If you're on the instructor path, it's pretty likely you've been instructed in the past by someone with an intercom. The primary advantage (in theory) is that you can communicate without shouting and be clearly understood. Another benefit - when they're working really well, you can hear your student breathing and you can take cues from their either holding their breath or breathing too hard.
Communicating in a conversational tone is a huge advantage to keeping your student on an even keel and not freaking them out.
As I said in my article on pace of words, you have to be careful not to clutter their attention with too much chatter. I find that the majority of students can't 'do' complex tasks and listen at the same time. You need to give them some mental space to process what you've said and execute on it.
Even while doing the intial comm checks, I go over some basic hand signals, "just in case". I tend to use the hand signals even when the intercom is working fine; it makes the transition to just "hands" easier if something fails.
One of the nuances of having an intercom is recognizing that when you raise your voice to commmunicate with officials outside of your car, you really want to mute the intercom so you're not shouting into the intercom channel.
One advantage of a wireless intercom system that I have yet to try out is that it allows you to do a 'lead follow' with comm. I'm told this works very well for intermediate and up students.
I've used Chatterbox wired intercoms for a couple years, and I've written up my experiences with them.
I'm transitioning to the Sena bluetooth system. My early impressions are here.
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