Many businesses are starting to run meetings remotely through applications like Skype and Zoom. A handful of larger corporations prefer hosting meetings with high-level audio-video equipment professionally installed in a conference room.
Both methods are suitable for hosting meetings – as long as the audio quality is good. When audio quality is bad, even the most expensive video conferencing equipment is worthless.
There are a handful of technical issues you need to manage when hosting virtual meetings, but here’s why audio should be your top priority.
1. Getting high-quality professional audio isn’t complicated
If you haven’t improved the audio quality of your virtual meetings because you think it’s too complicated, think again. All you need is the right equipment from a reputable company like Pioneer Music, and a sound technician to set up your system.
Setting up your audio and video may have been challenging if you ordered your video conferencing equipment and set it up on your own. However, when you hand over the task to the pros, you don’t have to do anything. Getting quality audio is hands-off.
2. A person won’t understand the content of a meeting with bad audio
There are two general expressions of bad audio: garbled and incoherent audio and audio that cuts out. Both of these problems make it hard for participants to understand the content of a meeting. It’s like when a cell phone signal drops out and the other person keeps talking and you might catch a few words, but you have no idea what they’re actually saying.
When audio quality is bad, people will automatically look for visual cues to figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, video can’t pick up the slack for bad audio.
You really need high-quality audio if you want your employees and clients to comprehend the content of your meetings. It’s not good enough to fill people in later or even have them listen to a recorded version of the meeting. That’s time-consuming and your employees will resent having to review meetings this way.
3. Audio quality influences a person’s mood
Meetings are supposed to be structured sessions that get down to business, but if you want your team members (and clients) to be alert and open to new ideas, you need to control the mood. This can be done by ensuring you have high-quality audio output.
Poor quality audio is distracting and can trigger agitation. When people feel agitated or have to struggle to hear clearly, they’re less likely to take in the full content of a meeting. Agitation can also influence a person’s interactions during the meeting. For example, they might be quick to snap back or argue.
With high-quality audio output, participants can concentrate fully on the meeting. It’s not that participants will notice the amazing audio quality – the benefit is that they won’t notice the audio at all. That’s what you want.
Along with high-quality audio, you can set the mood for meetings in a few different ways:
- Start your meetings with an upbeat attitude and tone of voice
- Begin your meetings by asking everyone how they’re doing
- Share a funny joke or a quick, interesting story before starting each meeting
- Stay positive and energetic throughout each meeting
All of these mood-setting methods will be more effective with high-quality audio.
4. Audio quality influences how clients perceive your brand
Do you invite clients to meetings through video conferencing software? If so, the audio quality of your meeting will influence how your clients see your brand. You can’t force them to get high-quality speakers, but if you’re using bad equipment to capture the sound, it’s going to be even worse on their end.
Poor audio quality is worth fixing immediately
Audio is far more important than video. Studies have shown that even with perfect video, if the audio quality is just slightly poor, people respond negatively.
During a meeting, if low bandwidth is causing the audio quality to dip, have everyone present turn off their video. You can run a meeting with audio only. When you need to write or draw on a whiteboard, you’ll need to turn your video on. However, everyone else can keep their video off to preserve bandwidth, especially if they’re already in the room with you.
If meeting participants are scattered across the office at their desks or even working from home, you may have to deal with multiple poor audio situations. In that case, require those people to turn off their video. If someone’s audio can’t be fixed, have them call in by phone.