Troubleshooting Your Video Conference Tools: 4 Basic Questions To Ask
Video conferencing software today isn’t as difficult to use as it was ten or even five years ago. It is designed to be as easy to use, reliable, and accessible as possible with the bare minimum of problems. But it is inevitable that things will go wrong sometimes, even to the IT literate or those who use the software daily. It’s even more troublesome when these issues occur during large conference meetings or before particularly important pitches. However, there are always ways to solve technical issues, and they can be done by any user to quickly solve almost any problem. Next time you experience technical problems with your conferencing software, ask yourself these four questions and you’ll be on your way to fixing them:
- 1. Basic Set Up
A good conferencing system should be able to run with just a few clicks of a mouse. However, when using more advanced equipment such as conference room projectors or large scale group sessions, some additional set up may be required. When you have such an event scheduled, check all of the specifications you’ll need: Will you need to disable a firewall, install the latest Flash player, or connect to a certain server, for instance? You can check your software’s support page to find out specifics you’ll need. It’s also a good idea to have a test run, perhaps even more than once, before the event starts to ensure that everything is set up and running smoothly. If so, you will have some time to solve problems without cutting into the event time or appearing unprofessional.
- 2. Internet Connection
The majority of technical issues in video conferencing are the result of a slow or unreliable Internet connection. Even the most versatile programs still need a good Internet signal to function correctly. If you have been having consistent issues with losing signal during meetings or glitches in the audio or visual feed, check to see if you can improve your Internet speed or move your device closer to a router. If the issue has happened suddenly, it could be the result of poor weather or maintenance work cutting out your signal unexpectedly. There isn’t a lot you can do about these issues except cancel events before extreme weather conditions or excessive maintenance.
- 3. Audio and Video Quality
A slow Internet connection can cause a lot of problems, the main one being poor quality audio and video with glitches, out of synch channels, or even loss of video altogether. According to LucidMeetings, it’s the number one complaint among online conferencing users as it can make users seem unprofessional and ill prepared, interrupting the feed and ruining the image they’re trying to present. Video conference equipment used with products like BlueJeans will perform to standard with not only a reliable Internet connection but also a quality webcam and microphone. Most devices already come equipped with a webcam, but if not, then you can purchase an external one. Microphones also come as standard on most devices, but buying an external microphone may pay off if you have been having audio trouble, want to capture the best quality audio, or have online meetings frequently. If you plan to make a speech at a conference, separate microphone equipment and cameras should be used instead.
- 4. Accessibility
The best conferencing setups are designed for ease of access for all users. If however, you have scheduled attendees who are unable to make events or access shared files, check your settings again to see if something has been forgotten. If they aren’t already signed up for the software, a passcode should be sent to their e-mail address to allow them to access the meeting. A similar system is used to provide them with access to shared files. If all of the right measures have been taken by you, it could be a problem on their end, which is often the result of the person being unfamiliar with or unconfident in using conferencing software. Perhaps they haven’t disabled their firewall before a large conference or accidently deleted their access e-mail. If this occurs, talk them through the steps required, instruct them in using the unfamiliar software, and reassure them that it is easy and safe to use. If they take your advice, the one time mistake will be a single hiccup rather than an ongoing issue. They may even opt to sign up for the software themselves.
As you can see, barring mitigating circumstances, the majority of conferencing technical issues can be solved easily and quickly with a little common sense and consulting with support staff. Being prepared, spotting problems early, and working with new users can reduce major problems into minor bumps in the road, and make online conferencing easy for all users.