Webinars are the communication channel of the moment. With many people working remotely and unable to get out and about as much as they normally would due to restrictions on travel and mass gatherings, webinars are the perfect way to get your fix when it comes to training, education and even networking.
But what happens when things go wrong? You can have the best webinar platform in the world, but gremlins can occasionally crop up. And no one wants to watch a glitchy webinar.
Here are some of the most common technical issues webinar presenters and users encounter, and how to avoid them.
1. Poor internet connection
If the webinar you’re watching stutters, lags or the video and audio are out of sync or freeze, poor internet connectivity is likely to be the culprit.
This is the most common problem remote webinar presenters experience. It’s not enough to get onto your webinar platform — once the video stream starts, if your internet connection’s literally not up to speed, there’s very little anyone can do to fix it.
But there are a few strategies for avoiding the problems a poor internet connection can create.
- If presenting over a webcam, you’re relying on your internet connectivity for your audio and video feed. Consider using a phone to capture your audio feed – this means if your internet drops out, you will still always be heard.
- If they can, have your presenters connect directly into their modem at home rather than over wifi. Chances are the connection will be more stable.
- Run a speed test a week before your event. If your presenter’s connection is too slow or unstable, this will give you the opportunity to explore other options. These might include pre-recording that segment from a studio or another location, or recording it at a time when local internet congestion is less of a problem.
- Try a different browser. We don’t want to name names, but some internet browsers deliver a better webinar experience than others. Test your webinar platform on your favourite browsers or ask your webinar provider for their recommendation.
- Present using audio and slides, and leave video for a time when your broadband is firing.
2. Old equipment
Not everyone is going to be using top-of-the-line laptops, but there’s no doubt that newer hardware generally outperforms older models when it comes to remote webinar delivery.
If you’re looking at presenting a series of webinars, and your laptop camera is a bit grainy or your computer audio is faint or crackly, it’s worth considering investing in the right equipment.
- You may wish to upgrade your laptop to a newer model with a better camera and microphone
- If that’s not possible, you could simply invest in a cost-effective webcam and a stand-alone mic.
- Headphones with a microphone also work wonders when it comes to improving audio. And if you’re using a phone to capture your audio, they are a must. Using ‘speaker’ mode on a phone will only make you sound distant.
3. Congestion at work
At-work internet connections are usually pretty stable — unless everyone happens to jump on the company wifi at once and is streaming video or attending a video conference.
While it’s not like you can get the building re-wired or upgrade the NBN, you’re not entirely helpless.
- Plugging directly into your company internet via an ethernet connection usually provides a faster, more stable connection for the duration of a webinar.
4. Poor attendee experience
Sometimes you can test your presenters’ internet and find it’s powering along, but you’ll still get complaints from attendees who are struggling to join your webinar or seeing a glitchy live stream.
Often this is simply because their own internet connection isn’t up to the job of live-streaming a digital event. There are a few things you can do to mitigate this problem.
- Ask if your webinar provider offers local support as they may be able to troubleshoot and help your attendees see your event.
- Ensure your webinar offers attendees the option of viewing a lower-resolution version. Redback Connect’s webinar platform offers a resolution selector that enables attendees to select the appropriate product for their local internet speed.
- If all else fails, ensure you offer your webinar on demand so people can view the video at a later date.
- Provide your attendees with a dial-in option. If their internet is poor, they can dial an 1800 number and listen to the audio – almost like a podcast. This works well if you have attendees based in rural and remote locations.
Redback Connect offers high-quality, professional digital events, whether your presenters come into our broadcast studios or present remotely via our easy-to-use webinar platform. And we offer 24/7 local support. Talk to one of our sales representatives for more information.