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14.3: Technical Considerations

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    151959
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    Along with the usual verbal and nonverbal considerations for public speaking in F2F settings, you also need to consider some extra elements when presenting online. When presenting online, you not only have to think about your speech, but also the lighting in the room, how your camera is set up and microphone are set up, and any external noise happening around you. Read below for the specific considerations you should take for each of these elements in order to give a successful online presentation.

    Lighting

    One of the technical elements you should be concerned with is lighting. How light is the room in which you are speaking? Avoid having windows or a light source behind you as they will lighten the background but place your face in shadow. If possible, speak in front of a window to or another light source so you have light on your face. Natural light is best if you have it. If not, use a light source like a lamp placed in front of you or a ring light.

    A person standing in front of the window. Their facial features are obscured

    Backlighting obscures your face and turns you into a silhouette.

    Camera

    If you are using a camera that is built into your computer or mobile device, sit at eye level to the camera with your face in the middle of the frame so you can make eye contact with your audience through your camera. If you are using a stand-alone video camera instead, place it on a tripod or other solid, steady surface so it stays stable. If you are using a phone or tablet to record yourself, consider using a tripod so it stays stable. Also, place your device so it records in horizontal or landscape mode rather than in vertical mode.

    Sound

    A woman wearing a headset with a microphone

    All it takes to speak online is a computer (or mobile device). An external microphone or headset isn’t always necessary, but it can help ensure better sound and eliminate background noise.

    For best sound quality, either use a headset or earbuds with a microphone or a wired or wireless microphone to better capture your voice and also dampen background noises. If you cannot do that and are using the microphone in your computer or mobile device, make sure you are close enough to your computer so you can be heard clearly. Be sure to double-check the input volume settings for your computer microphone to be sure your voice is sufficiently audible.

    Test your system out by recording a couple practice speeches. Make sure your voice is loud enough to be heard, you are making good eye contact, and your face is well lit.

    Remember: sound is actually more important than image in most online speaking situations. This is something that documentary filmmakers have known for a long time. As nearly any documentary filmmaker will tell you: “If you must choose between a visually pleasing interview set-up and a good-sounding one, always choose good sound. The audience will forgive a flawed shot but will tune out if it can’t hear the dialogue.”[1]

    Attributions: Recording podcast. Authored by: Sebastian Wallroth. Located at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sherry_Antoine_recording_a_podcast_episode_for_WikiJabber.jpg. License: CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike

    T.O.P. Recording 'Mistaken Identity'. Authored by: Dplanet:. Located at: https://flic.kr/p/9DNw1. License: CC BY: Attribution


    14.3: Technical Considerations is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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