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5 ways to deal with technical issues during online meetings

5 ways to deal with technical issues during online meetings

Preparing for Unexpected Technical Glitches

Whether you are leading an online meeting or not, technical problems can arise at any time. It is important to have strategies in place to help tackle these problems and ensure there is no conflict, complaint, or panic on your part. A pre-meeting checklist should be in place for further security that involves testing whether all your equipment is working. You should also test your internet connection, which will ideally provide you with a bandwidth above 10 Mbps. If your internet is slow, you will have poor-quality video conferencing. Test your camera, microphone, and speakers to make sure you receive input from potential participants.

Shut down all unnecessary applications when starting a meeting to enjoy the best performance of your system. If an app crashes, just exit and resume it. For more serious technical problems, a computer restart cures many underlying technical problems. A small manual in front of your eyes can help you remember key steps to relieve the most common technical problems you will face during a virtual event. It is also important to make sure you have the contact information of the technology support team in case the problem is not eliminated.

Make sure you have heard of the so-called “tech buddy”, which is basically one of your best colleagues. Make sure the person is skilled in technical terms and is quick to answer your call. If the problem is too serious, the “tech buddy” can take your place and do the hosting of the event. Make sure they know enough about the virtual event. It is also important to make sure you use simple and reliable conference software. Whether using Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams, the software aims to provide constant updates on its safety and performance features. Make sure your own individual application is up to date and it completely matches your computer’s diagnostic measurements. In case of a complete system failure, secure a secondary device in your hands such as a tablet or a smartphone. Make sure all documents and organizational papers for the meeting are universally accessible by all members by also providing them a dial-in number.

Testing Equipment Prior to Meetings

In order for your online meeting to go well, it is vital for you to test your equipment in advance. Not only will it save you the risk of running into an embarrassing situation in the middle of the event, but it will also make you a more professional participant and show respect for other people’s time.

Compose a Standard Testing Process

Compose a list of actions that you would want to perform at least 30 minutes before the online class begins. Make sure that there are no obstacles in the path of the camera and that there will be nothing particular to notice from you apart from seeing yourself. Before proceeding, make sure that the connection on your device is stable and that any other connected parties are aware of your status. Your tool should offer clear video quality that does not produce any distortions and should let you focus on the quality and not the equipment .

Perform a Sound Check

Make sure to also check if the microphone and speaker quality is appropriate. For instance, instead of letting someone else call first, utilise the opportunity of your video conferencing software to record and playback a voice test. Analyze the recording for any distortion or delay and set up the microphone appropriately to avoid any further audio issues. Moreover, make sure to adjust the volume of the microphone appropriately so that other people will be able to listen to you clearly. Also, remember that a loud volume is not a safeguard – any distortions can come through no matter how loud you are yelling at the microphone. Complete the test by checking the speaker operation by listening to the test recording yourself.

Check for Software Compatibility and Update

Do not forget to make sure that you and others are using the latest version of your software or app. Outdated versions are prone to meet the issues of incompatibility and might also not have security patches for properly functioning equipment . Simultaneously, make sure that your operating system is up-to-date as well as drivers.

Having Technical Support on Standby

Managing any kind of technical issue during online meetings is at its most effective when you have dedicated support for the whole duration of the meeting. This means that you should always have people who will help you solve any kind of problem as it arises, enabling you to switch back as soon as possible.

Direct Line to Tech Support

Ensure that you are able to access tech support quickly. This might mean having a special phone line, a chat service, or an email in which the person on the other side can give you step-by-step instructions. Many companies will also have their own special hotlines for top-dollar webinars or other big online events, with the name and number of the special service being on-screen for everyone watching.

Have a Team Member Ready to Help

Identify and train at least one team member who is familiar with the most common meeting platforms in your company and able to solve any minor problems that might come up. They might not perform maintenance tasks or solve very minor problems, but having someone who knows your setup by heart can be very beneficial.

Technical Rehearsal

If your meeting is very important, consider having a technical rehearsal at least a day before. You can then simulate problems such as restabilizing the connection after it has been dropped, shifting to a wireless connection after a cable of one of the participants has been damaged, or adding audio permission to someone who cannot be heard. This will give your tech support a historical look at the problem and enable the participants to know when and how to ask for help.

Backup Equipment

Finally, make sure that you have backup equipment on-site. This can include not only web cameras and mics, but also computers if your current one has been hit by a virus. This will enable you to switch immediately should something happen.

Building Resilience to Technical Difficulties

In the digital age we live in today, being resilient about technical problems during online meetings is not just nice to have, it is a must. By planning for problems beforehand, the team ensures to not let them interfere with their online meeting.

In the first place, invest in a reliable IT infrastructure. For example, establish a strong internet connection with redundant paths. If one of your internet service providers fails, the second provider can jump in and keep the online meeting in place. In addition, use enterprise-grade routers and switches that can handle the data traffic of the whole meeting. Prioritize video conferencing packets in your network to minimize latency and packet loss.

Second, plan regular maintenance, and don’t forget to update all systems. The importance of updating your video conferencing system , operating system, and network equipment is hard to overestimate. Updates improve performance, add new features, and most importantly, they patch the vulnerabilities in the system as soon as they are discovered. Remember to do these checks and updates after online meetings ended at night or during long breaks between them. It is important not to disrupt the meetings.

Educate and train the users. For instance, hold a short training session for the team on how to behave in online conferences and how to act in case of technical problems. The subjects might be as easy as how to quickly switch from Wi-Fi to a wired connection if the team member’s image starts lagging or how to repeatedly switch your microphone on and off. Such minor changes can solve many common issues. This way, your team is less likely to call in the IT department that is already overstretched, hastening to resolve urgent problems with network availability.

Finally, use a quick switch plan. Have the ready plan of action in a different type of communication if the one is failing. For example, if a video conferencing system logs everyone out and refuses to work, be prepared to switch to the secondary system immediately to continue the meeting. Also, provide a standard telephone line and equipment as your backup audio-only way.

Training in Basic Troubleshooting and Skills Update

Due to the growing importance of technology in modern business practices, addressing technical problems has become a major concern for many organizations. Designing and delivering a program to help employees to resolve the issue during an online meeting is a chance to prevent such a disruption and facilitate the workplace . A comprehensive training program will focus on training in the most important skills of troubleshooting and updating the currently held ones.

Creating a Comprehensive Training Program

Design and implement an online meeting application training program. A solid and interactive training program should include practical classes with the teachers who will replicate the most likely technical problems. For example, they can simulate the unsynchronized audio, lags in the video, or the failure of the connectivity to the platforms in use . Moreover, such a program should include instructions on how to return to the meeting as fast as possible and for adjusting the parameters during the call. If some basic communication tools prove to be unavailable, employees should be able to use others.

Interactive Learning Opportunities

Develop interactive modules that can be accessed by the worker whenever needed. They can be educational videos, quiz questions, or virtual hands-on applications designed to help users overcome problems . Ensure to frequently update the learning platforms so it corresponds to the software update the organization has and includes the most recent technologies integrated into the company’s range of operations.

Schedule Regular Skills Updates

Technology does not dwell, and, as a result, employees must grow with it. Establish bi-annual training on the most common platforms to get updated on changes and facilitates that have been included. In this way, workers will be able to participate in efficient online meetings without wasting time on solving simple technical problems.

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