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Lesson 8: Skype Calling Tips

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Skype calling tips

Now that you know how to make voice and video calls on Skype, it's time to learn how to avoid common communication problems like poor audio quality, webcam mishaps, and other technical issues. Just follow these tips, and keep them in mind every time you use Skype.

Finding the right spot

Before you sit down to make a call, think about your surroundings. Is there a lot of background noise? Are there people nearby who might overhear you? This is especially important if you like to use Skype from your laptop or mobile device. Here's some advice to help you find the right location.

  • For voice calls, choose a quiet spot without a lot of background noise. If you're at home or work, watch out for things like the TV, other people talking and moving around, and construction noise outside. If you're in public, avoid busy places like the local coffee shop unless you have a headset with a microphone.
  • For video calls, also choose a quiet spot that's relatively private. A room in your house or a place at the office would be ideal. Make sure it's well-lit so the other person can see you, and be conscious of what else might be caught on camera.

Making the call

Have you ever been on a call in which the other person sounded far away? How about a video call where the webcam appeared to be shaking? These are common problems that usually come down to user error, not a technical issue. To make sure the other person can see and hear you clearly, follow these tips:

  • For voice calls, a headset is foolproof, but don't worry if you don't have one. If you have a separate microphone, all you have to do is place it in front of you and speak clearly into the mic. If you have a built-in microphone, find out where it is on your computer so you don't sound too quiet or far away.
  • For video calls, follow the advice above, then make sure your webcam is secure and pointing directly at you. This way, it won't shake or accidentally leave you out of the frame. You should also be conscious of eye contact, as well as how to maintain it during important calls—like for a job interview. Instead of watching the screen, look up when it's your turn to talk, and speak directly into the camera.

Solving technical issues

When you experience a technical problem on Skype, the best place to go for help is its website—and specifically its support homepage. There, you can choose a topic or conduct a search related to your problem (for example, strange sound or why do I hear an echo).

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