Speaker Best Practices, Gear Recommendations & Go-Live Checklist

How To Set Up for Livestreaming or Recording in a Virtual Event

Hello Speakers!
 
Here is a training video that will tell you everything you need to know to look and sound good and have reliable internet for livestreaming or remote recording.
 
Below is a written version with links to recommended gear as well as our Go-Live Checklist you can review before the event. 

Of course, much of this will be a refresher for many people, though we find there’s at least a couple of areas where even the most experienced presenters can improve.

Audio/Video Best Practices

USE THE BEST MICROPHONE YOU HAVE
USB mics, lapel mics, or Bluetooth headsets are great options. Be careful of dangly headsets as they can drag on your shirt and make scratchy noises. Your laptop’s built-in mic is fine if that’s all you have.

HAVE A LIGHT SOURCE IN FRONT OF YOU
Face a window and/or have a lamp or two in front. Have two lights at 45 angles for the most flattering light.

SIMPLE BACKDROP
Have a clean, simple backdrop. Don’t be right against a wall or you’ll have a harsh shadow behind you. 

VIDEO LOOKS BEST AT EYE-LEVEL
Prop up your laptop or webcam so it’s at eye-level if possible. You’ll look better when you’re not looking down at the camera.

NOT TOO CLOSE AND NOT TOO FAR
Position yourself about arms-distance from your camera so there’s a few inches of space above your head in the shot.

BONUS LIGHT TIPS: How To Get Soft Diffused Lighting

  • Lamp too harsh? Bounce the light off a wall onto your face.
  • Cover windows with thin screens/sheer curtains.
  • Overhead lights are ok, but not right over your head.
  • Reduce glare on glasses by lowering your screen brightness, blocking windows in front, and increasing the ambient light in the room.

Recommended Gear

with links to purchase

RELIABLE INTERNET

An ethernet cable will dramatically increase your internet speed and reliability compared to Wi-Fi. This is our #1 tip for improving your livestream quality, and reducing everyone’s stress around the event. 

  • USB hub + Ethernet Adapter – $15 – If your computer doesn’t have an ethernet port, you’ll need an adapter like this, which will also give you an additional 2 usb ports as a bonus.

MICROPHONE

  • USB Microphone
    • Samsung Q2U (USB) – $70 – Great sound and much less background noise and echo than a condenser mic. Free 3-day shipping or pick up at Best Buy.

LIGHT

Facing a window during the day is enough, but if you need supplemental lighting:

CAMERA

HEADPHONES (OPTIONAL)

Prevents echo on a panel discussion or interview/dialogue

SOFTWARE FOR SELF-RECORDING

Tips for Internet & Computer Reliability

Computer Speed & Reliability

  1. Save any tabs you need for later (We love the OneTab browser extension for this)
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Close ALL unneeded apps (pause online backup software, pause antivirus, close anything that might have a popup)
  4. Only open the one or two browser tabs you need to present
  5. Make sure your laptop is fully charged or plugged in during the event

Internet Speed & Reliability

It is important to make sure your internet connectivity is fast and reliable.
  1. Do your best to use an ethernet connection to provide internet access to your computer. Being hardwired into your modem/router will greatly increase your speed and reliability compared to being on wireless internet. If it is not possible to be hardwired, it is best to be located in the same room as the router for the most stable internet connection possible.
  2. Conduct a Speed Test on the equipment and internet connection being used for your webcast. You want upload speed of 5mbps or above to maintain a good stream or 10mbps for HD video. If you have less than 2mbps upload speed, you will almost certainly have trouble livestreaming and need to work on getting a faster connection. Check your upload speed at http://www.speedtest.net/
  3. As a backup for Wi-Fi issues or a power outage: Have a mobile hotspot as a backup in case your Wi-Fi has issues, and have your phone as a backup webcam (with the backstage URL ready to go)
  4. Ask family not to stream video/download files so all broadband is available for the live stream, and to not come into your room during the presentation

Online Presenting Tips

Engage the Audience with Micro-questions

Even though you can’t see the audience doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them. Ask them “micro-questions” to get them nodding their head, and connecting with the value of your content – eg: Right? … Isn’t that great? … Do you see what I mean? … Wouldn’t that be amazing? … How would that feel?

Be Dynamic

Often, online speakers sit still and talk in a droning voice – it can get boring fast. When you’re excited and enthusiastic, your listeners will be too and you’ll keep their attention. To do that, sit up straight, increase your volume, use more inflection in your voice, and use your hands.

Get the Audience Chatting With You

You don’t have to wait for the Q&A … ask the viewers to all write in with:

  • one-word answers (have you done ____ before? Yes or no?),
  • short answers (eg: what is your biggest challenge with ___?),
  • 1-5 score responses (eg: how much do you agree with this, or how engaged are you already with this org – 1 – just found out about them today, 5 – volunteer at least one hour / week, etc.)

Consider Polls

Ask for quick, useful data to get a sense of people’s experience, feelings, challenges, goals, etc.

Go-Live Checklist

Internet Setup

Set Up Your Audio/Video & Environment

Computer Setup

Get Yourself and Your Presentation Set Up