Those of you who utilize teleseminars or teleclasses in your business have no doubt encountered a fair number of glitches and technical problems with the medium.
I have to tell you, these continual technical glitches drove me crazy. And not just because I’m a “do it right or don’t do it” kind of person. No, they particularly bugged me because I used to own a telecommunications company. We specialized in ethnic (Chinese and Indian) dating. This was back when everyone was using 1-900 numbers – remember that? This was before the internet and you’d pay $1.99/minute to listen or respond to personal ads, or chat with others.
My point is: We would often have 200 people or more on the line at the same time…. and guess what? No glitches, no echos, no one got dumped off the line, no one had trouble dialing in. So if we could do all that nearly 15 years ago, why can’t teleconference bureaus today provide glitch-free service?
Well, I’m thankful to report that I’ve made good headway in solving this problem and I’m happy to share my tips and tricks with you. Whether you’re a newbie to teleseminars, or just incredibly frustrated the way I was, the following should go a long way to helping you capitalize on this technology.
And of course, feel free to share any gems of wisdom you’ve discovered in the Comments section below.
Troubleshooting For Teleseminars
- Make sure your phone service is the traditional fibre optic land line. Do not use cable or internet telephone service providers for your phone – they will not provide the line quality needed and glitches are guaranteed. I had thought I was okay using a cable phone service, but no, after discussions with VoiceText I switched to my local, landline phone company and presto, no more echos, cut outs, or suddenly getting dumped off the call.
- Make sure you instruct your guest(s) to call in only from a land line. Cell phones have too many echoes, delayed transmission, background noise, etc.
- Only one moderator/host needs to operate the controls to put you in and out of ‘lecture mode’. This may seem obvious, but for some reason I thought that both my guest and I had to push *5 to put us both into lecture mode (where the other participants are muted, and only we can be heard). But no, if you both push *5, then what happens is one of you has put you into lecture mode, and the other one has taken you out! So, only ONE host/moderator should be pushing buttons during the call.
- If you’ve done all the above and you still get an echo during the call, remind your participants to press *6 to mute their line. If this doesn’t work, ask them if anyone is simultaneously listening to the webcast (which is 15 seconds delayed – like a radio show – so sounds just like an echo) and ask them to either turn it off, or press *6 to mute their line.
- Use an old-fashioned corded phone (with or without headset, your choice) for your teleseminars. This is because cordless phones emit as much radiation as a cell phone! Personally, we do not have any cordless phones in the house (and cell phones are turned off) as any direct radiation is too much, in my opinion. Also, I don’t want my kids irradiating their growing brains, which are particularly susceptible.
- Set up a back-up communication system with your teleseminar guest so that you can communicate with each other in case something goes wrong. The easiest way to do this is to exchange cell phone numbers and have the agreement that if anything goes wrong, you call each other on the cell (since your regular phone line will be engaged in the teleseminar). This was invaluable to me when I interviewed an MD and he was 20 minutes late! When I called his cell to find out what was happening, he informed me he’d had a medical emergency at the hospital, so was just driving home now. Once I told my listeners what was going on, they were all content to wait for him and we just chatted to pass the time.
- If you use VoiceText as your teleconferencing bureau, they (and many other paid bureaus) have an operator help feature – so be sure and let all your callers know at the beginning of the call that they can press *0 for help at any time during the call.
- Have your line set up to play music until the moderator/host dials in. If people call in a few minutes early and hear nothing, they’re likely to hang up. Music lets them know that they have connected successfully and that something will be happening soon.
Well, there you have it, the benefit of my experience doing teleseminars to date! Hopefully this will help you to avoid the excruciating downtime that dead air and technical glitches can result in – not to mention the stress!