Sit in the Director Chair: How to Produce the Best Webcast for Your Content

Video today is everywhere. On our Facebook feeds, at work, on kids iPads, there’s no doubt that video is more accessible today than ever. As the popularity of video increases so do the enhanced video features and capabilities as everyone competes to have the best video content on the market.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the possibilities behind video, I like to relate building a video webcast to landing a pilot for a TV show. Each show or webcast, can require different parts and combinations, but the general components of lights, camera, action are always there.

For the sake of the analogy, put yourself in the director chair. You are calling the shots on what to bring together with your options below, so that the content of your webcast is being delivered effectively.

You have:

  • Lead Roles (presenters)
  • Set (the attendee view)
  • Scene (video source window)
  • Props (slides, screen share, polling etc.)
  • Crew (moderator, presentation engineer, camera crew etc.)

Designing your Lead Roles
Like most directors choosing their star cast, your webcast starts with a leading presenter. In the case of STUDIO, presenters have flexibility in the way they can be presented on screen. STUDIO can scale from traditional audio presentations to live streaming or pre-recorded video.

Here are example source options for each presentation style:

  • Audio (Webcam/Microphone, Telephone Dial Out, Conference Line)
  • Video (Webcam, Video Conference Unit, Live Studio/Conference Feed)
  • Pre-recorded Media (MP4, AVI)

Designing your Set and Scene
Placing your lead roles in the appropriate set is an important step in getting the right message across. A credible news broadcast wouldn’t be taken as seriously if the anchors were in Hawaiian shirts on the beach. In STUDIO, to give your presenters the proper set, you get to pick from a variety of our set designs, catered to maximize each presentation style. Variations can include a single presenter in a large video window, smaller audio window with large slides or a video conference style webcast with multiple presenter sources.

The key is finding the set that conveys your content to your audience in the clearest format.

After you’ve picked the appropriate set, you can go a layer deeper to selecting specific scenes within your set. For example, the TV show Friends had all of New York City as their set, but the apartments, Central Perk and the fountain were all different scenes. For STUDIO, the video source in your set offers an option of different scenes.

Webcasts can consist of one scene the entire duration or multiple scenes switching back and forth throughout the presentation.

Example of different STUDIO scenes:

  • Single speaker
  • Video conferencing with multiple speakers
  • Picture-in-Picture mode with video over slides
  • Split screen for two sources

Defining Props – Supporting Capabilities
Props are additional objects that help complete a set and add purpose to the lead roles storyline. In a STUDIO presentation, we provide additional supporting capabilities that make a webcast more than a YouTube video or podcast consider these our props.

Example supporting capabilities:

  • Slides
  • Screen share
  • Polling question
  • Q&A
  • Chat room
  • Handouts
  • Tests
  • CPE (continuing professional education)
  • Live agenda / On-demand chapters

Gathering the Right Crew
The crew are the behind the scene players on a TV show that are responsible for making the leading roles look their best. STUDIO also requires some magic behind the scenes to ensure a seamless production. Bending the scale of your webcast, the necessary crew needed can change. Simply produced webcasts can be done as a one man show, but more complex TV style presentations will require a larger crew for support.

For STUDIO, crew members can include:

  • Webcast Engineer
  • Camera Crew
  • Support staff
  • Moderator

Once you have compiled all these pieces, putting together your video webcast will be a piece of cake. Tune in next week for how to take the next step in storyboarding your webcast to ensure smooth sailing on the live day.

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