Do you want the video recording with sound and visuals good enough for distribution?
All you need is a video camcorder, wireless microphone, video tripod stand and follow these 5 steps.
1. Plan Ahead.
Duration. Sequence. Equipment.
First, find out the duration of the lecture. Will it be speech only or will there be some audience practice time? Know the sequence. Will there be a second speaker or a question and answer session after the lecture? Knowing the duration and sequence helps determine the most efficient equipment setup with sufficient media recording length and battery power capacity.
2. Position Camcorder.
Distance. Height. Screen.
Survey the lecture room, hall or theatre. Locate the best spot to plant your tripod. Make sure the camcorder distance is not too far from the stage for your lens to zoom into and not too near or obstructive to the audience. Ensure the height of your camcorder exceeds the height of a person otherwise choose a spot where no one will walk past your front. Place your camcorder perpendicular to the projection screen to get a good capture of information when referenced to.
3. Control Lighting.
Stage. Window. Exposure.
Tell the person in charge of lighting not to dim down the lights too much as you want a good visual recording of the lecturer. If there are windows in the day, it is good to leave the curtains open for natural light. Just be aware when the lecturer walks in front of a sunny window and becomes a silhouette on camera. This backlight problem also occurs when the lecturer stands with the bright projection screen right behind. In these situations, manually control the exposure or iris of your camcorder to brighten up the lecturer.
4. Adjust Sound Level.
Microphone. Mixer. Headphones.
Wire up the lecturer with a tie clip microphone. It will make a clearer difference in sound recording as compared with capturing with ambient room noise. For a bigger venue with it’s own sound system, plug the camcorder to the venue’s audio mixer output. Wear headphones throughout the lecture. You’ll never know when an interference may occur that will ruin a good audio.
5. Stay Alert.
Listen. Watch. Respond.
Lastly do not leave the camcorder unattended. Control the camcorder at all times. Listen to what the lecturer is speaking and when appropriate point the camcorder to the subject highlighted, usually the projection screen. Watch intently how the lecturer move. Anticipate and pan the camcorder to ensure the lecturer never leave the frame empty. Respond to unforeseen situations quickly especially lighting exposure and sound level adjustments.
If you follow these 5 steps diligently, you will get a video recording of a lecture, seminar or workshop with good sound and visuals.
One More Thing
All of the lectures that I record are drastically enhanced (colour, exposure and sound) with video editing software before final delivery.
What is your greatest challenge when trying to recording a lecture, seminar or workshop? Share your thoughts or questions in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.