Don’t Let Speaker Phone Ruin Your Conference Calls

Don’t Let Speaker Phone Ruin Your Conference Calls

Individuals who participate in frequent conference calls know speaker phone can be a problem. Depending on the type of speakers, the location of the microphone, and the program being used, it could be nearly impossible to hear those on the other end of the phone. There are specific speakers designed to work in this scenario, but what if you don’t have those or can’t afford to buy them? Here are three tips to make conference calls over speaker phone more enjoyable.

Don’t Underestimate Placement

Where you place the microphone and speakers determines what is heard and what is conveyed. Many factors go into correct placement, and all of this varies depending on the size and shape of the room, and the individuals who will be speaking. Whenever possible, place the conference phone in the center of the room so the microphone can pick up voices from all directions. Strategically place those with loud voices farther from the microphone. Those with quiet voices should be closer to the microphone. If you need to move chairs or tables around, put the phone on mute so those on the other end don’t hear unnecessary noise.

Speakerphone Sensitivity

In general, speaker phones are designed to pick up any and all noises within a specific range. They can’t decipher between a voice, a rustle of paper, or typing on the keyboard. These are things you need to control as much as possible. Before engaging in a conference call, do what you can to eliminate unnecessary noise. Make sure you have all the equipment and data at your fingertips so you don’t have to leave the room, or file through a bunch of paperwork as you talk. If someone needs to take notes on a laptop, place them away from the microphone so their clicking isn’t heard on the the other end. When you’re not speaking, mute your end of the phone so they don’t hear extra noises.

Half-Duplex Dilemma

Some speakers are designed as “half-duplex” which means the sound can only go one direction at a time. It’s similar to the way walkie talkies work; only one person can send a message at at time. You have to wait until they finish before responding. A half-duplex system prevents the individual whose speaking from hearing any sound that may be coming from the other end. They may say something, but you can’t hear it because you’re speaking at the same time. With this type of system, you have to wait until the person is completely finished before responding. Although this does work if you’re patient, it can become extremely frustrating. You can eliminate this frustration by upgrading to a “full-duplex” system if desired.

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