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Old 05-30-2020, 03:01 PM   #41
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Yes. In the last few weeks we been having board meeting using zoom. I like them and seems to work very well.
Can you hear and see everyone? As the Board secretary I wonder what what can I do about people sitting in the dark and not talking loudly enough for me to hear? I have politely asked people to speak up but that does not seem to be correcting the problems.
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I have a desktop PC. I bought an inexpensive camera from eBay, which works great. It has a built in microphone which did not have the sensitivity. I bought a condenser mike from eBay also, which works great
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Professiona...72.m2749.l2649


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1080P-HD-US...QAAOSwhe1evPOY


Total expenditure about $55.
I wonder if the add on camera and mic would work better than what is built into my MacBook Pro?
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:17 PM   #43
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... However it seems like other people are not making any effort. Many people are in a dark room and I can barely see their faces in the dark. Sometimes the camera is looking up or down at their faces. Some people do not speak loudly enough or their words are garbled. At the virtual cocktail party last night one couple was eating peanuts or something and I heard alot of crunching.

Is there any thing I can do on my end so that I can hear people better who are not speaking or for some reason their voices are garbled? Anything I can do from my end to help me see people who are sitting in the dark? Or are these just problems on the other end?...
Unfortunately, the only thing you can really do is educate the people who are having issues and hope they do better in the future. For the business-y meetings where you're the one "in charge", you can send out a link to one of the many online lists of suggestions for how to set up your space video conferences with a message like "a few people have pointed out that it's hard to hear or see some of the others on our calls, so I thought this might be helpful". That's about all you can do if you're not their actual employer though.

For the audio issues, there was a bad update that came out in early April for Chromebooks that caused a lot of audio problems. If you have anybody using those, encourage them to make sure their systems are updated to the latest versions, so they have the fix for that. (Long technical thread here: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium...ail?id=1062884)

If there's anybody who's constantly got audio problems due to weak Internet service, there are some phone numbers floating around online that you can use with Zoom. Once the person connects to the conference, they can click the ^ next to the microphone in the lower left corner of the zoom window and choose Switch to Phone Audio, then dial in from their regular phone. They'll stay on the video portion, but they'll hear and speak through their telephone. Message me if you can't find the phone numbers and I'll dig them up from my notes for you.
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:22 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
Can you hear and see everyone? As the Board secretary I wonder what what can I do about people sitting in the dark and not talking loudly enough for me to hear? I have politely asked people to speak up but that does not seem to be correcting the problems.
No, there's not much you can do about those other than specify that you would like people to make sure their faces are visible and that they test their audio in the Zoom apps Preferences>Audio. This will allow them to speak for a few seconds, and then it will play it back for them.

But I would not expect too much of people, because many are being very reluctantly dragged into videoconferencing, so seeing faces probably isn't something you need, even though it is part of the point. Unfortunately, that's also the easier one to fix. Audio quality mostly depends on their hardware, so unless the nonprofit is willing to purchase and ship them headsets, you will probably not be able to do much about that one either.

But you can certainly say something like you miss seeing everyone's face, so could everyone please try to find a seat in a well-lit room and check the preview of their own video at least once per session. It's possible that some people just aren't aware of how they are presenting on Zoom.

And I'm not trying to discourage you from talking to them about any of this, I just want to try to set realistic expectations. I did have one coworker who used her cell on speakerphone, which caused our own voices to echo back in the call, so once I figured that out we asked her to stop, and she did.

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:01 PM   #45
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I wanted to see if anyone has suggestions to make my Zoom experiences better.
Not much you can do if the person on the other side has bad lighting.
Or a bad mic, or a bad webcam.

However - I've found audio/mic works better for me with my bluetooth headset than with the built in mic/speaker. I was part of the problem - and it was at least partially resolved with this change. For my image - I found that if I face an open window so my face is fully lit - it's much better... Only works in the day and if I can find a spot that is not occupied by other household members. Even fairly bright lamp lighting leaves me in a shadow. So I'm shadowed when my meetings are in the evening. I use the integrated webcam in my cheapo laptop.

For the meetings I'm attending (various community planning groups) I tend to mute my audio/video unless I'm talking. That lets me look at my phone, or talk to the teenagers without anyone know I'm tuning out the boring/rambling rants some fellow board members go on.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:05 PM   #46
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Here is a video that talks about lighting and setup. Start a 5:54. DW found it for us to use.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:45 PM   #47
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So many good ideas! Thank you so much. I probably cannot do much about the virtual cocktail hour (we did not set this up-- we were just invited) but I think I will take the bull by the horns on the nonprofit board where I am the secretary and tell folks that if I cannot hear them I will not be able to take the minutes. That will get their attention--nobody wants to have to take notes!
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:27 PM   #48
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I had my first Zoom get together with 5 college buddies last month. It went well but ewe only did it one time. Coordinating times zones made scheduling difficult. We typically communicate by email.

I have a weekly Thai language class on Zoom. It works very well for that. We have 15-20 students but everyone is pretty quiet about asking questions- except me. I think people are concerned about talking over other people.

For those concerned about technology, Zoom is as easy as it gets.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:07 PM   #49
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I first heard of Zoom when my 3 yr old grandson had a Zoom meeting with his preschool. My 11 year old granddaughter has her church youth group meetings on them. We had our first Zoom meeting when our DIL had a surprise meeting for her son for his college graduation.

A club that I belong to are having monthly lessons and book club meetings on zoom, but I have not participated.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:02 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
I wanted to see if anyone has suggestions to make my Zoom experiences better. I am having several Zoom business type meetings per week (usually non profit Boards), Church services, family get togethers and social virtual cocktail hours (last night one one with 20 friends) etc. It seems as if I am spending several hours per week on Zoom and it appears that it may continue indefinitely. I want these Zoom meetings to be better.
You might already know this, but one useful thing I discovered is that you can choose between Speaker View and Gallery View by clicking on the icons in the upper right corner of the screen. With Speaker View (which might be the default), the speaker occupies a large portion of the screen & the other participants are shown in small thumbnails; with Gallery View, everyone is the same size no matter who is speaking. It can be exhausting to be looking at a giant face on the screen most of the time & I find I really prefer Gallery View, especially if there are fewer participants. When everyone is the same size, it's more like real life, when you're looking at everyone across the table; you don't have to stare at someone every second if they're doing a lot of talking, & you get to see everyone equally, even people who aren't talking a lot.

I also discovered it can be fun sometimes to use a virtual background for yourself when you're attending. You can choose one by clicking on the tiny arrow next to "Show Video" at the bottom; Zoom has a few to choose from (like a beach scene), or you can click on the + sign next to the default photos & upload your own. (I'm currently using a photo I took at a flower show, & I have a photo of Citifield waiting in the wings.) Warning: once you use a virtual background at a meeting, it'll be there the next time you log into Zoom unless you change back to your real-life background before leaving that meeting.

As other have mentioned, for business meetings or any meeting with many participants it's usually necessary to remind everyone frequently to mute their microphone & unmute it only when they speak. People don't realize how much background noise the mikes pick up, which can make any speaking difficult to hear even when there are only a few participants.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:28 AM   #51
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You might already know this, but one useful thing I discovered is that you can choose between Speaker View and Gallery View by clicking on the icons in the upper right corner of the screen. With Speaker View (which might be the default), the speaker occupies a large portion of the screen & the other participants are shown in small thumbnails; with Gallery View, everyone is the same size no matter who is speaking. It can be exhausting to be looking at a giant face on the screen most of the time & I find I really prefer Gallery View, especially if there are fewer participants. When everyone is the same size, it's more like real life, when you're looking at everyone across the table; you don't have to stare at someone every second if they're doing a lot of talking, & you get to see everyone equally, even people who aren't talking a lot.

I also discovered it can be fun sometimes to use a virtual background for yourself when you're attending. You can choose one by clicking on the tiny arrow next to "Show Video" at the bottom; Zoom has a few to choose from (like a beach scene), or you can click on the + sign next to the default photos & upload your own. (I'm currently using a photo I took at a flower show, & I have a photo of Citifield waiting in the wings.) Warning: once you use a virtual background at a meeting, it'll be there the next time you log into Zoom unless you change back to your real-life background before leaving that meeting.

As other have mentioned, for business meetings or any meeting with many participants it's usually necessary to remind everyone frequently to mute their microphone & unmute it only when they speak. People don't realize how much background noise the mikes pick up, which can make any speaking difficult to hear even when there are only a few participants.
Yes I know about Speaker View and Gallery view and I have experimented using both --sometimes the Speaker view helps me when I have to take notes from a meeting and I am having trouble hearing the speaker. I do not like the virtual background some other participants are using--some are too busy and some are too dark making seeing them difficult. I think a plain back ground is better.

Thanks for the suggestion of muting/unmuting. For the nonprofit where I am the secretary I have asked the Chair to please instruct people to mute/unmute. I have told the Chair that I am unable to hear speakers on Zoom and if things do not improve I will have to resign as Secretary --I think that got everyone's attention so that should improve.

As for social Zoom events I will just have to put up with the chaos if I want to participate.
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