Lots of things can go wrong with presentations, but none can stop a presentation in its tracks like audio issues. For instance, if the video screen goes blank, only the people watching the video will notice. Or if the Wi-Fi fails, only those attending online will be affected. Or if the room table numbers are wrong, it will only affect the planners. But, if the natural rhythm of the speech or sound goes awry and becomes silent or worse yet fills with unexpected noises, well, everyone will notice. If this happens, the presentation grinds to a halt and the focus shifts to the audio issue, not the intended message. This is presentation disaster.
The list of things that can cause issues with audio is fairly long and each venue can present its own set of challenges. Things like batteries, feedback, hot mics, and wiring are just a few of the potential pitfalls. What can you do to reduce the risk? First and foremost, deal with a reputable AV company as they know to be proactive to ensure everything runs smoothly. In a nutshell, professionals know that system redundancies are the key to combating unexpected audio interruptions.
And the fail-safes don’t stop there. When acclimating the speaker to the stage, your AV company will show the presenter how to enter and exit the stage, where to find the confidence monitors, and the location of the backup microphone (strategically placed on the podium shelf).
Granted, some organizations rely on their internal staff to handle the technology for conferences. And these employees usually have a strong IT background and know the basics for AV. But, bear in mind that this elementary knowledge may work for smooth running events, but not for events that present challenges. When an issue occurs, the panic can set in.
Think about it this way… what if an airline pilot knew only the basics necessary to fly, would he or she be able to react properly when a system alarm activated? Would you fly under their command if you knew of their limited training? Of course, you wouldn’t. It is experience that enables techs to react quickly and accurately when issues pop up. Experience will lead to the best possible outcome.
If audio interruptions show up at your next conference, there are specific steps you can take to remedy the problem. Take a look at “When Audio Disasters Happen: The Four Steps to Follow” from Behindthemixer.com. The author, Chris Huff, lays out four fundamental steps for combating audio disasters. Better yet, if you want to eliminate the chance of disaster at your next convention, contact us at Lucas Productions Audio Visual.