-for-in-a-job-interview">12 Red Flags to Watch for in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-you-should-ask-at-every-job-interview">5 Questions You Should Ask at Every Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting Technology conference call distractions Job Interview preparedness skype video chat video interview Mon, 15 May 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1945044 at http://www.wisebread.com Raising Financially Savvy Kids, Productivity, and More with Kylie Ofiu http://www.wisebread.com/raising-financially-savvy-kids-productivity-and-more-with-kylie-ofiu <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/raising-financially-savvy-kids-productivity-and-more-with-kylie-ofiu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-kid-81387260.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HUPj4QzpkKY"></iframe></p> <p>I recently had the chance to interview with the amazing Kylie Ofiu, founder of the popular Australian personal finance blog <a href="http://kylieofiu.com/">Kylie Ofiu</a>! Kylie is a personal finance expert, writer, mom, and also raises awareness for the homeless in Australia.</p> <p>Kylie Ofiu is very well-known in the personal finance blogosphere and has won the Plutus Award for Best International Personal Finance Blog the past two years in a row! Check out my interview with Kylie for tips on raising financially savvy kids, productivity, and her favorite ways to use Skype!</p> <h3><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Here is a message from our sponsor:</b></span><span style="color:#1f497d;background:yellow"><br /> </span></h3> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_Interview_4">Sponsored by Skype</a> - Use Skype Credit to call mobile and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/image001.png" /></p> </blockquote><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/raising-financially-savvy-kids-productivity-and-more-with-kylie-ofiu">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-43-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 4/3, 12pm PST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-finances-entrepreneurship-and-more-with-canadian-finance-blogs-tom-drake">Family Finances, Entrepreneurship, and More with Canadian Finance Blog&#039;s Tom Drake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cool-things-you-didnt-know-skype-can-do">9 Cool Things You Didn&#039;t Know Skype Can Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminating-debt-saving-money-and-more-with-the-money-principles-maria-nedeva">Eliminating Debt, Saving Money, and More with The Money Principle&#039;s Maria Nedeva</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-small-business-and-more-with-thousandaires-kevin-mckee">Frugality, Small Business, and More with Thousandaire&#039;s Kevin McKee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance kylie ofiu skype Skype Credit Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:48:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1134076 at http://www.wisebread.com Family Finances, Entrepreneurship, and More with Canadian Finance Blog's Tom Drake http://www.wisebread.com/family-finances-entrepreneurship-and-more-with-canadian-finance-blogs-tom-drake <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/family-finances-entrepreneurship-and-more-with-canadian-finance-blogs-tom-drake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-467033651.jpg" alt="family" title="family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SaEvFVT47l0"></iframe></p> <p>I recently had the chance to interview with the fantastic Tom Drake from <a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/">Canadian Finance Blog</a>! Tom is a Financial Analyst, husband, dad, and the mastermind behind one of Canada's most popular personal finance websites.</p> <p>Canadian Finance Blog is very well-known in the personal finance blogosphere and has been nominated for the Plutus Award for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog three times and won once! Check out my interview with Tom for tips on living frugally as a family, entrepreneurship, and his favorite ways to use Skype!</p> <h3><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Here is a message from our sponsor:</b></span><span style="color:#1f497d;background:yellow"><br /> </span></h3> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_Interview_3">Sponsored by Skype</a> - Use Skype Credit to call mobile and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/image001.png" /></p> </blockquote><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-finances-entrepreneurship-and-more-with-canadian-finance-blogs-tom-drake">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-43-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 4/3, 12pm PST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/raising-financially-savvy-kids-productivity-and-more-with-kylie-ofiu">Raising Financially Savvy Kids, Productivity, and More with Kylie Ofiu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cool-things-you-didnt-know-skype-can-do">9 Cool Things You Didn&#039;t Know Skype Can Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminating-debt-saving-money-and-more-with-the-money-principles-maria-nedeva">Eliminating Debt, Saving Money, and More with The Money Principle&#039;s Maria Nedeva</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-small-business-and-more-with-thousandaires-kevin-mckee">Frugality, Small Business, and More with Thousandaire&#039;s Kevin McKee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance canadian finance blog skype Skype Credit tom drake Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:48:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1133410 at http://www.wisebread.com Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 4/3, 12pm PST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes! http://www.wisebread.com/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-43-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-43-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/THEwbchat-logo-605-v2_0_88.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Join our Tweetchat this <b>Thursday at 12:00 p.m. Pacific/ 3p.m. Eastern</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> for lively conversation and a chance to win</span><b> a</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> </span><b>$200 Visa gift card or one of two $50 Skype gift cards</b><span style="font-weight: normal">! Use <a href="http://www.tchat.io/rooms/wbchat">#WBChat</a> and <a href="http://www.tchat.io/rooms/skypechat">#SkypeChat</a> to participate.</span></p> <p><b>This week's topic:</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> The Best Ways to Use Skype! Join us as we talk about using Skype for transferring documents, group calls, screen sharing, and Skype Credit! Share with us how you've used Skype and let us know what your favorite Skype feature is! </span></p> <p>For an easy way to keep track of the conversation, try using <a href="http://www.tchat.io/rooms/wbchat">our special Tweetchat Chatroom</a>.</p> <p>Anyone can participate, but you must be following <a href="https://twitter.com/wisebread">@WiseBread</a> and <b>RSVP below</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> to win our prizes!</span></p> <ul> <li>First place: $200 Visa GC</li> <li>Second place: $50 Skype GC</li> <li>Third place: $50 Skype GC</li> </ul> <p>Winner must be US resident 18 or older. Winners are randomly selected and announced within 1 day of the chat.</p> <p>To make it easier for us to keep track of attendees and pick our winners, please RSVP below with your twitter ID (put that in the &quot;Link Title&quot; field), email address, and your twitter URL (put that in the &quot;URL&quot; field, do not put your blog's url in there). Winners will be selected at random from RSVPs. If a winner is chosen who RSVPed but did not attend a 2nd winner will be chosen.</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=62af7238-1800-44be-bed8-2966286b45fd" ></script> <p><b>This Week's Chat is Sponsored by Skype</b></p> <p>This week, <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_Skype_tweetchat">Skype</a> is sponsoring our chat! <a href="https://twitter.com/skype">@Skype</a> may be dropping by our chat, so be sure to join in for your chance to chat with them!</p> <p><b>Here's a message from our Sponsor:</b></p> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_Skype_tweetchat">Sponsored by Skype</a> - Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/image001.png" /></p> </blockquote> <p><b>New Parenting Chat Immediately Before #WBChat</b></p> <p>Our sister blog <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/">Parenting Squad</a> (<a href="https://twitter.com/parentingsquad">@ParentingSquad</a>) will be hosting a parenting chat every Thursday at <b>11:00 am Pacific</b><span style="font-weight:normal">. Drop by for fun parenting conversations and a chance to win prizes! Use <a href="http://www.tchat.io/rooms/pschat">#PSChat</a> to participate.</span></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-43-12pm-pst-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-finances-entrepreneurship-and-more-with-canadian-finance-blogs-tom-drake">Family Finances, Entrepreneurship, and More with Canadian Finance Blog&#039;s Tom Drake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/raising-financially-savvy-kids-productivity-and-more-with-kylie-ofiu">Raising Financially Savvy Kids, Productivity, and More with Kylie Ofiu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cool-things-you-didnt-know-skype-can-do">9 Cool Things You Didn&#039;t Know Skype Can Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminating-debt-saving-money-and-more-with-the-money-principles-maria-nedeva">Eliminating Debt, Saving Money, and More with The Money Principle&#039;s Maria Nedeva</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-small-business-and-more-with-thousandaires-kevin-mckee">Frugality, Small Business, and More with Thousandaire&#039;s Kevin McKee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance skype Skype Credit tweetchat Wed, 02 Apr 2014 22:22:37 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1133409 at http://www.wisebread.com Hang Up the Phone: Why Video Is the Best Way to Connect With People http://www.wisebread.com/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-around-video-chat.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is sponsored by Skype. It's time to say more and stay human. </em><a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fclk%3B256129228%3B79721436%3Bp%3Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fitstimeforskype.com%3Fcm_mmc%3DBRPO%7C2064_B1-_-FM-custom&amp;k4=3510&amp;k5=494192"><em>It's time for Skype</em></a>.</p> <p>Did you ever hear about a friend or relative who sent a sympathy text or consolation email when they heard about a loved one passing? It&rsquo;s always felt cold to me, regardless of the intent.&nbsp;</p> <p>Similarly, have you ever gotten into a heated debate over an email or text, simply because your true intention was lost in translation? I know I have.</p> <p>As humans, we are built to communicate face-to-face. Anyone who&rsquo;s ever seen an episode of &ldquo;Lie to Me&rdquo; will know that we give off hundreds of tiny clues that we are preprogrammed to pick up on. And the way we speak, the tone we use, the hand gestures we make &mdash; they all form part of the whole conversation.</p> <p>In effect, when you text or email, you are cutting out a huge part of the communication process. It's like you&rsquo;re only using one of the senses instead of four or five.</p> <p>Here, then, are seven reasons why you should <em>always</em> use video to connect with people over long distances, whether in your professional or personal life.&nbsp;</p> <h3>1. You Can&rsquo;t See Emotions in Emails and Texts</h3> <p>As a species, we do most of our communication non-verbally. That isn&rsquo;t to say we can&rsquo;t communicate just fine over email and text messaging, but it has severe limitations. After all, the only real emotions you can show through text are anger (ALL CAPS), excitement (!!!!!!), and silly emoticons. But all the subtleties of human interaction and communication are completely lost. It&rsquo;s like we&rsquo;ve devolved.&nbsp;</p> <p>With face-to-face communications, such as videoconferencing, the emotion is brought back into the picture. What could have sounded cold or even frustrated in an email or text could be seen completely differently when a real person speaks it. You can see affection in their eyes, hear the tone of their voice, and realize that they may be nervous or shy, not cold and aloof.</p> <h3>2. A Picture SAVES a Thousand Words</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re in a close relationship with someone, you don&rsquo;t need to hear them speak to know something is very wrong or very right. They could be bursting with excitement, or they could have just received some awful news. Either way, you know it. You feel it, you sense it, and it&rsquo;s all in the many micro expressions that we display on our faces.</p> <p>Those small expressions are not evident in emails and texts. Even the large emotions go astray. If you get into an instant messaging conversation with someone, you really have no idea what the other person is feeling unless they spell it out. A simple &ldquo;I&rsquo;m doing fine&rdquo; in response to a &ldquo;how are you doing?&rdquo; is missing too many clues to know what the author is really feeling. They may be fine, better than fine, or really depressed. It could take time to coax those emotions out of someone, if they&rsquo;re even willing to via email. And as the emotions in your texts are missing too, they will miss the tone of your voice and the kindness in your eyes when you make a genuine inquiry. Your probes for information could come across as rude or pushy, or even uncaring and insensitive.</p> <p>Only with face-to-face communication is this solved. Our faces are open books and very easy for people to read (most of the time). This saves a whole lot of chit-chat, and ultimately, saves time (and maybe even friendships, relationships, or business accounts).</p> <h3>3. It&rsquo;s Personal, and Therefore, Acceptable in More Situations</h3> <p>There are times in life when a simple email or text just will not do. As I mentioned in the opening, a text or email saying &ldquo;sorry for your loss&rdquo; will never be as warm and heartfelt as expressing those very same condolences in person. But sometimes, it&rsquo;s just not possible to be there in person. I know that first hand &mdash; my parents and the rest of my family live in England, and I&rsquo;m in Colorado. So when it comes to genuine &quot;happy birthday,&quot; or a big sorry, video conferencing is the only way to go. I can see my family, they can see me, and more importantly, they can see the real emotions on my face and feel the genuine emotions I am giving out. Emails, texts, and even regular phone calls just aren&rsquo;t the same. And as we now live in a world that is made so much smaller by videoconferencing, it seems silly not to take advantage of it whenever possible. The future is now!</p> <h3>4. People Don&rsquo;t Like to Lie to Your Face!</h3> <p>Well, most people anyway. In a text message or email, little white lies (or big nasty ones) are much easier to tell. People do it all the time. &ldquo;Sorry, can&rsquo;t make it, feeling ill,&rdquo; or &ldquo;I definitely sent that letter, it must have got lost.&rdquo; Those same lies, however, are much more difficult to tell when you&rsquo;re face-to-face with someone. You will know this yourself, especially if you have children. They can lie to you easily when you call upstairs and ask what they&rsquo;re doing. But look them in the eye, and they find it so much harder to tell a fib. It&rsquo;s basic human nature, because the visual clues that give away lies are easily spotted. Take away those clues, and liars have a field day.</p> <h3>5. Group Tasks Thrive on Face-to-Face Interaction</h3> <p>Brainstorming, meetings, and all other forms of group communications suffer when people are not literally talking to each other face-to-face. Talking to someone, or several people, on the phone is not even close to a substitution for seeing them. There&rsquo;s an automatic lack of trust, especially if you&rsquo;ve never met the person before, and also a feeling of insecurity. If you&rsquo;ve been in any kind of business meeting using basic phone conferencing, or emailing and texting, you instantly wonder what the people on the other end of the line are actually up to. Are they serious about this? Are they making fun of your ideas, or are they staring at the ceiling? Who is in the room that isn&rsquo;t saying a word? With video conferencing, those doubts disappear, and your mind can begin to work on the task at hand, rather than worry about the things you&rsquo;re not seeing.</p> <h3>6. Remote Business Presentations Are So Much Better With Live Video</h3> <p>As a creative in the advertising business, this is something I know a lot about. Clients and agencies are separated not just by states, but continents these days. There&rsquo;s no reason a client in London can&rsquo;t have an agency in Los Angeles. But the costs of travel make it prohibitive to meet, especially if those meetings happen often. With video conferencing, the distance doesn&rsquo;t matter any more. A creative team in one country can present ideas to a client half way around the world. The story boards and visuals can be held up to the camera, or inserted into the video stream, and the presentation is both seamless and professional. Clients won&rsquo;t skip ahead, like they often do when on a phone call, accompanied by a printed handout or PowerPoint presentation. And both sides have a chance to judge the actual reactions of the audience, something that&rsquo;s very important when figuring out the efficacy of an ad campaign.</p> <h3>7. You Can Have True Interactivity</h3> <p>This applies not just to business, but also to friends and family. Let&rsquo;s take the all-too-typical scenario of families separated by great distances. The grandkids can talk to their grandparents on the phone. That&rsquo;s fine. They can email or text, which is OK. But with video conferencing, it&rsquo;s almost like being in the same room. The grandkids can hold up some of their pictures to show nana and papa. They can sing songs, clap hands, play games, and even blow kisses. It&rsquo;s as close as families can get without being in the same room, and it can work over the greatest of distances.</p> <p>With homework assignments, friends can collaborate on projects visually, not just over email or phone. And with business meetings, each party can see real-time sketches and white board ideas. This is the ultimate way to communicate, other than being together in person or inventing some kind of hard-light hologram.&nbsp;</p> <p>In short, although the phone is great, and email and texts are quick and cost effective, the only way to really connect with people is using the visual elements available in video conferencing. It&rsquo;s the way forward.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-skype-or-video-job-interview">How to Have a Successful Skype or Video Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family Technology client communication skype video call Tue, 15 May 2012 10:36:07 +0000 Paul Michael 929133 at http://www.wisebread.com Webcam Etiquette: Tips from the Other Side of the Conference Call http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-t...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012723256Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just when we all got used to being heard but not seen on VoIP calls, teleconferences, webinars, and video conferencing have all come of age. Be afraid. Be very afraid.</p> <p>In a recent videoconference I witnessed behaviors for which my grammar school teachers would have scolded me. Attendees slouched in their chairs, picked at their cuticles, and generally seemed bored and distracted. I can hear Mrs. White across all these years: Sit up straight! Stop fidgeting! Pay attention!</p> <p>Now, I might have understood the behavior if the meeting had been with people new to the concept, and unfamiliar with the unblinking eye of the webcam. But this particular meeting was with people from a company that sells video-conference services!</p> <p>For your next appearance, here are a few dos and don'ts to consider before you step &mdash; or sit &mdash; in front of a camera .</p> <h3>They Can See You Now!</h3> <ul> <li>You really do need to get dressed, at least from the waist up.</li> <li>If you opt to go <i>al fresco</i> below the belt, be darn sure everything you&rsquo;ll need for the call is within reach.</li> <li>Those mascara smudges are a dead giveaway that you haven&rsquo;t showered.</li> <li>When you roll your eyes, shake your head, or otherwise gesticulate, they CAN see you, remember?</li> <li>You can&rsquo;t chat with the person next to you, make another phone call, send an IM, or answer emails while someone is talking &mdash; the mute button is no longer your ticket to guilt-free multi-tasking.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re making a presentation, be sure you know when the audience can actually see and hear you.</li> </ul> <p>By the way, did you know that some web conferencing tools show the organizer when you&rsquo;re working on other things? Now there&rsquo;s a wake up call!</p> <h3>Warn the Family</h3> <ul> <li>Warn your spouse before the green light goes on. If your imagination fails you on the risks here, do a YouTube search on &ldquo;embarrassing video conference.&rdquo;</li> <li>The number one complaint among teleconferencees is background noise. Although you love your kids and pets, their cries, screams, barks, and meows are distracting and unprofessional, regardless of which of them does it. You might even want to put a note on the front door asking visitors to not ring the bell.</li> <li>Close any windows (the real ones, not the computer&rsquo;s) that might expose listeners to a weed whacker or lawn mower sonata.</li> </ul> <h3>Turn Off Your Reminders</h3> <ul> <li>Do you really want your co-workers to know when your next teeth cleaning is scheduled, when you&rsquo;re meeting the bankruptcy attorney, or that your massage is confirmed for 3pm?</li> <li>Even beyond the potentially embarrassing personal reminders, an unexpected pop-up might expose competitive data, passwords, or other information that was intended for your eyes only.</li> </ul> <h3>Plan for the Worst</h3> <ul> <li>Be sure someone involved in the meeting is available by phone or email before and during the session. Have phone numbers and email addresses for the other participants handy in case you have trouble getting logged on. There&rsquo;s nothing more frustrating than being all dressed up with nowhere to go.</li> <li>If you need computer files for a demo or webinar, have a paper backup in case the interface fails.</li> <li>Write down, on an actual sheet of paper, the call in number and password for the conference. If you get dropped due to a computer hiccup, you won&rsquo;t be able to check your email for that information.</li> <li>If what you&rsquo;re doing is really important, have someone else &mdash; someone already logged in and briefed &mdash; who can continue where you left off it the power goes out when the Big One hits. Alternatively, log in from two places, such as a desktop and portable computer, so if one fails, you can quickly switch to the other.</li> </ul> <h3>Practice Being &ldquo;On Camera&rdquo;</h3> <ul> <li>Preview how you look &ldquo;on camera.&rdquo; You may need additional lighting to avoid looking like Bela Lugosi.</li> <li>Know where the camera is and look at it, not down at your desk or at the screen which makes you look like your nodding off.</li> <li>Check out what the camera sees in the background and adjust accordingly.</li> </ul> <h3>Close Unnecessary Applications</h3> <p>Conferences that involve desktop sharing expose you to a whole other set of risks.</p> <p>While some desktop sharing software tools allow you to share only certain applications or documents, it&rsquo;s a good idea to close any that are unnecessary before the meeting.</p> <p>Take a fresh look at your task bar and web browser menu:</p> <ul> <li>Having World of Warcraft as a top icon might not sit well with the boss;</li> <li>That browser bookmark that allows you to speed your way to FlexJobs.com may not bode well for your career;</li> <li>Don&rsquo;t forget to turn off any recent search helpers so if you have to do a live web search, whatever auto-fills the search box isn&rsquo;t potentially incriminating.</li> </ul> <p>And, as always, plan ahead:</p> <ul> <li>Think about what applications or documents you might need during the session and open them in advance. This will not only save time, but it will also reduce the risk of others seeing things they shouldn&rsquo;t as you root around your system trying to find what you need.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re using multiple screens, be sure the conference software is tuned to the correct one.</li> <li>Practice transferring control of the desktop back and forth between presenters.</li> <li>Turn off all sounds including your telephone ringer and other alerts, computer beeps and pings.</li> </ul> <p>Finally, quadruple-check that the audio, video, and screen-sharing portion of the session has really ended before you start spouting off about what a waste of time that meeting was. Cover up your webcam just to be safe.</p> <p>We have the tools. We have the technology. They&rsquo;re not perfect, but if we all learn how to use them, we can make the road less traveled the way to work.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/webcam-etiquette-tips-from-the-other-side-of-the-conference-call">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people">Hang Up the Phone: Why Video Is the Best Way to Connect With People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cloud-computing-and-your-wallet">Cloud Computing and Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-skype-or-video-job-interview">How to Have a Successful Skype or Video Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting">5 Essential Tools for Telecommuting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Technology meeting etiquette skype small business telecommuting teleconferences video call webcam webinars Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:57:35 +0000 Kate Lister 581357 at http://www.wisebread.com Living Without A Landline http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-a-landline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/living-without-a-landline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rotary dial phone.jpg" alt="rotary dial phone" title="rotary dial phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I had been thinking about shedding my landline for a while. I was attached to the convenience for a long time and, more recently, unlimited calls for one price in the United States. What I wanted most from a landline, though, was reliability; but, for me, neither the cable company nor the traditional bell company could deliver. So, after more than four decades, I cut the cord. Here&rsquo;s how I&rsquo;m getting along without a regular phone.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Finding the cell phone.</b> Being able to find my cell phone on demand has been my biggest challenge. The landline was useful for calling and locating my phone. My regular&nbsp;phone was always in the same location, attached to a wall in my kitchen, so I didn&rsquo;t have to worry about finding it. Not being able to find my cell phone is especially troublesome if I am home alone. So, I make it a habit to make sure I always know where my phone is, and if I know my&nbsp;teenage son&nbsp;might be home for a while alone, I make sure his&nbsp;phone is&nbsp;turned on and easily accessible.&nbsp;This process may sound like a lot of trouble but at the rate that <a href="#reliable_service">my&nbsp;real phone was out</a>, I needed to do this anyway. (Apparently you can use Google's <a href="http://lifehacker.com/software/cell-phones/find-your-cell-phone-with-google-maps-clicktocall-226988.php">Click-to-Call feature to locate your phone</a>&nbsp;though I haven't tried this yet).&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Giving out the home phone number. </b>My cell phone number is my home number, period. Whenever I fill out forms that request my home number, I list my cell number, even if it means&nbsp;listing my cell number twice (once in the home phone section and then&nbsp;in the cell phone section). I remember hearing from someone who said that she didn&rsquo;t get recorded announcements&nbsp;from her child's&nbsp;school because she didn&rsquo;t have a landline; no worries, the school calls me on the cell phone/home phone. I have found this method more reliable than using my home phone, because the message goes directly to me. Before,&nbsp;my kids might answer the&nbsp;phone and by the time I reached the phone and started listening to the message, the call was nearly over.&nbsp;With my direct, rather than family line, I get the messages I&nbsp;need.</p> <p><b>Getting numbers changed.&nbsp;</b>The first two places&nbsp;that I notified about my new&nbsp;number&nbsp;was my kids&rsquo; schools; I wanted to make sure I&nbsp;was reachable&nbsp;for any urgent needs, which is one reason that I&nbsp;had the phone in the first place.&nbsp;I&nbsp;hadn't considered all the places that my home number was listed at first, but there are lots of them. Some changes I&nbsp;made online and some were made by notifying service providers of the&nbsp;change (places to update include&nbsp;the bank, dentist's office, and library).&nbsp;In regard to the phone directory, no change was needed as my&nbsp;home number&nbsp;has been unlisted for several years to avoid telemarketing calls, pre-dating the do-not-call registry.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><b>Keeping it charged. </b>Before I switched to my cell phone full time, I used it so infrequently&nbsp;that I charged its battery just once every couple of weeks. When I started using it more regularly because I didn&rsquo;t have the landline, such as making after-hours client calls that lasted an hour or so,&nbsp;I found that I needed to charge it more often. Now, I charge it after making a long call.&nbsp;I am planning on getting a solar charger just in case the power goes out (my neighborhood has underground utilities so losing power has happened just one or two times in the last 10 years; also, I live within walking distance of services).</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><strong>Staying in touch. </strong>Most of my friends communicate on a day-to-day basis via email so changing my number wasn't a big deal:&nbsp;I&nbsp;just emailed and let them know to use my cell&nbsp;number.&nbsp;Maybe it's because we keep differing at-home&nbsp;hours and can contact each other at odd hours without disturbing dinner conversation or keeping someone from an important task&nbsp;but&nbsp;email has superseded phone contact.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> <p><b><a name="reliable_service">Getting reliable service</a>. </b>Until recently, I had considered the traditional landline as the most reliable for phone service. I grew up using rotary dial phones in basic black; though analog wasn&rsquo;t exciting, it never failed even when the power went out.</p> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">After VoIP technology had been around awhile, I decided to try digital phone service from the cable company so that I could save on long distance calls, which I make frequently to my family and out-of-town clients. (Technically, the digital phone may not be considered a landline but my phone was connected to wires and not wireless.) There were often outages for no apparent reason; these interruptions didn&rsquo;t seem to bother the cable company but they disturbed me.&nbsp;And when city workers accidentally cut the cable when they were repairing a drainage pipe in my front yard and I lost phone service for a couple of days, I started to rethink the redundancy of a landline and the reliability of the digital phone. After another misstep by the cable company (sending out a repair crew, unannounced, to make a repair to previously working&nbsp;phone&nbsp;that rendered the service unavailable), I decided to go back to the regular landline.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">Or, rather, I tried to go back to the regular landline. I never received the phone service as requested. The initial installation didn&rsquo;t happen as planned and the tech guy who asked me to call him never returned my calls (I called 3 times over the course of a week; apparently he was sick but didn&rsquo;t transfer his calls to another service person). A trouble report provided to the service department was cleared without being resolved. The service failures continued with every communication, made via cell phone. I didn&rsquo;t want to pay a premium price for such&nbsp;unresponsive service, so&nbsp;I&nbsp;cancelled it.&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">One of my primary concerns about not having a landline was not being able to contact emergency services; however, the phone still has a dial tone and will allow me to call 911, and GPS capabilities in cell phones allow pinpointing of callers' location regardless of where the caller is at home or elsewhere.&nbsp;(For more on 9-1-1 services, see <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/911-services/Welcome.html">FCC&nbsp;website</a>.)</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><strong>Exploring&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skype.com/">Skype</a>.</strong> Now that&nbsp;my cell usage has increased, I decided to explore more communication options that might offer even&nbsp;more&nbsp;convenience and cost savings. Though I&rsquo;d heard of Skype, it sounded somewhat geeky for someone like me who was not even an expert on&nbsp;cell-phone features. But after hearing about it from an acquaintance who uses it&nbsp;to call her family in Poland,&nbsp;receiving a client call from Costa Rica via Skype (the reception was amazing), and following a discussion on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/lifehacks-personal-development/what-phone-option-use-work-phone-4362.html">the forums</a>, I decided to check it out. I downloaded the interface and tested it for free, ordered a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000VEMNQO/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20">headset with microphone </a>from Amazon using a gift card, and found it&nbsp;simple and&nbsp;intuitive to use. Instructions are in plain English, not bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo&nbsp;with misleading verbiage. You can make calls for free if both the caller and recipient have signed up; if not,&nbsp;you can buy credits or get a subscription ($2.95 per month for unlimited calls in the U.S. plus options for worldwide calling). If you want a fixed&nbsp;number and features such as voice mail, you can buy a number in the area code of your choice.</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">There are many ways to configure your own&nbsp;telecom plan, depending on your personal situation, work set-up, and lifestyle. If you&rsquo;re at home a lot and your family lives nearby, you might opt for a traditional line and use a prepaid cell phone (see Linsey&rsquo;s post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">reasons she doesn't have a cell phone plan yet</a>) or if you&rsquo;re married and work at home, you could try one cell phone only and a two-way radio (Myscha explains <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/four-tech-products-that-save-you-time-and-money">how to use tech items&nbsp;to save time and money</a>). But if you happen to have a cell phone set-up (prepaid plan or contract)&nbsp;that meets your needs, dispensing of&nbsp;a&nbsp;landline could&nbsp;save at least&nbsp;$25 every month and $50-80 per month&nbsp;for a&nbsp;business line.</div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-a-landline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-fails-and-how-to-fix-them">10 Time-Management Fails — and How to Fix Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/solve-problems-study-and-brainstorm-using-mind-maps">Solve Problems, Study, and Brainstorm using Mind Maps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal">6 Reasons Cutting Your Landline Is a Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Lifestyle cell phone cutting the cord landline skype VoIP Sat, 21 Mar 2009 16:03:03 +0000 Julie Rains 2946 at http://www.wisebread.com