I recently wrote a post about Why I Hate Speakerphones (over on Webinar Wire) in which I mentioned that even though the sound might seem all right while you are doing the presentation on the phone, the recorded version can show up little background noises you weren’t aware of at the time.
I’d like to add a similar warning about Blackberry and other wireless devices. I always tell presenters to turn these off, but they usually choose to just mute the sound or set them to vibrate, or whatever the proper terminology is (you can tell I don’t own one).
Everything seems fine during the call. Then I go to edit the audio recording and balance volumes and I find that there is a faint beeping noise being picked up on the phone line. This is a remnant of the wireless signal being received and transmitted by the device. It can get picked up by electrical cables, transmitters, headsets, and other hardware involved in the audio circuitry of your call. It comes across like Morse Code bloops and bleeps. Not very noticeable when you are concentrating on your presentation and listening over a low-fidelity telephone speaker. But wait till I get done cleaning up the sound, raising the volume of soft parts, and isolating background hiss. Suddenly you have a distinct set of tones underlying the spoken voice. And you can’t get rid of these in the edit… They are too mixed in with the foreground vocals.
Arrggh! C’mon people. You can afford to turn off your wireless device for the 60 minutes you are giving a public presentation. What are you going to do… Notice an interesting incoming message and tell your audience to wait while you answer it? Be bold. Turn off the power!