Upping your game when presenting live online

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In-person, live in a real room with real people, it was easy. You had your slides to your right on a screen or giant TV, you stood and presented to the side, holding eye contact with the audience, reading their reactions. You kept your remote control, effortlessly forwarding the visual slides to enhance your message, and you had their attention.

Move this scene to the online world, and it’s all changed. You have slides, but after a relatively cumbersome share process, your audience sees your slides, although you think they do. At first, you utter “can you all see my slides?” after several attempts, you figured they could. You started to narrate over the slides, vocalising your message behind the slides. Your audience could only hear your voice, no longer could they see you, especially if they were using a small screen such as an iPad. There was clutter to the right of the slides with other people’s images, all distracting from your message.

It was as though you lost half your ability to present.

That’s the danger using the native share facility of the likes of Teams, Zoom or GoTo.

Let me share with you some solutions to this, some of which I use professionally in my speaking and training business.

The secret is to use virtual camera software for your PC or Mac, which emulate a webcam, send a camera stream to your Zoom or Teams which you pick up instead of your normal webcam. So for example, if your usual camera is called “generic webcam”, this is the option you pick up when Zoom asks for a webcam and microphone. With a streaming webcam, you pick this up; instead, it might be called “Logitech Capture”. Select this, and your video presentation changes forever.

Let me share with you some solutions to this, some of which I use professionally in my speaking and training business.

You’ll be able to have:

  • Your image – face or top half of your body, anywhere on the screen. To the side, in front or behind.
  • Your slides, again – in front, to your side or behind you. Its called picture in picture.
  • Any handout such as a PDF to your side so you can chat about it to your audience
  • Maybe a webpage that you can show alongside your image
  • Overlaying text and images

Lots of options and you’ll want to play around to get the best picture. When you’ve tested it, and it suits your needs, fire up Zoom or Teams and select the streaming webcam that’s been created by the software.

I’ve tested a few pieces of software that fit the bill and here is my list:

  • Logitech Capture. My favourite because it came free with my various Logitech cameras. Easily allows split screens, sharing PowerPoints and PDFs. I can be in front of or behind the slides, even with a green screen. Plus it has various picture in picture options.
  • eCAMM – shame this is only for Mac computers but for $12 a month it gives you a myriad of options to maximise any presentation.
  • vMix – similar to eCAMM but for Windows users. Starts at $50 a year. Very impressive creates professional livestreams plus video streams to Zoom, Teams etc. Graphic and text overlay is exceptional.
  • ManyCam – I currently use this for livestreaming to YouTube and LinkedIn, and this one produces a virtual webcam which you can pick up on Zoom or Teams.
  • Similar to StreamYard This enables split screens with screen sharing plus you can bring in more presenters.
  • Boxcast
  • SplitCam
  • Mmhmm – still in beta mode, so they’re experimenting but promises to be rather useful. You can log on and grab an invite to their latest reincarnation

For me, I’m using Capture for my Zoom and Teams training and workshops because it’s simple to operate on the fly. Using keyboard shortcuts to change the camera view is a masterstroke. For my keynote type livestreams, I’m currently using ManyCam but am migrating over to eMix for a more professional look and feel. As always, it’s good to select one that suits you, will be around for a while, and invest time understanding the software using their training videos.

Currently, I use the following software for the various aspects of my speaking and training business

  • Video and Podcast Rendering – Sony Vegas Movie Studio 17
  • Live training workshops – Teams or Zoom
  • Webcam presenting – Logitech Capture
  • Livestreaming – ManyCam and vMix
  • Online Courses – Thinkific
  • Video Storage – Vimeo and Office 365

Pick one that suits you and your budget. Start-ups across the world are developing these apps; virtual reality will soon follow, so keep watching this space.

 

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About Author

Paul Archer is the founder and Managing Director of Archer Training Ltd, a specialist training provider that brings practical sales and coaching skills to financial services firms. Paul has published 8 books and is a regular blogger and YouTuber - www.paularcher.tv and can be contacted at paul@paularcher.com.

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