A few practical tips from our own Jon Raper (acoustics consultant) and Brenda Taverner of the French Book Club
■ Try to conference from a room with soft furnishings. This will usually be your living room
■ Avoid conferencing from your kitchen. The hard surfaces produce unwanted sound reflections
■ Avoid background noise at your location such as washing machines, dishwashers, radios and TVs
■ Background noise greatly reduces the intelligibility for your recipients even though it may be at a comfortable level for you
■ Stay reasonably close to your computer/phone microphone. This will give your voice dominance over other external noises in your environment
■ The quality of many loudspeakers built-in to laptops and phones is not the best so you can get considerable benefit from using headphones or earbuds.
■ Participants should mute their microphones when they are not speaking. This cuts out background noise when listening to the speaker.