Is the AUDIO quality of your conference calls disrupting your ability to conduct business?

Technology can be leveraged to connect people that may be scattered around the state, the country or even the planet.  Good audio and web collaboration tools can minimize the need to travel which can save an organization thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars each year. But there need to be some ground rules in order for those tools to truly enable business to be done.  Here are two guidelines for your consideration.

The two standard conference call best practices that help eliminate feedback/echo/etc. below. When on a large conference call these two tips should improve the overall conference call experience.

  1. For all conference call attendees, if they are not trying to speak on the call, they should always have their phone on mute to remove ambient noises from the call.
  2. Anytime someone is not on mute and participating in the audio, they MUST take their phone off speakerphone. The speakerphone creates echo and dramatically disrupts the quality of the call.

It is appropriate for the leader or facilitator of the call to set up these ground rules at the beginning of the call. And when participants are obviously not following these two ground rules, the leader must reinforce them, pause the meeting and wait until the problem has been addressed (ie. Participants have muted their phone or taken their phone off mute.) To allow a conference call to continue when no one on the call can understand what is being said can be very frustrating and lead people to believe their time isn’t valued. The leader, or the assigned participant, must be diligent in this “quality assurance” effort otherwise participation in these conference calls will begin to decline.

We hope this is helpful.

Another TIP:

Utilizing an Audio-Visual (AV) company to embed mic’s in the table or suspended from the ceiling might assist in improving the audio quality on the presentation or “leader” side of the call.

Ask us how we can displace the ‘GoToMeeting’ application with ShoreTel’s conferencing appliance. But be aware, it probably won’t matter what collaboration tool you use if the two ground rules above aren’t being followed.

Contributed by Michael Gabhart

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