Why connectivity is key for remote speakers



Connection is vitally important for presenting online, and although much of this is outside your control, there are elements you can improve from your home or office. I’ll caveat that I’m not an IT engineer, so coming at this more from the AV and presenting angle. Despite this, hopefully, this article will have some valuable ideas and solutions to improve your calls.   

The connection will heavily impact the video and audio quality of what you send and receive. You will ideally want a speed of at least 5 Mbps up and down; more is better, of course. You can get by on less, but anything below 2 Mbps will have a noticeable impact on quality. 

Many of us now have super-fast broadband connections, running well over 100mbps. Despite this, from time to time, it might look like you have a good speed, but the connection still appears slow or less stable than it should be. A lot of complicated routing and traffic management happens on the ISP side, which can impact things, so speed checks aren’t always the best measure. 

However, we can look at improving the connection speed by looking at the elements under your control. We will outline some of these below.

Router position

Your position relative to your router plays a large part in your connection. If you’re in a room a long way away from the access point, made worse if the signal has to travel through walls and doors, it will have a real impact and significantly lower your connection speeds. You can quickly run some speed tests to compare the connection in different rooms to measure which is the most effective. At a basic level, moving closer to the router will help; however, this isn’t always feasible. Instead, you might want to consider investing in a relay or mesh router system, extending the network so it’s essentially closer to you. Alternatively, running a wired connection is a tried and tested option, providing a stable and faster connection. If this isn’t possible, you can buy cheap powerline ethernet adapters, essentially a device that plugs into your plug sockets to transmit the signal this way. 

Background tasks

Another area to look at, which can easily be forgotten about, is your network being hogged by programs that sync in the background; this includes things like Google Drive or OneDrive. They can consume a lot of bandwidth when syncing, which will impact your connection. So, if at an event, it’s always advisable to ‘pause’ or exit these before an important presentation or call online.

Bandwidth

Other factors affecting the network will be how much anyone in your house/office uses simultaneously. We’ve witnessed first-hand, just ahead of events, speakers asking their kids to stop playing online multiplayer games as it had a noticeable impact on the network. Equally, you being online might be introducing lag into their game, so you’ll both be happier by sharing the time. 

Backup devices

Finally, although networks are usually pretty robust, they go down occasionally. As a failsafe backup, we think it’s a good idea to have the option to tether from your phone. 4g and 5g provide excellent speeds, and if you’re in a good area, this is far more than what is needed for a video call, so they are a great backup. You can do this by tethering through your phone easily these days, but if you need more, there are dedicated 4/5g dongles and devices you can buy – they do need their own SIM card, but they are instrumental if you’re travelling a lot. Ensure you have this setup and tested beforehand; if the worst happens and your network goes completely down, you can return online in just a few minutes.      

Hopefully, this short article is helpful when considering your network when presenting online. As always, we welcome feedback, equipment ideas and any tips you might have!

We regularly test and advise on connection, speed, and network issues through our Checkr service, which tests all facets of speaker presentation, including audio, lighting, hardware, positioning and network – click the link for a free Checkr test with our event experts.

 

Want to try Checkr for free?

Enter your details below and you'll immediately be sent a Checkr test invite.

Get in touch!

To find out more about our remote speaker management, get in touch with our virtual stage managers: info@goremote.team
Email us