Over the last couple of years, many of us have become familiar with working from home. Sudden lockdowns and restrictions required us to adapt quickly, and the importance of virtual events became more apparent.
When it comes to online events, such as webcasts, we all have experienced the usual faux pas of, “Are you on mute?”
However, when it comes to those important live streamed events that must be executed with precision, there is little room for error. Many variables are at play when remote speakers present over webcam and having a solid internet connection is of paramount importance. Fortunately, there are several factors within our control to facilitate success.
So, whether you are a speaker yourself, or are helping others to present, here are 11 best practice tips to help optimize your internet connection and ensure a great event and all-around experience.
Ahead of time, make sure you do the following:
Operate on a wired (ethernet) connection, if possible, which is generally more stable and reliable than Wi-Fi. If you can only access Wi-Fi, be as close to the router as possible. Each time you double the distance between the router and your device, the connection can decrease by up to one-third. If this isn’t possible, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender. There is always the option of using 4G or cellular connections as a backup, too.
Ensure your home Wi-Fi network is secure and not being piggybacked on by another household. Always use a strong password.
Practice good computer maintenance. Keep enough space on your hard drive and delete temporary files by clearing your cache periodically. Shut down your machine regularly, ideally at the end of each day.
If you are still experiencing slowness, consider the age of your router. If it is more than 4 or 5 years old, it could affect your internet performance. 3MB up/down is a solid home internet speed for a video call.
Plan ahead. If you know you generally don’t have a great connection, time is your friend.
Notified will provide you with a speaker test far in advance of your hybrid event or webcast. At the click of a button, a diagnostic tool analyzes your system to diagnose any connection issues and provide helpful stats that you can send us.
All Notified webcasts also include a technical check with speakers ahead of the live day, so you can rest assured any issues can be identified and rectified. These advance checks have been crucial for every event we have run. In some instances, it has given us time to organize for speakers to move location, or even be sent laptops and dongles from their company to overcome any device or network issues.
The day of the event:
Close any unnecessary applications and windows on your device, particularly those using data e.g., your email client.
Pause any downloads or uploads on your device. This includes cloud backups, OneDrive syncs etc. This also applies to other devices on the network, for example, games consoles may be downloading updates, which you want to avoid. For example, one speaker we helped was using her son’s high-powered gaming computer to present from which was great, but we still encountered issues because it was downloading an update at the time.
Avoid sharing the network with other household members. Sharing will affect the bandwidth and therefore your video signal. If other household members must be online, they could try tethering from a device. For example, during lockdown, many families had children who had to attend Zoom classes for school. By having either the speaker or the children switch to cellular or 4G from their phones, we overcome this issue many times.
Turn off other devices on the network that rely on internet connectivity. Every connected smart household device (Google Home, smart TV etc.) is reliant on an internet connection, and the more that are connected, the slower performance each will have.
Learn More About Notified’s Webcast Expertise
All Notified webcasts include a pre-call, when speakers will join ahead of going live for extra checks, framing, and troubleshooting. This period before going live is very important, as various factors may have changed since the tech check.
For example, the weather can even affect a stream. In the latter half of 2021 due to storms up in Queensland, Australia, one of the speakers had connection issues but because of the pre-call time we boosted his connection enough to get a good video signal, with no impact to the webcast.
Our Notified engineers can help with those stranger situations you might encounter as well. On one occasion during a tech check, the cause of stream disruption wasn’t identified even after following all the usual troubleshooting steps. It turned out that the power cable to the laptop’s external monitor, which was also close to the ethernet cable, was producing EMI. We turned off the external monitor and the stream was fine!
Although nothing is guaranteed regarding public internet, as you have seen there are plenty of factors within our control to help boost a speaker’s connection to the streaming platform and ensure your event’s success despite navigating through uncertain times.
Learn more today.