During this year’s Neos Conference I sat in the back of the room and cut the video stream for the live streaming on the studio stage. From this perspective I want you to give some opinionated suggestions, tips and tricks for you as a speaker.
Of course, you’re the speaker, you’re in control, and we will adjust to what you want to do. Still some things that came to mind.
First I want to give an overview over the setup itself, because I want to explain why you should do some things and why you should avoid some other things. This is only a rough overview. If you’re interested in the details you can find them in a later blog post.
At the studio stage in this year’s Neos conference we had five video feeds:
- the speaker camera, which shows a speaker close up, mainly for the image in image
- the speaker slides for the beamer
- the total camera showing the entire stage, including the beamer slides (mainly to communicate the atmosphere or to give an overview)
- the speaker slides for the huge screen on stage (only visible for the speaker)
- the moderator slides with (reminder to rate talks, next talk and such)
The overall goal for us is not only to deliver the content of your talk, but we want to show you on the live stream. Hence, the speaker camera and the image in image mode. It really, really helps a lot if you stay on or at least near the carpet. We adjust the camera so that it captures the area around the carpet. If you walk around, you leave the scene.
If you decide to stand somewhere else, we adjust the cropping or the speaker camera asap. Then stay there. The less you walk around, the more time you are visible in the live stream.
Also, turning your back to the audience looks especially off on the speaker camera. On the conference it is less of an issue. Look to the audience or to your speaker screen, never to the beamer image behind you.
Your place on the slides
Another thing to remember: when showing the slides in the stream, we like to place an image in image of you in the bottom right area. You can just look at it in the available videos on YouTube. If possible, leave this place on your slides empty. Then we can show you all the time. If there’s something in the bottom right corner of your slides, we have to hide the speaker image.
Use large fonts
So the next things are for the total camera, which captures the entire stage. I like to switch to occasionally, usually during anecdotes, if you explain something not directly related to the slides or if you introduce a new section of the talk.
If there’s a huge headline on a single slide, right in the middle, we can cut to the total camera and show the entire stage including the slide. The text is big enough for everyone to read. It really captures the atmosphere and you are entirely visible, which is nice.
Some speakers mirror their beamer slides on the speaker screen. So they see exactly the same thing as the audience does. Others use a presenter view with notes and a preview of the next slide. I personally prefer the later one. Then I see the next slide as well and can adjust the video settings accordingly. Otherwise I have to quickly fix those settings.
We cannot capture everything via video. If you point at something by hand, it’s hardly visible. If you point at something via laser pointer, it’s invisible to the remote audience.
Also, especially for the remote audience, it helps a lot if you read things out. If you point at something and say its name, like: the browser talks to the server, instead of: this talks to that.
Last but not least, a general piece of advice: Always remember, no matter the topic, if on stage you’re 50% expert and 50% entertainer. Please, don’t forget the entertainer part.
That’s everything that came to mind during this year’s Neos conference. Feel free to embrace part and reject others. It’s your presentation. You’re in control. You can do what you want. You are on stage.
If you have any feedback, please feel free to contact us.