Mic Test, Mic Test: A Checklist for Prepping Your Equipment Before Starting a Webcast

MicrophoneWhether you are holding a webcast in order to boost the popularity of your business or just want to present your brand new idea to the world, a lot of your success will ride on the quality that you show your viewers. And if your equipment decides to malfunction right in the middle of your event, you could find a huge portion of your audience leaving before you even get straight to your main point. If you want to avoid being put in that kind of situation, then it pays to give extra attention to your tools and programs before you even begin the presentation in the first place. In this article, we will give you a few tips that you can try in order to troubleshoot your equipment properly.

1. Make sure that you have extensively studied how to use your tools.

While many virtual webcasting platforms such as BlueJeans tend to be very easy to use, not all of them work exactly the same way. Thus, you may want to explore every nook and cranny of the app and equipment that you have chosen to use. For example, do you have unique settings for volume controls both on your program and your microphone? Can you adjust the focus on your video camera, and can you set it so that you are still visible even in low light conditions? Can you choose the resolution at which your video camera will stream your visuals to your audience? Are there settings on your microphone that you can adjust depending on how far away from the mic you would want to be situated.

According to an article by Mary K. Pratt for the website ComputerWorld, you should start studying and playing around your software by giving yourself plenty of time to really get to know it. Just do not test and experiment with it when you only have around a minute and a half left before the webcast begins, or else you might be in for a world of embarrassment from your more tech-savvy audience members.

2. Check to see just how much of the room your video camera shows your audience.

First impressions can definitely last, so make sure that your video camera does not show a full view of your room, especially if you tend to have trouble picking up after yourself. However, the best thing to do, instead of trying to position yourself in front of the camera in a way that blocks off the room, or setting your camera so that it has a very limited view of your room, is to take some time to actually clean up the room you will be holding the webcast from. That way, there will be no room for error, especially if you forget about that pile of laundry in the back if you stand up to take a short break from your presentation.

Another of the most common mistakes conducted in virtual meetings, according to an article by Jill Konrath, is not setting out a block of time at home where nobody else in the house can interrupt your webcast. You would not want your friends or family members barging in on screen in their pajamas while you are talking about business prospects and the future of e-commerce, now, would you?

3. Check if your microphone is picking up as much sound as you want it to.

It would be awful if you started your webcast with bright smiles and cheerful greetings, only to find out that nobody could hear you in the first place. Take some time to sit down and plug in your microphone (or you webcam, if it has a built-in mic) and play around with the settings. Can you adjust the volume from your microphone itself? Can you actually record anything using it? Is the sound quality as it should be: crisp and clear, with no strange hiccups, fuzziness, or static? Check the connection you are using: does your mic come with a standard audio jack, or a USB cable? Have you tried whether one provides clearer output than the other?

However, if you are noticing that some of your words seem to pop in a bad way, it may not be your microphone that is your problem. While some higher end cameras can lessen the strange noises produced by words with the letters “b” and “p,” you might want to get yourself a cheap pop filter instead in order to filter your plosives. Make sure that your mic volume is not too loud, either, as that can make your mic pick up unwanted background noises.

Run a quick test using these tips and you should be able to catch any problems before they arise during your webcast. Preparation is the key, so be patient enough to conduct this thorough check to ensure a successful presentation.

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