Ensure Your Conference Call
Has the Best Audio Quality
Hello, can you hear me? *crackle* Are you there? *echo* Is this better? *static*
Sound familiar? If there’s one major complaint you’ve had about conference calls, it’s this: poor audio quality. Not only are these sorts of sound glitches frustrating and a total nuisance, but they can also significantly decrease the productivity and effectiveness of your call. Important points are missed. Questions go unanswered. Conversations get jumbled. Certain participants are totally unheard.
But, here’s the good news: There are a few things you can do about this pesky problem. Here are seven key tips to implement to ensure that your conference call has great audio quality—while also saving yourself and your participants some headaches!
While it’s convenient to conduct a call right from your desk, that’s not always the best option for conference calls. From the copy machine to your colleagues participating in some friendly small talk in the next cubicle over, there’s bound to be a lot of background noise. Not only does this make it that much harder for your participants to hear you, but it also serves to distract you. You’ll have a much harder time staying focused and engaged in the conversation at hand when there’s so much activity happening around you.
So, head to a conference room or an office where you can shut the door for the duration of your call. That one simple step can work wonders in improving your audio quality!
Even if you find yourself a quiet room for your call, some background noise is still bound to crop up—whether it’s the air conditioning kicking on, you shuffling your papers, or a stray sneeze. This is why it’s best to make use of your mute button when you aren’t actively speaking. Any of your background noise will be totally blocked out when other participants are talking—making it that much easier for everyone to hear what’s being said.
You’ll just need to remember to unmute yourself when you want to chime in again!
Speaking of background noise, the last thing your participants want to hear is the constant vibration of your cell phone or dinging of instant message notifications. For that reason, make sure to silence all of your notifications before jumping on that conference call.
This is especially important if you’re joining the call through your computer. Any sort of pings or pops to indicate new messages or calendar reminders will also disrupt your participants when you aren’t muted. So, be safe and just silence them for the duration of your call instead!
We’ve all been on a conference call with that one participant who sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher. You’re lucky if you can decipher every fifth word that’s being said. Often, contributions from participants are much clearer if they’re able to wear a headset. That way, the microphone is positioned adequately near their mouths—rather than them yelling into a speakerphone or having the microphone so close to them that they sound like they’re in a tin can.
Even better? Headsets eliminate some of the background noise that arises—since the microphone is much more targeted. This might not be an option for all of your participants. But, at the very least, get yourself a headset that you can use for your conference calls.
Is there a participant that’s way too quiet? One that’s way too loud? Or, an annoying echo that’s driving everybody crazy? Try asking everybody to adjust their call volume (including adjusting yours as well!). Oftentimes, many of the audio issues that you’re experiencing are related to somebody having their volume too high or too low.
Take a minute or two at the beginning of the call to get those levels sorted out as best you can, and you’re sure to stave off numerous other pesky audio problems that might have cropped up and derailed your call.
If you’re the moderator or the host, it’s a smart idea to do a test run before you actually start the conference call. This will give you the opportunity to confirm you chose a good environment, test your connection if necessary, and also get familiar with the features and functions of whatever conferencing platform you’re using.
Sometimes, even despite your best efforts, audio glitches do still happen. But, at least your test run will have empowered you to know how to address them a little bit better.
All of these tips can help you ensure better audio quality on your conference call. However, ultimately these efforts are fruitless if you’re using a cheap and low-quality conferencing provider.
Instead, get setup with a conferencing solution that boasts better call quality and excellent customer support (just in case there is an issue you need help resolving!). When it comes to conferencing solutions, remember this golden rule: You really do get what you pay for.