Five Easy Fixes to Improve Your Online Conference Calls
Picture this: You’re presenting on a very important conference call. Let’s say it’s a call between department heads at your own company, and you’re introducing a new strategy created by you and your team. It’s a big moment for you and your career.
Then… it all goes horribly wrong. Audio delay, confused participants speaking over each other, and painful feedback make it impossible to hear everyone clearly, much less achieve the call’s purpose. Disheartening, isn’t it?
Now imagine it’s not your own coworkers on that conference call, but a prospective client with a huge budget to spend. That’s not just disheartening — it’s potentially ruinous.
Fortunately, most of the commonly-encountered audio problems can be fixed, allowing you to deliver a high-quality audio conference call experience for all participants. Below, you’ll find five of the most common conference call problems with audio and how to fix them.
Some audio conferencing providers intentionally include audio delay in their systems. Others might struggle with it as a result of how many participants are on the call.
Audio delay typically manifests as a gap of a few seconds between a person speaking and participants hearing the speaker. According to some providers, intentional delays decrease the likelihood of even worse obstacles, such as feedback. Regardless, these delays can leave callers with a negative impression of the overall meeting experience.
Fix: Since it could be a sign of a poor service provider, you may need to locate a quality conference call service provider with advanced technology. For example, OpenVoice Integrated provides audio support for GoToMeeting’s conference call services, including toll-free calls. The crystal-clear sound and reliable connection work together to deliver an outstanding audio experience.
Clicking, crackling, high-pitched sounds — it’s all feedback, and it occurs when participant devices interfere with a call. If you’ve ever placed your device too close to an in-use microphone, you’ve probably experienced feedback. Some conference call providers don’t automatically block this interference.
Fix: Where possible, use a landline and a headset: a combination that will provide optimal audio by removing background noise. Prior to a call, test the headset to ensure your microphone and earpiece are in the best place for speaking and listening. This reduces the likelihood of feedback.
Audio echoes make it difficult, if not impossible, to hear a speaker. It’s distracting for both the speaker and listeners, and typically occurs if two or more people call into the same conference from the same room. The provider may not be able to cancel out the echoing sound.
Fix: Avoid having call participants dial in to a conference call from the same room. If one location is necessary for logistics, use a single device with speakerphone capability.
Without a solid connection, an online conference call is canceled before it starts. What’s even more frustrating is a call that repeatedly gets disconnected. When this happens, the meeting runs longer than anticipated, or results in an agenda that doesn’t get fully addressed.
Fix: Test your Wi-Fi connection or Internet speed prior to the call. Wi-Fi connections have to compete with a variety of other devices connected to the same network, and sometimes they struggle to provide consistency. Connection testing allows you to identify existing issues so you aren’t panicked by problems as the call begins.
Have you ever felt as though the speaker was talking from inside of a tunnel? This occurrence is referred to as hollow sound, and it’s another common audio bottleneck. Hollow sound typically happens if the audio conferencing software is processing sound from multiple microphones ineffectively. When several people start to speak at once, the sound becomes distorted. Participants can’t understand what’s being discussed, and may even tune out completely.
Fix: This is another sign that your conference call provider may not be offering the best audio software. Before deciding on a provider, leverage trial offers to test the audio capability of a few different companies. Use different headsets and devices to ensure that the provider has addressed technical issues like hollow sound.
Audio is so crucial to the quality of a phone or web conference that we notice an immediate difference when it’s anything but top-notch. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there’s little you can do on your end to improve the experience if your provider isn’t leveraging best-in-class audio technology. That’s why OpenVoice Integrated is so popular among our customers who want a reliable meeting experience every time — including audio.