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Notes on Recording Video for your Talk-Deck

Yes you can hire a videographer for your Talk-Deck presentation. And, if you can afford to, you should.

There are, however, lots of times where just shooting using your phone makes a lot of sense. Here are some links to articles about how to get the best results with that little device you have in your pocket.

The three big takeaways?

#1. Steady. A little tripod for your phone will cost a few dollars on Ebay or $10 at the drugstore. If you don??t have a tripod a stack of books will do the job. The point is the phone camera needs to be steady.

#2. Light. The last thing you want is a murky, yellowed out video. That mean lots of light. Shooting in natural light is ideal but direct sunlight may be too much. Close a blind. If you are using artificial light try to have lots of it. Remember that where there is less light there will be a shadow. Having a three point lighting arrangement with one main light high and two side lights lower will kill most of the shadows.

#3 Audio. Phones have ok microphones. Another few dollars on Ebay or at the drugstore can get you a good mic which plugs right into the phone. Check the levels before you shoot. You need to be able to hear every word.

Here’s a link to some great ideas on how to improve your phone video: 7 Ways to Get Professional Quality Video from Your Smartphone Just the basics but explained with a little more depth. A three minute read for a 100% improvement in your phone videos.

The equipment required to shoot a Talk-Deck video is minimal: you can do it quite easily using a WebCam, or even a cellphone (just be sure to use a tripod like it says above). All you would need to add is a simple video editing program such as Cyberlink Power Director (Windows), which you can download for $60, to edit the final cut. There are similar programs for Macs if that??s what you use.

However, if you intend to shoot Talk-Decks on a regular basis, we suggest getting a dedicated consumer-level video camera such as the Canon VIXIA HF R72 (US$450/C$535) (The Canon consumer cameras allow you to plug in an external microphone. For some inexplicable reason many other consumer video cameras do not let you do this and its critical if you want to use a separate mic, which you should.)

For a few hundred dollars more you can get yourself:

  • Lavaliere microphone – $50 on Amazon
  • Camera tripod(s) – $15-50
  • PromptSmart iPad app – $10 a very inexpensive but very sophisticated voice controlled Teleprompter system for the iPad. Mount it on a tripod with an IPad tripod adapter ($20)
  • Additional Lighting – the Vixia camera should work well if you’ve got adequate room lighting, but if not you can get additional lighting for $100-200 on Amazon.

For less than $1,000 you’ve got all the equipment to start shooting the videos you need to produce high-quality, 2-screen interactive online Talk-Deck presentations. Then you can start creating and sharing Talk-Deck presentations with anyone and everyone you choose and they can start watching them whenever and wherever they choose.