General Tips for Successful Remote Conferencing
Whether you are using Zoom or another web conferencing platform, there are a few things you can do to help ensure good quality communication.
- Use a good quality internet connection.
- You need to have a fast internet connection in order to assure consistent audio quality and for any use of video and application sharing. That typically means a download speed of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps. Slower connections can still work, but they are more susceptible to poor quality transmissions when network traffic is high. You can test your connection speed at https://www.speedtest.net.
- If possible, use a wired (ethernet) connection rather than wireless. Wireless connections are more prone to variability and interference from other wireless devices or nearby neighbors with wireless networks. Wireless networks in hotels and public spaces are notoriously unreliable. If your home wireless network is set up with fairly new equipment, it will probably be fine—just be aware.
- Use a good quality microphone and headphones. A good microphone helps assure that others can hear you clearly, and a headset or earbuds will prevent feedback and echoes sometimes caused by the use of speakers. If you’re in a call and can hear an echo of yourself, it’s probably the result of the person on the other end’s microphone picking up the sound coming from their external speakers. Some platforms like Zoom provide a telephone number to call as an audio option. This may prove to be the best alternative if a headset is not available. Note, long-distance charges may be applied.
- Test your remote conferencing tool before the day of your event. Although you or your participants may have used a similar remote conferencing platform, there may be subtle differences. It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the application you plan to use for the upcoming meeting. Provide your connection information to participants well before the meeting to also allow users to test how well their device and equipment work with the tool.
- Provide an alternative method of communication. It’s always a good idea to distribute an email address or back-up telephone number (in the room) that can be used in case a remote participant encounters technical difficulties preventing them from communicating with the host or remainder of the group.
- Keep your microphone muted when not speaking. This will help prevent sudden noises on your end from interrupting the person who is speaking. Some web conference platforms, including Zoom, provide a larger video picture of the person who is speaking, keeping all other microphones muted will prevent the primary video from shifting away from the speaker.
- Minimize outside noise and distractions. A quiet room is better than a noisy one. If you are participating in a class or meeting from home, try to find a room where you will be free from accidental interruption.
- Adjust the lighting if using video. If you are broadcasting your video, try to arrange the lighting so that it shines on you from the front, and not so close and bright that it reflects off of your face. Lighting behind you, such as an open window, will make your image look very dark.
Direct Phone: (919) 966-9881
AV Services Main Phone: (919) 966-6536
NOTE: There are many equipment configurations and network options that make it difficult and in many cases impossible for the school’s AV Services office to troubleshoot problems outside of our managed classrooms or at your participant’s remote locations.
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