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5 Tips For Recording Pressos

Recording a live presentation for archival or review purposes is one thing- recording it to play to an audience is another. Here are 5 things to bear in mind when considering videoing live presentations for later screening.

1 An audience’s attention span when watching a video (especially on a small screen) is about 8 minutes. So your 20-90 minute presentation just isn’t going to work in its original format.
It’ll either need to be broken down into more digestible bites, or edited down to the key points. A professional video producer should be able to help you here with objective advice and suggestions on how to do this without losing the important parts of the message.

2 Avoid trying to record the speaker/s and their support material at the same time – you won’t do either justice. Apart from trying to focus and frame at least two different (probably moving) objects, projected PowerPoint, slides, or overheads aren’t produced to be re-produced on video. Unsuitable colours, fonts, screen ratios, can all conspire to make the support material almost unrecognisable on video – and the audience dizzy with all the zooming in and out and back and forth.

Either record the support graphics separately (a second camera locked off on the whiteboard or flip chart for instance), later on, or insert them straight off the PowerPoint or video when editing. Some graphics, like detailed graphs and charts, may even need to be reproduced and formatted specifically for video so that they’re readable and intelligible.

3 If you plan to record your own presentation direct to camera without an audience, then consider using a teleprompter with your presentation on it – or at least your notes.
Whereas you can get away with shifting your eye line or looking down at notes in a live presentation, on camera, it can look shifty and distracting. A teleprompter will help you keep eye contact with your audience – to look them in the eye.

4 Record a practice run of your presentation. Partly to see if you can spot any distractions in your delivery that may not be obvious to you at the time – swaying stance etc. But mainly to analyse how your information comes across. Look for sincerity. Do you look like you believe what you’re saying? Body language is just as important on video as in real life.

5 Having said that, TV flattens your performance because it’s simply a representation of it. Deliver your presentation with twice the sincerity, intensity and motivation that got you to write the message in the first place, and you'll be pitching it about right.