Over the last 2 months the Association has started running live events hosted online to give members of the Association additional exposure for their businesses. Those who have participated in the live events we hosted on Facebook and last year’s webinar enjoyed there experience even with some of the challenges we’ve faced one of them being internet connectivity. What I’ve learnt having watched webinars as well as live events is that when things go wrong, the best thing to do is not panic. Expect that from time to time there will be technical issues and I think audiences across the world expect these things to happen as well. So one just has to stop for a moment breathe, announce that you are having technical issues and work them out as best you can. The key to remember is that there are many factors that influence the quality of a live streaming event. None of us has control over how the internet connection will work and so you do the best you can with the resources you have at your disposal.
Tips to consider when participating in a webinar or Facebook live event:
It’s best to have a connection upload speed of 10 megs or more. Any lower and you risk losing audio or video quality. Last year I was battling to upload videos on YouTube so I called my internet provider to find out what I could do and discovered that whilst I had a 20 mbps line this was my download speed, my upload speed was less than 4 mpbs so it was taking me 2 days to upload a 3 minute video. I also learnt and this may not apply to all internet providers that for an extra R68 I could have an upload speed of 20 mpbs which made all the difference especially when uploading videos and streaming live events. In a world where video is becoming far more popular I recommend you check with your internet service provider to see if you can improve on your upload speed if it is less than 10 mbps. Streaming sites say you can host a webinar at 4 mpbs, from personal experience, I’m not sure this is the best speed, especially your upload speed and if you are hosting a webinar with more than one person. If you are not sure what your internet speed is, use this link to do a speed test.
Webcam and Audio
You would be using the Chrome browser. The next thing you want to make sure of is to have a good quality webcam and audio facility. Do a test on your system beforehand to make sure it is all in good working order. Some may need to use a headset. Click here to test your webcam and microphone.
Things that interfere
When streaming make sure you have closed all open tabs/browsers. Close all open programs or software that is running in the background that you are not using for the live stream or webinar. Support also recommends you even disable your anti-virus software for the duration of your live stream as this can impact on the quality of your stream while live.
Where to sit?
Make sure that you find a quiet spot. Choose a spot where there is no background noise. Background noise like a restaurant or a noisy office overpowers your voice and can seriously jeopardize your viewers listening experience.
Sit in a well lit area preferably with good lighting in front of you. Avoid busy backgrounds, aim for a plain wall or something that is simple. If your background is too busy it will be distracting to the audience.
This is possibly the hardest to get right. Nobody wants to watch a boring show including yourself, so why is it that when people get behind the camera they lose all their personality and tend to be drab and serious. Add some humour to your talk. Tell a story. For centuries people have been telling stories, why re invent the wheel, people love to listen to stories. If you can do a demo of some sort to make your talk more interesting and engaging. The most valuable tip I can give you is, when preparing for the talk, when reviewing what you are going to say, ask yourself: “Is this helpful to the viewers/listener?” “What will they learn from what I have to share with them?” Talks does not always have to be about you and what you are offering. People buy into people they like, know and trust. What can you share with them today that offers something of value?
If you’ve been invited to participate, watch a few talk shows that you enjoy watching and see how they do it and use some of what they do. Think of an online event in the same light as you would attending an event where there is a host speaker with an informative talk that entertains and inspires you.
Have fun, make it fun. Think of it as a casual chat with a friend rather than a formal interview. The more relaxed you are the better. The more fun you have with the talk the better the results. Your host is just the facilitator, you are the star of the show!