How to get the best technical set-up for virtual stage

For over a year GoRemote has been delivering dedicated virtual support, including the technical set-up, for speakers - whether they are presenting a webinar, holding a conference session, or hosting an important meeting. In that time, our producers and stage managers have developed a definitive list for the set-up of virtual stages, ideal for setting up your virtual stage - at home, in the studio or at the office.

1. Sound

Likely, the most important thing when presenting virtually is to have clear and crisp sound. This can often be difficult to achieve with traditional laptop mics and background noise. Here are some options for making your presentation sound its best.

  • A good headset is one of the basic ways you can mic yourself, improve sound quality and eliminate some of the background noise. Although headsets aren’t perfect and some people do not like how they look when presenting.
  • The next best option would be earpods or headphones with an inline microphone. These can give good results and help stop the potential for feedback coming through your speakers.
  • Another option is a great desktop mic (we recommend a brand like BlueYeti). They will pick up more of the room noises but provide a quality sound, and as they are out of shot,  the image looks clean and tidy.
  • Ensure you are in a quiet space and think about noises that might filter into the room – air conditioning, open windows, laptop fans etc.
  • If you are struggling with background noise, there are solutions. Consider an app like Krisp – it uses AI for noise reduction and does a great job of eliminating sounds in noisy environments.

 

2. Appearance

We have all experienced those meetings where someone is in silhouette or too close to the webcam. Here’s a few rules to ensure that you look professional.

  • Lighting is critical; webcams work much better if you have a good amount of light. If you can, we’d recommend buying a ring light to place in front of you. These are relatively cheap but will help to lift your face, so you are seen.
  • If you don’t have a ring light, it’s OK to use natural lighting. Just ensure you are not backlit and that your light source is in front or to the side. So, don’t sit with windows directly behind you as it will give that silhouetted look and reduce quality.
  • Raise your laptop to eye level so that you are correctly framed – you can purchase a laptop stand or just use some books – be careful that the laptop is stable and doesn’t wobble when you touch the desk.
  • In terms of framing, people have a tendency to frame their face in the centre of the image; however, you want to have the face or eyeline about 1/3rd down the screen with a bit of space above the head. The rule of thirds is used in photography and film to enhance the look, and it’s equally valid for online videos and calls.
  • Check that your background is clean, tidy and has an element of symmetry or organisation to it. Like a photo, you can use objects to fill negative space and avoid having too much clutter or complication directly behind you.
  • Neutral backgrounds work much better if you’re using virtual backgrounds, so try and find a single colour wall that isn’t the same shade as your face or clothing.
  • Look at the camera – not at the screen when presenting. It will make your audience feel like you are talking directly to them.
  • Ensure an open appearance – straight back and hands not near the face

 

3. Network and Technology

Ideally, you need at least 10 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload limits in order to use most video conference platforms. There are a few things to remember when setting up your talk.

  • Consider a wired connection if your wireless has spotty reception or you are far away from your router. If you aren’t in the same area as your router and have problems, try to move closer/ be in the same room.
  • Run a speed test using something like speedtest.net, as well as upload and download speeds; you want a low jitter.
  • Close all your apps and background tasks – video conferencing software is very CPU/RAM intensive, so you may experience crashes or slowness if multiple tasks are being performed.
  • If your computer is still struggling, also unplug second screens – again, these pull resources from your computer.
  • Don’t use a VPN as this will slow you down; it will re-route your signal the long way round, slowing the packets between points.

 

GoRemote’s technical expertise

These are just three areas that need to be considered on set-up, but for peace of mind, a speaker support service like GoRemote can really help take the pain out of setting up many speakers for significant events. Talk to us: info@goremote.team to see how we can help speakers at your next event to shine.

Download our Top Tips for Virtual Event Presenting to have all our recommended set-up information to hand when you need it.

Get in touch!

To find out more about our remote speaker management, get in touch with our virtual stage managers: info@goremote.team

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