“Can you hear me now?” is the worst question ever for the start of your webinar.
Nothing ruins a webinar faster for the audience than poor-quality audio. If you’ve ever become frustrated as a host or actually left a webinar as a participant, you’ve experienced that. Of course, guest speakers, visuals, format, script, content and Q&A matter a great deal. But, if the audio doesn’t get off on the right track, these other things won’t make the slightest bit of difference…not even if your sound is as good as The Beatles.
“From Me to You”
Fifty years ago, we listened to the newest tunes from The Beatles on 45 rpm vinyl records, spinning around and getting scratched under the needle of a record player. But, that was 1963.
We now fast forward to the second decade of the 21st century when the sound quality of so many webinars is little improved from the ’60s. That’s unacceptable…and avoidable.
“Don’t Let Me Down”
Good content can become great with the right acoustics. However, the greatest content will sound like rubbish if there is an annoying echo, delays or feedback. Eliminate that possibility.
Here are ten quick and easy things you can do to ensure better quality sound without spending a penny.
- Conduct the webinar from a quiet, furnished space in your home or office. Get away from kids, pets, colleagues, noise from outside, and close the door.
- Turn off mobile phones and computer ‘ping’ notifications. Hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.
- Make sure that all your presenters are in a controlled environment as well. If they are calling in from a hotel room, make sure they have the fastest broadband internet connection and do a speed check and sound check in advance. Again, a ‘Do Not Disturb‘ sign must go on the door.
- All presenters should use cabled headset USB microphones or a stand-alone mike on a scissor boom base, rather than an older mic jack or the built-in microphones on a laptop.
- Call in on a landline, if you have one, for better quality and in case of the internet dropping off unexpectedly. Mobile phones are not ideal and using a speakerphone creates a palpable barrier.
- Ensure all batteries are charged and computers are plugged in to an electrical outlet so no one runs out of juice.
- Speak naturally. Practice. Be mindful of habits like ‘aahs’ and ‘ums’, throat-clearing and nervous coughing. It’s okay to gesticulate and it’s wonderful to smile when you talk.
- Get a good, professional moderator who can manage the flow of the script and prevent participants from interrupting and speaking over one another at the same time.
- Provide attendees with the choice of an internet connection or toll-free international telephone numbers.
- Absolutely critical — have a run-through and a final rehearsal with everyone at least one hour in advance.
Now you can relax, it will show, and webinar attendees will appreciate it. Just like the best of The Beatles, your webinar is going straight to the top of the charts because you put in the planning and preparation for maximizing the audience’s audio experience.