Awesome: Rescue Your Meeting When the Audio Goes Bad

Aug 14, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (5 minute read)

Ever start up an online meeting and spend the first 5 minutes trying to get everyone on the call?

She can't hear you!
Ouch! Trying soo hard to hear...

Ever get part way through a meeting with terrible sound and realize your forehead may be permanently creased from all the squinting and frowning going on as you desperately try to make out what people say?

Ever set up a meeting with a new client, only to have them demand you use their favorite web conferencing service to run it instead of the one you’re used to?

Yes, of course you have.

If you run meetings with clients or prospects or partners online, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you normally work from the office on a PC, but sometimes join your team meetings from home on a Mac, you know what I’m talking about. If you travel and have to meet from an airport or hotel lobby, you know that of which I speak.

Everyone has this problem and it happens all the time.

What the teleconferencing industry is doing to fix this

The software and teleconferencing industry knows about these problems, and has responded with literally hundreds of new products for managing conference calls, video conferencing, and one-on-one calls. There are so many options now, and many of them work really well - most of the time.

Lucid meetings integrates directly with 6 different options for audio or video calling, and we’ve run meetings with at least 6 others in the past two months.

But there is no audio or video conferencing solution that always works well, and there won’t be any time soon. It just isn’t possible to design a single solution that fits all situations.

We do not meet so we can use video conferencing; we use video conferencing to help us achieve the goals of the meeting.

Conferencing is a tool, not a result. With all the options out there, there is simply no reason to waste time on conferencing that isn’t working.

The only practical solution: Keep your options open!

Introducing Hot-Swappable Conferencing

A hot-swappable computer part (such as a disk drive or power cord) is one that can be easily removed and replaced without shutting down the computer.

Hot-swappable conferencing means you can easily remove and replace an audio or video service that isn’t working for you directly within your running meeting.

Thought you’d use Google Hangouts, but your client doesn’t have a Google account?
Switch to

Wanted to use, but the other people don’t have a webcam?
Switch to a dial-in from TurboBridge.

Solved! She rejoices!
Hey, that worked! Yes!

You suggested Skype, but your customer wants to use
So use!

Problem solved!

This saved my meetings

We’re always excited when we release a new feature, but rarely do I experience so much personal delight as I have with this one.

Since the feature became available last Wednesday, we’ve used it on fully half our meetings to save tons of time. Instead of wasting minutes troubleshooting a camera or connection problem, we just switched to something easier and moved on.

I HATE having to be everyone’s personal IT helper just to get a conversation started, and now I don’t have to. What an amazing relief!

How it Works

Select several conferencing options for your organization

You will need to have a Lucid account, and have Owner or Administrator access for your organization.

To set up audio and video conferencing options for your organization:

  1. Click the menu, then click your Organization’s name
  2. Click the Settings tab and the Add a new integration link.
  3. Click the Add integration button for the type of conferencing you wish add.
  4. Set any conferencing options, then click Enable.
Screenshot: Selecting available integrations
Screenshot: Click the Add Integration button for any audio or video conferencing you might use

Set up some Custom Audio options for your organization

Lucid integrates directly with 6 audio/video services, but you can set up your account to work with basically any other system.

To do this, follow the steps above and select the “Custom Audio” option.

For example, I added these additional options to my account:

  • WebEx and information
    We work with clients who insist on using these services for calls, so I set up their meeting rooms to work with those.

    Our client who uses WebEx also has a dial-in number. I added the dial-in number to the instructions, and used the WebEx link to create a button that launches their WebEx session from the Lucid Meeting.

  • My Uberconference account
    I use my branded Uberconference link for the button, which lets us launch an Uberconference call from the Lucid meeting.
  • The Portland office number
  • My cell phone number
    When I’m meeting with a vendor, sometimes it’s easiest if they just call me directly. In this setup, they get my phone number in the invitation and see it when they join the meeting. Easy.
Screenshot: custom audio config
Screenshot: A custom audio configuration asking people to call our office phone

Select your preferred audio when you schedule the meeting

Screenshot: selecting audio when scheduling a meeting
Screenshot: These are the audio options I have set up for my account

I use different services depending on the type of meeting.

  • For internal team meetings, we try to always use video conferencing.
  • For vendors or one-on-ones, I ask them to call me. Work for that sale, folks.
  • For prospects and clients, I always pick a dial-in for the first meeting because it’s the most reliable option. Everyone knows how to dial a phone number!

Problems in the meeting? Click “Change” and pick new audio

Facilitators will see a new line in the Audio information shown in the meeting. You’ll see the name of audio you picked when you scheduled the meeting, then a link to the right that simply says “Change”.

To hot-swap a failed audio service during the meeting:

  1. Click the “Change” link shown in the audio box to see the drop-down list of all your audio options.
  2. Select the new audio and click “Save”
  3. Everyone in the meeting will automatically see the new audio information pop-up on their screens, so they can join the new call and get on with the meeting.
Screenshot showing audio switcher in the meeting
Screenshot: Hot-swapping Google Hangouts with web-only audio during a running meeting

Enjoy your new perspective: Ça m’est égal.

What audio should we use for that call?

Ça m’est égal. Which means, “It’s all the same to me”. Whatevs.

With the hot-swappable audio and video conferencing, the service you choose won’t make or break your meeting. If one doesn’t work, you can just change it out for one that does.

So stop sweating the audio/video stuff and start paying attention to what really matters! Like, why exactly are you meeting in the first place?

We Invite Your Feedback and Questions

To see this in action, log in to your Lucid Meetings account and follow the steps outlined above.

Need tips for setting up a link to your audio/web/video conferencing service of choice? Send us an email. Other feedback? Share your comments below or on Twitter.

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