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School of Natural Resources and Environment

School of Natural Resources and Environment

Some Additional Tips for Recording your Presentation

 (from the SICB 2021 Presenter Guidelines):

  • Set your camera at eye level: Often, this means propping up a laptop. 
  • Use sans-serif font at point 24 or larger
  • Use a consistent slide background format throughout your presentation (for example, https://branding.ifas.ufl.edu/powerpoint-templates/ )
  • Position your self-preview window near your webcam: Use your mouse to move your video preview of yourself close to your webcam. This will encourage your eyes to look near the webcam, rather than off to the side, giving your viewers the impression that you are looking at them.
  • Check your light: The best lighting is diffused, from both sides, and not overly bright. Two small lamps on either side of your computer, placed slightly behind the camera, is a simple way to achieve attractive lighting. Avoid having a window or bright light behind you, as this may cause your face to be under-exposed.
  • Charge up or better yet, plug in: Ensure that your computer and audio equipment are fully charged.
  • Green screen: Zoom has the ability to create "virtual backgrounds" behind you. These are not required but can be handy to obscure a cluttered background. These work best if you have a true "green screen" behind you, but it is not strictly required if your computer has sufficient hardware. Click the up-arrow next to the "Start Video" button on your Zoom toolbar to access the virtual background feature. Choose from the images provided or upload your own. We recommend nature photos from unsplash.com, but remember, keep it simple! You are the star, not your background.
  • Silence the interruptions: Turn off your phone and exit any programs that might pop up notifications during your presentation (e.g., Slack, Outlook, Skype, etc.) Note that an iPhone, particularly, will ring on a Mac that's attached to a phone, even when muted. If you have pets, children, or other minions, take precautions to ensure that they do not disturb your presentation.
  • Practice a short video: Before you record the whole talk, and with your set up ready-to-go, record a short video of several slides. This will help you figure out which recording platform might be best for your talk. If you are showing videos of your system, practice these slides and check for lag. Listen to your voice and check for sound quality. In Zoom, you can set audio preferences to avoid using your headphone microphone, which may not be as good as your computer.
  • Use a video editor: You don’t need to make the perfect video recording. Viewers are ok with natural speaking, which includes the occasional ‘um’ and ‘uh’. If you need to trim your video (particularly for the beginning and end bits), use a free video editor. There are many available; here’s one list. Quicktime Player 10 (native to Macs) or Quicktime Player 7 (Macs or PCs) are both actually very easy to use. In 10, select Trim in the Edit menu; in 7 you simply select the sequence of interest using the small triangles, and then cut and save the movie.