You will need to take into consideration the following before starting a video recording:
- What resources will you use to use to record your presentation? A webcam, slides with audio recording, or a combination of both?
- Will you be using slides in your recording? If so, what software will you use?
- Do you need to incorporate any other media into your recording (e.g. websites, videos, data files, etc.)?
- Do you wish to be included in the video recording as audio-only, or audio and video? In other words, do you want your face to appear on the video recording?
- Will you do a one-shot recording? (Hit start, record your presentation, and stop). Or, will you be combining the best parts of multiple recordings and editing out unwanted portions?
- What is your skill level with using video recording software and technology? Will you need to ask for help?
Attention spans in a digital setting are very short, you have a relatively short time to communicate what is significant about your research or project., Make sure to refine your message, keep it clear, engaging, and on point. Focus on your study’s unique contributions and findings. Think of your presentation as an elevator pitch to a venture capitalist.
We recommend limiting the size of your slideshow to no more than 1 slide per minute, and preferably less if the information in your slides is difficult to understand at first glance.
Keep your slides clean and legible. Remember that videos are generally watched in smaller windows, or even on a phone or tablet. Thus, small fonts or screenshots may not be legible when displayed at this size. Focus on presenting key findings in bullet points instead.
Make sure to start your presentation with a title slide. This will have the title of your paper/presentation and include all contributing authors, with the presenting author highlighted. This should also serve as the thumbnail for your video (what virtual delegates see before they hit play on a video).
To help you achieve a seamless recording, we strongly recommend that you practice your presentation two or three times before recording. It is also helpful to prepare a detailed script so that you can ensure that all key points and facts are delivered during your recording. This will allow you to articulate your message clearly, as well as cut down on errors and hesitations (umms and ahhs) whilst recording.
If you choose to include a recording of yourself as part of your presentation, remember to look towards the camera and not down at your notes. Place your notes directly below the camera so that you can read them during your presentation whilst continuing to direct your gaze at the camera. Those who are presenting live via the virtual platform will also need to be conscious of this. Delegates are more likely to be engaged for the full duration of your presentation if they feel they are being spoken to directly, rather than watching someone who is reading a script robotically and not looking at the camera.
Before you begin recording your final video, we recommend conducting a test recording to ensure that your audio is clear, with no echo or background noise. Audio is always clearer when using a microphone, whether that is through headphones with an inbuilt microphone or an external microphone. Choose your recording space based on the amount of background noise there is. Avoid areas where you can hear traffic, the heating and cooling system, or voices from another room. While these may not seem loud to your ears, they can be very distracting in recordings. Speaking in a clear, bright voice goes a long way in producing audio. Try to enunciate each word, but do not overthink, as it can make you sound robotic. You may even want to try smiling while recording, as this can make your voice sound a little more approachable. Additionally, be mindful of your pacing. Keep things steady without rushing or crawling at a snail’s pace. Live presenters are also strongly encouraged to use a microphone and to test their audio prior to their presentation time. Practicing your presentation with family, friends or colleagues is a great way to get familiarise yourself with presenting live and to get feedback on your audio settings. Free accounts on Zoom allow users up to 40 minutes’ worth of call time.