VIDEO


Visual Details 

Since the audience will be solely focused on you, make sure your background is not distracting with no moving objects, you have good lighting, you are dressed for the occasion, and that you have good posture. Don’t forget to smile, keep your energy levels high throughout your presentation and modulate your voice to convey presence and confidence. Speak clearly and remember to slow down your cadence, pausing to emphasize key points. 


Camera Placement

Use a tripod or mounted camera and ensure the camera is level.  If you are using notes, be sure to place the notes as close the camera as possible so that you are not looking away from your audience. Set you camera height at eye level.


Lighting

Too much light will wash out your shot, and not enough will leave you in the dark  Basic three point lighting can be setup in your home or office using what you have available to ensure good quality footage.  For your "key light" you can use a desk lamp or other spot-type lamp.  This light should in front of you, off center, and slightly above your face.  Next you'll set a "fill light" which is more subtle lighting, such as a floor lamp to remove harsh shadows caused by your key light.  The fill light should be placed on front of you from the opposite angle to the key light.  Finally, a back light should be used to light you from behind, which creates depth and separates you from your background.





AUDIO

Microphone 

We recommend buying a microphone that can plug in to your PC’s USB slot. The Blue Snowball is available for $50 and will make a big difference to sound quality compared to a headset. 

 

External Noise 

Whenever you start recording, think about things in your environment that might make noise. Is there a fan on your computer? Can you hear mouse clicks as you scroll through your script? Can you hear Refrigerators? Cell phones? Cats? Dogs? Birds? 

Use headphones to monitor your recording. Turn them up to listen to what the microphone is hearing before you start recording. Try to minimize any extra noise as much as possible.  

 

Room 

It is also important to think about the acoustics of the space you’re in. Hard, flat surfaces reflect sound like a mirror reflects light. Leave space around you and your microphone to minimize early reflections. Set up on a carpet, near some bookcases, and away from walls. Also avoid reverberant spaces. Some offices, classrooms, conference rooms, and huddle spaces can be especially reverberant. 

 

Stand and Deliver 

Try standing up when recording to help provide better air support and a strong read. This can also help mitigate early reflections caused by a desk. If you do need something to hold your script, a music stand works well. Consider placing a piece of foam or a carpet sample on the music stand behind your script, to avoid early reflections. 

 

Microphone Levels 

When recording using an external microphone, you will likely be asked by your PC to set how loud you want the input to be. It is important to keep your input around halfway up the meter you are shown. They are likely to look something like the following: 

 

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Test and Listen 

One of the most important things you can do is record a few lines of text and then listen to them back, to make sure you are comfortable with your set-up. How does it sound and look? It is better to make mistakes earlier than halfway through your speech.