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How Voice RoundTables Work
Examples: Daily and Weekly Voice RoundTables
Advantages Over Conference Calls and Group Email
Life-Saving Potential: Medical Support Groups
Project Evolution in Health Care
Free Instructions for Creating Voice RoundTables
How Voice RoundTables Work
A Voice RoundTable is a way of creating a structured group dialogue among a limited number of individuals. The dialogue is:
Thus, a Voice RoundTable more or less duplicates the communication that takes place in a telephone conference call, but on a non-real-time basis.
Because a Voice RoundTable is not a live interaction, it's far easier to set up than a conference call. You don't have to find a time when everyone in your group can be on the phone at the same time.
Voice RoundTables use very simple technology in a very simple way. Their power derives not from complicated technologies or procedures, but from the dynamic human interaction they make possible―and from how well they fit into fast-paced modern lives.
Three key elements make Voice RoundTables work:
The stand-alone voice mailbox
1. The stand-alone voice mailbox
A stand-alone voice mailbox is the kind used everyday by certain sales professionals, by people answering dating-service ads, and by many others. It’s called “stand-alone” because it is not associated with any actual, physical telephone, the way most voice mailboxes are. Thus, when you dial the number of a stand-alone mailbox, no live human being ever answers a telephone at the other end, because there isn’t any telephone at the other end. There’s only a voice mailbox, and it always answers.
To conduct the most basic kind of Voice RoundTable, you and your group members don't need several stand-alone voice mailboxes. You only need one, which will serve you all.
2. The "voice bulletin-board" approach
The stand-alone voice mailbox turns out to be a group-communications tool of great flexibility and power. Because it is not associated with anyone's live telephone line, you can use it as a "voice bulletin board" for your group.
One of the most popular ways of creating a group dialogue on the
Internet is, of course, with “message boards” or “discussion boards.” And
these are just electronic bulletin boards—places where users
post and read messages. It is true that some of these message boards have
reputations for trivial conversations, partly because the discussions they host are
not private. But bear in mind that many Internet message boards host serious and highly
constructive discussions, especially private message boards. Their ability to create effective
interactions has been repeatedly proven in academia, the business world, and other
3. The structured rounds of interaction
Most Internet message boards operate in a somewhat
haphazard or free-form manner, with participants posting and retrieving
messages whenever they desire. In a Voice RoundTable, however, communication
takes place in organized rounds. You are going to ask the members of
your group to post and retrieve messages according to an easy-to-remember,
Click here for a step-by-step walk-through of exactly how a Voice RoundTable is set up and conducted: Examples: Daily and Weekly Voice RoundTables.