You’ve just set up your Famecast account and are getting ready to host your first event. Here are some best practices to make sure your first event (and all subsequent events) go off without a hitch:
- Set up your equipment
- Test out the Famecast app first with friends to ensure that your browser and equipment is compatible with the latest Famecast build.
- Are you going to use one monitor or two monitors? Set up your configuration and figure out where to place your camera and where your eye line will be set.
- If you are sharing your screen, make sure you set it up in advance so you are not fiddling around with your tabs, files, or links and make sure there’s nothing on your screen that you don’t want to broadcast to your audience.
- Figure out your format. Are you hosting a meeting, a conference or a webinar? Is this a collaborative event such as an interview, a brainstorm, or more of a lecture style Q&A?
- Look and sound your best
- Use a headset and microphone to avoid background noise and other distractions
- Test out your audio and video to see how your lighting looks, hear where your audio levels are, and whether the background works for you. Lighting should come from in front of you or from the side in order to best light your face; you don’t want to look like you’re in the witness protection program. Your audio should be at a pleasant volume. You don’t want to be so quiet that your audience cannot hear you, but at the same time, you don’t want to be screaming at them. Test out your audio with friends across the Internet until you find a comfortable medium. Keep your background clear of distractions; try to sit or stand somewhere with a neutral background (or use a virtual background). A lot of people have used book shelves, posters, or other decorations to convey their personalities.
- Position your camera properly. Look at your webcam, not at the screen. Doing so helps create a more direct sense of engagement with other participants. Make sure your camera is on a steady surface to prevent shaking.
During the event
- Your audio and visual performance
- Use a microphone when you speak. Make sure the microphone is on and close enough to pick up your voice, no matter what location you are in.
- When screen sharing, if you are referring to something on the screen, describe where your cursor is going or what you are referring to. Avoid saying “here”, “there”, or “this” when describing something. Instead, try using more descriptive language: “Notice the box labeled ‘sign in’ in the upper-left corner of the home page.” or “When reviewing the spreadsheet, in column H, row 34…” Identifying what is happening on the screen increases access for everyone attending the meeting.
- Use gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in person
- Help everyone focus and Reduce Distractions
- Don’t have side conversations.
- Turn off your notifications; closing or minimizing running tabs and applications, do not disturb mode.
- Mute your smartphone.
- Avoid multitasking, focus on connecting with the audience in front of you.
- Provide a comfortable environment
- Share housekeeping details with attendees. Remind them to mute their mics when others are presenting or speaking. Let them know how they can get your attention during the meeting: Will you be checking the chat window? Should they unmute themselves to speak up? The wave button?
- If you aren’t talking, mute or turn off your microphone to help keep background noise to a minimum. When your microphone is not muted, avoid activities that could create additional noise, such as shuffling papers or typing. You can also mute/unmute individual participants or all participants at once. This allows you to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise.
- Address Internet disruptions: As more people are working from home, many Internet service providers are seeing massive increases in bandwidth use during the day, causing many users to be throttled. To ensure a better experience for all, enable video only for the presenter (either yourself or anyone speaking). You can only see a limited number of participants anyway, depending on your screen size, and enabling video gobbles up network resources. If you plan to talk without feedback (e.g., for a large seminar), you can also disable participant audio. Turn off your camera if you need to take care of business outside of the meeting (ex. someone in-person needs your attention). Turn the camera back on when you are present in the meeting again.
- Schedule one or more feedback breaks. In a physical classroom, you can see raised hands or observe confused looks. It’s important to understand when to allow students to ask questions. Having audio on for everyone can be disastrous, but dedicated Q&A periods work well.
- Send follow up slides or handouts. It’s hard for people to retain information in real time, so having some type of handout even if it’s an outline of the talk is helpful.
- Allow yourself to be available to be contacted by email or phone if someone didn’t have a chance to ask a question during your session
- Connect for additional follow up or to upsell. What is the next step? Make sure they are following your portal or your social media so they can continue to attend your events.
Good luck! We hope to see you in the Top 10!