Sabrina dedicates her time to helping businesses generate leads and meaningful revenue through the use of webinars and virtual events. For over a decade, she has worked with businesses of all sizes, ranging from Forture 100's to small startups. She works to re-design their event strategy so they can deliver highly successful outcomes through a combination of best practices and the implementation of proven technologies. She currently serves as the VP of Marketing for Onstream Media, a leading provider of audio and video communications, and actively contributes to various publications including TSNN. Follow her @onstreammedia
Webinars have quickly become an effective tool for companies. The ability to promote products, discuss new technologies, and inform both employees and clients about upcoming changes all in a live setting has contributed greatly to their popularity. However—like every technology—webinars aren’t immune to technical issues. Audio problems during webinars, can derail your best preparations and leave a lasting – and unfortunately negative – impression on hosts and participants. The success of webinars relies heavily on clear audio. In order to maximize the full potential of a webinar, avoid audio problems. But how exactly? Here’s how to actively prevent common audio problems during webinars.
Different Audio Technology
There are many different audio options for webinars, but choosing the right option can be daunting. VoIP, teleconferencing, and simulcast are all viable options. VoIP technology utilizes the computer speakers of both hosts and participants of a webinar. Teleconferencing uses a phone to provide audio for a webinar, and simulcast uses both VoIP technology and teleconferencing technology to provide audio. Let’s examine in depth the benefits and drawbacks of each.
VoIP technology is a cost-effective way to provide clear audio during webinars. It is also user-friendly and easy to use as a one-to-many format. A major drawback of the VoIP option is that many devices participants use to live stream a webinar don’t have speakers, so users can be stuck watching an audio-free webinar.
Teleconferencing offers hosts with a reliable, tested form of technology to provide audio during webinars. This option also makes it easy for open participation between hosts and attendees. Unfortunately, teleconferencing can be expensive and many participates of webinars are not set up to use a telephone to provide the audio for webinars.
Lastly, simulcast utilizes both VoIP and teleconferencing technology. Simulcast provides both hosts and participants with the most audio options during webinars. This is useful for participants who do not have a telephone to provide audio, as well as those who do not have speakers in their devices. The major concern when choosing simulcast as an audio technology is the cost.
All three audio options have pros and cons, so it vital for a business to evaluate its needs before choosing an audio technology for webinars.
Ways to Avoid Audio Issues
No matter what auto technology a company chooses, audio issues are bound to occur unexpectedly. Some of the most common issues with audio during webinars are interruptions and distractions that shift the focus of participants and hosts away from the actual content of the webinar. A great way to limit distractions and interruptions is to use a headphone-microphone combination.
Despite being useful tools, headphones and microphones aren’t immune to certain technical issues though. Ambient sounds can mix in with audio and create muffled and indiscernible noise. Using an echo cancellation processor is a great way to ensure microphones and headphones are transmitting only the sounds they are intended to. Automixing devices automatically reduce microphone signals when they are not being used, and strengthen the signal for in-use microphones.
Even when microphones and headphones are used, an echo can occur, adding an unwanted reverberation of noise during a webinar. To combat unwanted echoes, use an echo cancellation processor. These processors take a digital audio signal and process it to improve the signal and emit a stronger, clearer sound.
As more companies utilize webinars for various reasons, it’s vital to choose an audio technology that will create the best webinar experience for both hosts and participants. Audio issues can completely negate the numerous benefits of webinars, so choosing the correct audio technology—VoIP, teleconferencing, simulcast—that best fits a company’s needs is crucial. Beyond choosing the best technology to provide audio for a webinar, companies must also consider other factors that cause audio interruptions. Audio distractions, echoes, ambient noises, and other problems are bound to occur despite what audio technology is chosen. Luckily, using headphones, microphones, automixing, and echo cancellation processors companies can ensure high-level audio clarity for webinars.
When you’ve invested in planning and preparation for your next webinar, don’t overlook that audio component. Choose the best set up for your needs and then test it before your next webinar to keep audio problems from ruining the experience.
This article was first published on The Marketing Scope.