Person-to-person meetings – can you hear me?


Video conferencing is an essential tool for remote workers. Whether you're training a new employee, conducting a product demo for a prospective client or just checking in with your supervisor, utilising advanced audio equipment will make your video calls smoother and more efficient.

Dealing with audio issues during a video conference can be very frustrating, especially when discussing important business matters. When you or your colleague's audio is constantly cutting out, or the sound is simply not clear enough to hear, points don't get communicated effectively and meetings end up taking longer than they should. This leads to more wasted time and less productivity throughout the workday.

As someone who relies on video conferencing to do their job, you can't allow audio problems to get in the way. Here's some helpful information for getting the most out of your one-on-one video calls.


Understanding how video conferencing technology works will help you achieve higher audio quality during meetings.


Hosting a successful video conference

Virtual meetings should be treated the same as in-person meetings when it comes to etiquette. For instance, you should always show up on time, dress appropriately and try not to talk over others while they're speaking. To prevent technical difficulties from getting in the way of a productive meeting, here are some best practices specific to hosting video conferences:

Make sure video is set to 'on'

Most video conferencing tools give you the freedom to show or not show your face during a meeting. Some companies prefer their employees to always have video turned on during video conferences, while others only require it for external calls, such as interviews, sales calls, meetings with clients, etc. From hand gestures to head nods, body language is an important part of communicating. So when in doubt, it's smart to keep your video turned on, as it may show that you're more engaged in the conversation.

Know when to mute yourself

The mute button is an effective tool for ensuring clear audio. Your microphone can pick up all kinds of noises, like the sound of you typing, your breathing, the air conditioner in your home or your dog barking in the background. When you aren't speaking, hit the mute button so that the other person in the meeting doesn't hear any of those extra sounds.

Ask the other meeting attendee if they can hear you

There's no point in chatting with someone if you can barely make out the words they're saying. So before you start the video call, ask the other person if they can see and hear you clearly. If they cannot, you may need to do some troubleshooting, like reconnecting to the internet or checking the microphone hookup.

Shure earphones use sound isolating technology to provide the best audio experience possible, whether you're on a business call or listening to music.

Upgrading your audio equipment

The most important part of a successful video conference is the equipment. Or, more specifically, the microphones and speakers, since they determine how effective the audio will be. Before we get into our recommendations for the best audio tools, here is some other basic technology you'll need to get started:

  • Video conferencing software: There are many free video conference apps, such as Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts.
  • Display: This could be your laptop, television screen or desktop monitor.
  • Internet connection: Video calls require strong internet connection, whether it's through Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
  • Camera: You can simply use the camera that's built into your laptop or plug in an external one for higher video quality.


Microphones

If you plan on hosting a lot of video conferences in the future, do not underestimate the importance of a good microphone. Sure, you could use the microphone that's built into your laptop. But will that give you the level of quality you want? Probably not. In order to make sure you don't have any problems with people hearing you on calls, consider purchasing the Shure MOTIV MV51 Microphone for your home office. It plugs into the computer via USB and is sized for portability, so you can easily take it with you when you travel.

Earphones

Listening to others through your laptop speakers can be problematic. You won't be able to hear their voices as well as you would with a set of premium earphones, like the Shure SE215 Bluetooth Earphones. They are wireless and can last for up to ten hours on a single charge, giving you the freedom to move around during meetings. Plus, they keep out almost all background noise, so you can hear others clearly without getting distracted.

Interested in taking your home office to the next level? Connect with the Jands team for premium solutions and expert advice.