LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
When you begin to plan for your webcast presentation it is important to keep in mind the technical requirements, location and types of content necessary to create an engaging webcast. Following these best practices for delivering a webcast will help you create a high quality audio and video webcast with a webcam that will be sure to keep your audiences’ attention.
Webcast best practices checklist
The webcam is the visual video source of the webcast. It’s how the speaker will visually communicate with the audience. It is important that the room the webcast is being delivered in is configured properly for the best possible display settings. Testing of the room with the equipment, microphone, and lighting in place should be done in advance of the live day as well as 30 minutes prior to start time.
- Use a three point lighting strategy. This includes Key light – the main light used to illuminate you, the Fill light – the secondary light that fills shadows usually half the intensity of the Key, and the Back light- the light that shines behind adding a “rim” of light to the speakers head.
- Use natural light when possible. Using the natural light in the room you can adjust the total look with overhead and additional lights as needed.
- Keep windows in front of you. An open window behind the speaker can make them look dark, with the window in front of the speaker you can use the natural light to illuminate their face adjusting with the blinds as needed.
- Be familiar with the webcam. Knowing how to access the webcam software will help the speaker or engineer to adjust the webcam for the best possible picture.
- Have proper placement of the webcam. Use the rule of thirds to align the speaker in the webcams image in the center.
- Make sure the camera is placed at eye level. This will ensure the speaker is looking directly at the audience. You can adjust the camera height or the chair the speaker is in to achieve this.
- Avoid distracting backgrounds. Once you set up your lighting and equipment make sure to check your surroundings especially behind you to make sure there are no distracting colors or movement.
- Use external microphones whenever available. Microphones built into computers and cameras often have lower quality than what you want for a webcast presentation. The mobility of an external microphone allows the speaker to place it in the optimal location for sound.
- Check for good audio placement. The microphone should be close to the speaker’s mouth but no so close to pick up popping “p’s” or certain words hit the top of the audio levels. The microphone should not be in the camera view.
- Test audio levels. Make sure the volume is loud enough to hear but doesn’t pick up background noise or static.
- Don’t touch the microphone while live. Adjusting or moving the microphone while live will make loud noises and can disrupt the audience and the on demand recording.
- Limit interference as much as possible. Turn off cell phones, fans, computer speakers, or anything else that may be a distraction during the webcast.
Following this simple checklist will help you to properly position lighting, your webcam, set up your external microphone and help to get you set up for a worry free webcast.
For more information on planning your webcast, read our blog on 10 steps to master when planning a webcast. You can also download this guide on the top 10 things people forget during a webcast. We hope these tools will prepare you to create a professional looking and sounding webcast production to help you reach your goals. For more information visit us at www.inxpo.com.