Thank you for your interest in speaking/presenting at Summer Camp Con.
Because this is a virtual (online) conference, presenting a workshop is different than at a live conference. Sure, you won’t have to worry about travel, lodging, room set-up, if your computer will work with their projector, etc., but you will have other things to consider.
HOW WILL YOU PRESENT YOUR WORKSHOP?
For the first SCampCon in January, we had all the presenters record their presentation ahead of time and send it in to us for editing and review. We offered to edit together PowerPoint presentations with talking head videos. While we felt these videos in particular turned out great, it proved to take a lot more time than we had thought it would, especially when we would open the file to find the video and audio out of sync for one reason or another. Technology, you gotta love it.
This time I have decided to take a different approach (this is all a learning process for everyone). In order to make presenting a workshop as easy as possible for everyone involved, I am giving speakers three options. What will be best for one person, may not be best for the next.
Option #1 – The Live Presentation
Speakers can share their screens during a live presentation. The speaker will have limited control of the software we are using to show their face, a PowerPoint, videos from YouTube – really, anything on their computer screen and webcam.
- Presenting live is fun and exciting
- Can change or adapt info based on viewer interaction in the chat
- No video editing skills needed
- Most closely resembles an in-person workshop/presentation
- It’s live, so there is always the chance that technology can fail (lose connection, lose audio, etc.)
- Could be more stressful for new speakers opposed to a recorded workshop
Option #2 – The Recorded Presentation
Speakers can pre-record their presentation and send it to me. This is similar to what we did last time. However, there are some guidelines to this option.
- The recording needs to be fully edited. I will not have the time to do editing for anyone.
- The speakers face needs to be seen during the presentation, either in a small window in a corner, or between slides or something similar. I do not want a straight PowerPoint presentation. This is based on feedback we received from our last event.
- Speakers will still need to do a live Q&A after the presentation.
- Takes the pressure off of presenting live
- You can get footage from other sources and edit it in just the way you want
- You can edit out any flub-ups and add in fun video elements
- If speaker has questionable internet connection, this can be a good way to go since the host will be playing the recording
- Will take a lot of time to record and edit everything
- Speaker needs to know or learn video editing
- Loses that natural feel of a live presentation
Option #3 – The Interview
Speakers have the option to go with an interview format. With this option, the speaker would provide questions to the host that they would like to be asked. After the host asks a question, the speaker goes into detail with their answer. Speakers can still share their scree if there is a video or something they want to share, but for the most part, they will be on screen most of the time. The host can also add in some follow-up questions for clarification on things.
- Does not take as much prep as the other options since slides won’t be shown
- Allows the host to follow-up with questions in real time
- Not a good option if a PowerPoint presentation would be useful for the workshop
- Some viewers prefer a combination of slides, videos and talking heads to just two people talking for 30-45 minutes
No matter which option is chosen, I will set up some time with each speaker to work out any details and do a practice run-through. During this meet-up we will discuss your sound, lighting, video quality and more.
You may be wondering what you need technology wise if you are chosen to speak. Perhaps you already have what you need. Let’s go over each component, and I’ll give you some recommendations.
This is VERY important. The video can be great, but if people can’t hear you or the audio is low quality, people will be upset and they will tune out. You don’t want to put all that time into creating a fantastic workshop that is ruined by audio.
I am going to highly suggest that you do not use your computer’s mic. They are usually low quality and they pick up noise from everywhere. There is also the chance for feedback if you use both your computer’s mic and speakers.
Here are my recommendations for mics that can be plugged into your computer.
Original Apple Earpods $29
These are pretty good. I use them all the time for Skype calls. There’s the added benefit of headphones and mic in one unit that isn’t big and bulky. Other headphone/mic set-ups that are similar are often much lower quality and I would steer away from those. You get what you pay for is the rule here.
Audio-Technica ATR2100 Microphone $79
This is a USB microphone that is often recommended by podcasters as a quality entry-level microphone. I switch back and forth between this one and the Blue Yeti for my podcast. If you get this one, add a foam cover for a few extra dollars.
Blue Yeti Microphone $129
This is a very popular USB microphone. Again, get a foam cover as well. The cover will help with the pops of the letter “p” when speaking.
When it comes to video, your compute’s webcam may or may not suffice. Most are low quality, but some are pretty good these days. However, if you are looking to get a better image without spending a lot of money, I have one recommendation.
Logitech C920S $69
This is a highly rated webcam that plugs into your computer via USB. There are lower and higher priced ones, but this should work great for you.
If you are in a room with lots of natural lighting, then you won’t need to worry about extra lights. However, if you’re in a basement or shed with one overhead lightbulb, then perhaps this is something to consider. You certainly don’t want that dungeon feel.
Grab lamps that you already have and strategically place them around you. If you want to step it up a notch you can get yourself a photography softbox light set-up for under $100 on Amazon. Then use it for your photography or video activities at camp. Good lighting will lighten shadows on your face and smooth out your appearance giving your videos (and photos) a more professional feel.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about lighting and wouldn’t know where to start with a recommendation other than to look at kits and reviews on Amazon and check out videos on YouTube.
If you plan to pre-record your workshop, you’ll need to edit it. There are lots of options out there and I would suggest you go with something you already have like iMovie on a Mac or Windows MovieMaker if you have an older PC. If you happen to be paying for an Adobe Bundle then you may already have Adobe Premier. If you need to purchase software, do some research. Reach out to your staff to see if any of them have editing experience and can recommend something.
If you are giving your presentation live or opting for the interview format, you won’t need to worry about editing.
That should give you some idea of what you’ll need. If you have any questions, feel free to email me any time at Curt@RecreationPros.com.