Since we launched Broadcast Video Chat a couple of months ago we’ve had a lot of different people use it. There was of course the US Fish and Wildlife Service, our friends at Real Life Plus, the Critical Care team from a large national hospital and finally, this weekend the folks at Novoe Radio.
In talking to some of these people, we thought it would be interesting to share some tips on how to have a successful Broadcast Video Chat:
1. Make sure everyone has the correct URL for the chat
There are two URLs for every Broadcast Video Chat. One is for people who are “on-screen” who will be doing most of the talking and presenting, the other is for “off-screen” participants who are going to be mainly watching and listening.
2. Ask people to check their camera and microphone in advance
This will save set-up time at the beginning of the chat. They can simply go to tokbox.com, sign up for a free account, start a chat. If they can see themselves and the audio meter is active, then they’re good to go. Otherwise, they need to click on the “wrench” in the video chat to check the correct camera and microphone are being picked up.
3. Use an external microphone, particularly if you have multiple people in the same room, using the same computer
If you have multiple people in the same room, using the same computer, you should use an external microphone to help prevent issues with echo. There are lots to choose from, but an inexpensive option is this Logitech noise-cancelling microphone
4. Set your privacy settings for Instant Messages to “allow from anyone”
This will enable you to follow all the text chat that takes place within the Broadcast Video Chat. Simply go to My Account and select Privacy. Set the Instant Message option to “Allow from anyone”
5. Set up your media in advance
If you have presentations, videos or photos to share, set them up in advance to prevent any last minute panics. Simply click on the “TV icon” at the top of the page for your Broadcast Video Chat. Add the URLs for your videos, presentations etc. and click “Queue”. When you come back to start the chat, they will be there ready for you to share.
6. “Plant” some questions before the chat starts
As with any conference, there’s always a little shyness on the part of the audience. Ask a few people to think up questions and submit a video question in advance by clicking on the chat URL in advance and then clicking “Record a question”. As the moderator you can then share this in the chat and inspire others to ask a question.
7. Appoint an “off-screen” moderator
If you’re expecting a large crowd and for there to be a lot of discussion, you should try and appoint a moderator to field video questions, manage the sharing of presentations and generally make sure things run smoothly. This moderator can produce the chat from off-screen so they can be multi-tasking and not appear distracted on-screen or take up valuable space 🙂
8. Have a ‘dress rehearsal’ with the “moderator” and “speakers”
Try and get everyone together in advance of the meeting and make sure they have familiarized themselves with all of the features and functionality, particularly if you are going to ask them to moderate the chat at any point.
If you’ve tried a Broadcast and have some more tips and tricks to share, please let us know or simply comment here on the blog post.
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