Video conferencing has come a long way since its beginnings. It no longer takes a day and a half to set up and connect, and your picture and audio quality are crystal clear—most of the time.
Regardless of the advances in technology, there are still problems and glitches to overcome, but you can handle this. The majority of problems are easily solved, and many are preventable with some simple planning.
If you have hesitations about using newer video conferencing software technology, maybe the following list of top issues and their simple fixes will calm your nerves.
1. Freezing Up/Glitches/Video is Pixelated
This has happened to almost everyone: You’re in a call. On a roll. Slamming home point after point. You are feeling good, and you just know you’re about to close a deal. Then you realize your prospective client hasn’t moved or made a peep in the last five minutes.
They are frozen, and they haven’t heard a thing you said or seen any of the gestures you rehearsed in front of the mirror last night. Now you just feel silly. And you may look unprofessional or unprepared.
You can avoid these kinds of glitches on your end, by making sure you have up-to-date video conferencing software that uses high-quality HD video and sound, that your firewall is open to public IP and your software, and that your bandwidth is sufficient to handle your call.
You need a dedicated bandwidth of at least 1 Mbps, and you can test your speed at speedtest.com. You may also want to check ahead of time to ensure your router is functioning properly, and that all of your cables are plugged all the way in.
2. Sound Has an Echo or is Tinny
You never want your video conference call to be the part of the day everyone dreads, so you try to make them as pleasant an experience as possible. You wear cheerful colors. You keep content as engaging as possible.
You may even start your conference calls out with a joke to get everyone to lighten up a little. But your voice … no one can stand the echo booming from your end of the line.
It is difficult to pay attention in a conference call when the quality of the audio is awful, and some people are highly sensitive to auditory irregularities. You can mitigate this problem pretty easily, though.
The most common cause is having the speakers too close to the microphone or having the speakerphone off of mute. If someone else on the line is the source, mute them when they are not talking, and ask them to make an adjustment.
3. Background Noise
Worse than an echo or tinny sound, is the dark threat of background noise that looms over even the best video conference meeting. Background noise is aggravating, it makes paying attention difficult, and it looks like you are not supported by your environment or coworkers.
Make sure you are in a room that is as soundproof as possible so you don’t have to deal with Bob standing by the watercooler just outside the door, talking loudly about his weekend fishing trip for the hundredth time this week.
Do your best to adjust the acoustics of the room if you can. Carpeted rooms with pictures hanging or bookshelves lining the walls absorb excess noise. Finally, use noise-canceling devices to cut out softer background noise like the hum of your fluorescent lights.
4. Your System is Outdated
Outdated video conferencing systems are cumbersome to use, often full of glitches, and you may not even be capable of connecting with your clients anymore. Maybe you are old school and remember when your office first got the “new” system. It was cutting edge at the time and cost an arm and a leg.
That was nearly twenty years ago now, and you don’t need all the clunky equipment with a mess of wires in order to have a great video conferencing call. All you need is a good broadband or mobile connection, and a cell phone or computer with a headset.
Newer video conferencing software is seamless and easily integrated into the hardware you have on hand, and you will not have to worry about its compatibility with the hardware your clients have.
5. Everyone is Intimidated to Use The System
You want to come across as competent. When technology has the power to break you, it doesn’t look good to anyone. No one likes being reduced to tears in the corner over software. Modern video conferencing software is designed to be as simple to use as possible, but it still takes time to get to know your system.
Spend some time learning the system forward and backwards, then help the other people in your business get to know it too. If you regularly have calls with clients, help them understand the system better as well.
You can hold training sessions or record videos, or you can get super meta and train people on video conferencing while you are on a video conference call. Whatever you decide, people will be far more inclined to use the system when they are confident they know-how.