Speaker Best Practices, Gear Recommendations & Go-Live Checklist

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 doc with links to recommended gear and 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.

How To Get Setup for Livestreaming or Recording in a Virtual Event

Tips, Gear & Go-Live Checklist

Audio/Video Best Practices

USE THE BEST MICROPHONE YOU HAVE
Be careful of dangly headsets as they can drag on your shirt and make scratchy noises. USB mics, lapel mics, or bluetooth headsets are great options. Speaker phone is ok if you’re doing a keynote, but may create echo on a panel discussion.
HAVE A LIGHT SOURCE IN FRONT OF YOU
Whether you’re facing a window or have a lamp or two in front
SIMPLE BACKDROP
Have a clean, simple backdrop. Don’t be right against a wall or you’ll have a harsh shadow behind you. Plain white walls aren’t ideal, as they can cause some webcams to struggle with autofocus. If you are in front of a white wall, please ensure your face is well lit.
VIDEO LOOKS BEST AT EYE LEVEL
Prop up your laptop or webcam so it’s at eye-level or higher if possible. You’ll look better when you’re not looking down at the camera.
NOT TOO CLOSE AND NOT TOO FAR
Frame yourself so the bottom of the video is 3”-6” above your elbows and the top is a few inches above your head.

Recommended Gear

with links to purchase

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:


TIPS:
How To Get Soft Diffused Lighting

  • Lamp too harsh? Bounce the light off a wall onto your face.
  • Windows with thin screens/sheer curtains
  • Place two lights (or a window + lamp) at a 45 angle for you for most flattering light
  • Overhead light behind you (not right over your head)

CAMERA

HEADPHONES (OPTIONAL)

Prevents echo on a panel discussion or interview/dialogue

Tech Tips

computer

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
wifi2

Internet Speed & Reliability

  1. Conduct a Speed Test on the equipment and internet connection being used for your webcast. If your upload speed is consistently 5mbps and above you should have enough bandwidth to maintain a good stream. Helpful tool: http://www.speedtest.net/
  2. Do your best to use an ethernet connection to provide internet access to your computer. Being hardwired into your modem/router is preferable 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 providing internet. This provides the most stable internet connection possible.
  3. As a backup for WiFi issues or a power outage: Have a mobile hotspot as a backup in case your WiFi 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

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.

Live Stream Tips

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 useful data, get a sense of people’s experience, feelings, etc.

testi-min

Go-Live Checklist

Internet Setup

Set Up Your Audio/Video & Environment

Computer Setup

Get Yourself and Your Presentation Set Up

wifi

Internet Speed Reliability

It is important to make sure your internet connectivity is reliable. Getting hardwired into the modem is the safest way to have a reliably fast internet connection.

There are many factors including your internet (which has a max speed based on the service your speakers are paying for. Also, and this is rather geeky, network congestion or data caps can sometimes cause ISP throttling). Also, a poor connection by the person running your broadcast or others on a group call could be a factor.

  • Minimum for Stable Video: 2MB/Sec Upload
  • Recommended: 4MB+/sec Upload Speed
  • Min for HD: 10MB/sec Upload Speed

For Reference: our producer who will be live switching and streaming your event has hardwired, business-class internet so there won’t be any lags on his end. Here’s his internet speed:

Also, here are some tips for your improving connection:

  • Whenever possible use wired ethernet connection
  • Close any other programs that may be using bandwidth (email servers, video streaming apps, basically all internet tabs not being used – note: the OneTab browser extension is useful to save and restore them later)
  • If you have to do wifi, try and make sure you are the only one using it at the time. Try to position yourself in the same room with the wireless router or as close to the router as possible.
  • Upgrade your internet service if needed

Check your speed at speedtest.net