The chances you’ve been spending more time on digital platforms these days is highly likely, as virtual meetings have us on displays much more than in pre-pandemic days. With digital and hybrid meetings on the rise, if you are presenting in this environment, there are simple tips to consider to give yourself the best, most professional experience for you and your participants.
Choose a quiet room, away from distractions. This will help you focus on your content and also help eliminate background noises from your presentation. Be mindful of what is behind you in frame – distracting elements like branded items and messy rooms. Avoid windows behind you, as this can cause you to appear dark on camera.
It is critical for connection stability for your computer to be hardwired into your Modem/Router. DO NOT use a WiFi connection or hotspot. These introduce too many variables that can cause connectivity issues and ruin your presentation.
If you have a company VPN that you connect to, you must disconnect from it when using the broadcast platform (during testing, rehearsals, and live show days). Additionally, if you use other screen sharing platforms like Zoom, Webex, etc., be sure to close out of those platforms as well.
Often times, the webcam that is built into our laptop computers are not of high quality. We recommend using an external webcam to ensure you have an HD video source. Logitech HD webcams are a solid choice. There are several different models at different price points, including the Logitech C920 (the best overall value out of the Logitech line), C922 Pro Stream, C930eor C615. These cameras are in high demand, so check your local stores, as well as online retailers for pricing and availability.
Whether you utilize an external camera or your built-in webcam, ensure the camera is elevated to near eye level; setting your device too high, or too low can create an unflattering angle. As you deliver your content, look directly into the camera of your device. This will help you engage with your viewing audience.
Logitech HD webcams (and many other external webcam brands) come with a built-in microphone, so you may not need a separate microphone. If you are using a webcam that is built-in to your computer or laptop, then you might want to use a separate microphone to improve your audio quality. Here are a few different options to consider.
Blue Yeti / Blue Snowball microphones are good quality, affordable desktop USB microphones, and are optimal for seated presenters. If you prefer to stand while presenting and are more animated, a PoP voice Omni-directional Lavalier Lapel microphone can be a good, low profile option. Fully charged AirPods, or an earbud headset can work as well, though quality varies depending on the brand. How this looks aesthetically on camera can be a downside for some people.
Good lighting is very critical for a good broadcast experience. Natural light or normal room lighting is usually not sufficient for a broadcast. Although multiple lights can create a studio like effect, the most important is to have a light source that directly lights up the presenter’s face. Lighting that is LED based is preferable, as they do not get hot for the presenter to use. There are a wide variety of affordable lighting options, including the Elgato Key Light (expensive, but high quality), Qiaya Selfie Ring Light (lightweight + affordable) or even a Husky LED work light. If you want to upgrade to a more studio-like experience, there are several companies that sell lighting kits with soft boxes.
Test, Troubleshoot & Rehearse
Rehearsals are very important and should not be skipped. During this scheduled time, system requirements, computer compatibility, camera and audio functionality and internet bandwidth should all be tested using testing guidelines and tools provided by the technology platform provider.
Additionally, rehearsals should be used to evaluate the presentation environment including lighting, audio, camera height, background, etc. Rehearsals should be conducted in the location and setup that you will use for your final presentation. Once your rehearsal with a technician has been completed, DO NOT move or unplug any of your equipment. Doing so can cause issues for the day of your presentation.
Ready for Digital?
The strategic creativity of PRA and the production and technical know how of One Smooth Stone brings you the expertise of PRA Digital Services. From virtual engagements to hybrid programming, digital experiences to connect with your audience or PRA Experience Boxes to enhance your meeting with a tangible touch point, PRA is your digital solutions partner to help you meet safely with your guests.
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