What you say as a podcast or livestream guest is the most important thing, and how you say it comes next. But that should all sit on a firm foundation of good audio and video quality. Here are a couple of tips to look and sound like a professional when you are invited to guest on a podcast, video or livestream.
1 . Find a quiet space where you won't be interrupted by friendly people, loud sirens, vacuum cleaners or snoring dogs.
2. You will sound better with a microphone, here are a few options:
- A versatile inexpensive (about $70) but good sounding mic is the Samson Q2U. It comes with a USB cable that will plug right into your computer, a very basic stand, a windscreen and an XLR cable in case you work with a pro recording device.
- If you only have a USB c connector try the AKG Lyra (it sounds good and it’s stylish too!)
- If you prefer a clip on lavalier style mic this is one with a USBc connection try the Sennheiser Pro XS Lav.
- And if you are looking to level up but still connect directly to your computer with a USB cable (no techy interface device needed) try the Shure Mv7. It costs about $250, but take note you will also need to buy a desktop mic stand or boom arm with this one.
3. Consider headphones, especially if video isn't being recorded. Sometimes the sound from the interviewer playing on your speakers will feed back into the microphone creating strange echos. Wearing headphones will prevent that.
Once the mic is hooked up here are some hints to make sure it's set up properly.
AND here's a quick video on mic technique, this can have a huge impact on the sound of your interview and costs you nothing!
First take a look at what's behind you that will be visible in the shot. If it’s a bright window see if you can turn your set up around so you face toward the window letting that natural light hit your face.
After that the simplest way to make the image look better is to add a small light.
- This model from Lume Cube that attaches right to your monitor or laptop with it's own suction cup.
- If you decide to go with a ring light remember - ring lights were designed to go AROUND the camera to create an even flattering light. If you don't use it that way then it's just a round light, nothing special.
- If you want a versatile and more permanent solution, I love these desk lights from Lume Cube. When you are not recording, they look and function like a modern style desk lamp, but they rotate and create a flattering soft light for your virtual recordings.
Check the Connection:
And finally - don't forget to check the internet connection and make sure it's stable and fast enough to carry the signal. Ookla Speed test is a useful tool for that.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams