How can you make your online studio space the very best it can be?

Pulling together a good online production for your viewers can be tricky, and your inner critic might even compare your video to those of the bigger online studios that make it look so effortless. Achieving a professional-quality video is difficult without the professional team (and budget) to pull it together, but there are some hacks that you can try yourself.

Let’s take a look at some quick tips you can implement right away to improve your video quality for online teaching.

The Space

  • Choose a space to film from with either good natural light (to the side or behind your camera is best) or a space that you can light up well with some extra lighting.
  • Clear away any clutter from the background; whatever is in the shot should be easily visible, and the space should be neat and clear of personal stuff. 
  • Some well placed decor can be nice, as long as it doesn’t compete for space with you – your viewers need to be able to see you clearly. 
  • A blank, light coloured wall behind you is the perfect backdrop.
  • Have your camera shot set to landscape – the horizontal angle will take in the length of your space and allow you room to move around.
  • Place the camera at about waist-height, and 8 feet away. If your space is too small to accommodate this, you can get a lens adapter which will widen your shot in a smaller space. 

The Tech 

  • Your internet connection is the most important element of a good online experience so be sure it is stable by disconnecting any other devices that might try to use it during your session, and connect to ethernet whenever possible to ensure you have the best possible bandwidth. 
  • Second in importance to the internet connection is your audio – if you are going to invest in one piece of tech, start with a microphone. Being heard by your students is crucial and microphones don’t have to break the budget. We have a great article on pros and cons of different types of microphones here.
  • If you are using a cell phone camera to film, the actual camera lens is a better option than using the face-forward setting. So, consider turning your phone away from you, and put a ring sticker around the lens of the camera to direct your gaze right to your viewers.
  • If your classes are hybrid (both live and recorded) try to record with a separate device, as the video conferencing recordings rely on your internet speed which can mean lower audio and visual quality.

The Prep

  • Prior to your class, mitigate any potential disruptions – doorbells, noisy pets, playful kids – so that nothing interrupts your class. 
  • Be ready in your space in plenty of time, so you are not preoccupied or flustered when your clients join you.
  • Get online early to check your own set up, and so your clients can check theirs and settle in. 
  • Have a script ready as a short introduction for the class, noting upcoming classes as well as what they need and what to expect from the session.
  • Press record, if you need to – forgetting this can be a time-costly mistake!
  • Speak clearly, slow down your instructions from your in-person sessions, to allow for any time lags on your internet.

After Class

  • If the setup worked well, take a picture of it so you know how to easily set up next time.
  • Watching yourself on playback is the best way to fine-tune your offerings, both in terms of the shot, the lighting and the sound, as well as your style and how you came across. 

Watching yourself back on video can be difficult but bear in mind that your audience connects to you as a real person in a real place so having bloopers, mistakes and unexpected interruptions can – to some extent – personalize your videos and make your online space more welcoming.

Here at OfferingTree, we have been helping our users teach online for a while now and they have shared their wisdom with us and helped us grow our software with their feedback. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please let us know at [email protected].

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