Years ago I spent a couple of hours a day on Google HANGOUTS. This was a friendly way to have several people in on a video chat, share screens, create interactive events, even incorporate it EASILY into YouTube. Now we can do this – record, schedule public and private events, and stream through Meet. We can do breakout sessions with Zoom. We can reach a huge audience instantly with both YouTube, Facebook Live, Streamyard and dozens of other solutions. And, we also are ALL having issues with the quality of the recordings, hiccups in audio, those sting glitches, frozen faces due to demand.
Recently I was on a conference call and not only was WIFI maxed out, so was cell signal. Our best option – a LANDLINE. Yep, you heard me – a phone that ties to your local phone service, not to cell phone service. Nothing that relies on a wifi signal strength, nothing tapping into the pipeline. A HANDHELD phone with that curve to keep your mouth away from your hand, clear speaker, and clear voice. Our group was stunned at the quality. The recording was better too without as much demand on the bandwidth locally. We are all finding new recipes to accomplish what we need. There is a lot of experimenting.
Here are some tips for you who are on more calls. There are plenty of articles, but you are not listening – perhaps due to the distortion in the audio. 😉
- Do a clean reboot of your computer, laptop, iPad, especially if you are the host, or being interviewed.
- Turn off all other devices in the house that may be tapping into the wifi signal – at least put them in cell mode only, airplane mode or off is better. This also keeps notifications from interrupting.
- Try to be CLOSE to your mic, if you are using an external mic. Think of radio hosts – they are right on top of the mic. Don’t do that unless you have a pop filter and aren’t prone to mouth clicks and over-annunciating – especially those P’s and T’s.
- Sharing your screen? Be sure to have a clean desktop so you look tidy and don’t show too many things you are working on. Minimize the number of tabs open too. ALL of this sucks the signal and may put your audio quality in jeopardy.
- Smile when you talk.
- Keep deep breaths to a minimum.
- If you are a guest, set your computer to arrive muted. You have no idea what is already in process when you are admitted into the room, session. You can always unmute.
- Pace yourself. It’s a lot more taxing on our brains to be on camera and “on” in general. Phone calls take a lot of energy, but when you add in a video where you are seen the entire time, it’s truly exhausting. To avoid video call hangovers, Limit how many you will be visible for in a day. Can you skip the video and still participate? Consider that option when you can.
- If you can convince the person you want to meet with to simply call you, welcome that option so you can pace the floor, pour yourself a cup of coffee and toss the ball for the dog in the yard while you meet.