From echo cancellation to snacking responsibly, here are our top tips on keeping your line clear!

Technology has changed the way we communicate, organize and do business. Now, there’s no need to hop a plane if you want to woo a client in Brussels, or grant a moving bonus if the talent you want is in Vermont. But even life-altering technology needs a little help to perform at its peak. When it comes to virtual presentations and meetings, a crystal clear line for all participants is essential. Getting and maintaining a clear line is not a just matter of luck. There are, in fact, a few things you can do to ensure superior audio quality on each and every one of your conference calls.

  1. Improve/Optimize your Speakerphone Situation:

In most instances, poorly manufactured equipment is the culprit behind a buzzing line. Avoid using a cheap phone to join the call and be wary of speakerphones or second-rate headsets. If you must use a speakerphone, ensure that it is placed away from any air ducts and avoid putting the unit on a metal surface. You can alleviate most audio difficulties by placing a speakerphone on a wooden surface, but if you experience any further choppiness simply slide a mouse pad underneath the unit. Also, it is common courtesy when using devices like this to mute yourself when you are not speaking. Depending on the conference call service you’re using, the chair of the meeting may have the moderator controls required to do this for you.

  1. Eliminate the Echo:

Echoes are usually the first thing people complain about when it comes to conference calls. But take heart, because in most instances, echo cancellation is not difficult to achieve. In fact, fixing echo during conference calls is incredibly simple: Simply turn your volume down at least halfway. Most of the time an echo is caused by the mic picking up the sound from your speakers, so the best etiquette is to mute yourself when you’re not talking. If you notice an echo and realize members of your team have forgotten to mute themselves, simply use FreeConference’s Moderator Controls to pinpoint the source and mute them, or switch into Presentation Mode to mute everyone on the line.

  1. Be conscious of your snacking etiquette:

Keeping water close by while you’re on a conference call is just good sense, but cracking open a can of soda while your colleague is outlining your team’s progress is downright distracting. Be wary of chip bags, plastic wrap, and overly crunchy snacks. If that sandwich on your desk can’t be ignored, mute yourself before indulging.

  1. Keep Your Notes Where You Can See ‘Em:

Whether you have a few cue cards or a 10-page report, lay your notes out on your desk. The sound of shuffling paper over a mic can be very loud and distracting. Keeping your notes where you can see them will save you the hassle of digging for that perfect statistic when the pressure’s on, sparing your listeners a cacophony of crackle.

  1. Find a Quiet Location:

If you have an incoming conference call, avoid setting yourself up in a room where there is a television, other people talking, typing or generally milling about. Once you select your ideal location, ensure that the windows are closed to minimize the sounds of street traffic. Remember, the hallway outside your office can be just as bustling as the street below, so make sure to keep your door closed during the call.

  1. Wait for Backup:

If you do have a problem with the audio quality on your call, do not hang up. Your preferred service provider can only identify and address the specific problem if the call stays in progress. Once the wayward sound is identified, most services can either fix the problem or suggest some simple solutions to you within forty-five seconds. Yes, it requires a little patience, but it will ultimately spare you the possibility of encountering the same problem on a future call.