Conference calls make holding meetings among colleagues based in different locations easier and practical. These days, even small businesses have great use for conference calls. However, these kinds of meetings come with their own set of technical—particularly audio—problems that may be encountered at some point. Knowing about the different types of common audio conference fails and how to avoid or remedy them can help you achieve the most out of every conference call.
Below are some audio-conference problems that can be avoided.
1. The Volume Is Too Low
Volume plays an important role in the success of any conference call. After all, the participants’ ability to understand the topics being discussed is dependent on the information they’re hearing. If they can’t hear the discussion or presentation, they could lose vital details that could invalidate the purpose of the conference call.
This could be avoided by running sound checks prior to starting the meeting and resolving any audio problems right away. Simply asking if everyone can hear you just fine is a simple solution to this issue.
2. Too Much Background Noise
The audio checks are done, the internet connection is stable, and everyone is present—but what about the background noise? If the purpose of the conference call is as important as it is, then you, as a presenter, should probably think about quiet venues to stay in while leading the call. A coffee shop might not be the perfect place to be in, considering all the coffee-bean grinding that goes on. Another solution is to use a mobile phone for the conference call so it would be easier to move to a quieter location when noise arises in your immediate vicinity.
3. Distracting Audio Echoes
Not only can echoes during conference calls make everyone cringe, but they distract from the agenda being discussed and could potentially lessen productivity. The speaker’s voice goes in and out and often sounds far away. This can be bad for events like sales pitches, where the smooth presentation of information is what could cause a client to push through with or withdraw from the sale.
Echoes usually occur when two or more participants are in the same room, joining the conference all on two different phone lines. To solve this, just have one line, use one conference phone for multiple participants in the room, or have people be in different rooms or locations during the call.
4. Delayed Audio
A lot of audio-conferencing providers do delay audio automatically for a few seconds in order to minimize feedback and avoid other audio issues. However, there are times when glitches occur, and this could add further delays in audio that could keep the conference call from running smoothly. Often, these glitches happen when there are too many participants on the line than the conference provider’s services can handle. Avoid this by utilizing a conference phone, which not only lessens echoes but also prevents the conferencing software from becoming overwhelmed.
5. Not Muting/Unmuting a Call Participant as Necessary
For people hosting a conference call, the power to mute or unmute certain participants when needed can be very helpful in creating the most ideal and hospitable environment for an audio discussion. However, if a meeting is particularly stressful or there’s just too much going on within the vicinity, it can be hard to remember whom to mute or unmute during vital moments of the call.
This can be remedied by having a clear agenda set before the start of the call and listing down participants who will need to be unmuted during certain parts of the agenda. On the other hand, you can also have one other person unmuted the entire time so that someone can remind you of whom to mute or unmute when necessary.
Anyone who has ever been on an audio conference call has experienced at least a few of these issues. For those yet to initiate or join their first-ever conference call, knowing what kind of technical problems you may be faced with can help you figure out the best action to take. By addressing these call fails, the meetings can run more smoothly and be productive.