How To Record Your Presentation

Recording your presentation is a great way of leveraging your content.  I like to call it double dipping.  Just to clarify, I’m not talking about recording an online presentation, a webinar or hangout.  I’m talking about recording whilst you present to a live audience.

In case you’re thinking that’s easy – that’s the mistake I made when I just thought I’d plug myself in and off we go!  But there are other things to think about.  For instance, your audience are likely to ask questions.  If you don’t get them recorded properly, there is mumbling off in the background and then you answering a question which the viewer of the recording hasn’t heard or understood.  This can make for a very disjointed experience for the viewer.

So why would you want to record a live presentation.  Loads of reasons.  You could include it as a value add for the audience.  It could be a product in it’s own right – cheaper than attending the live presentation, but accessible for lots and lots of people.  It could form part of an online programme; marketing material and part of your speaker real.

Watching a recording of your presentation is also an excellent (if rather scary) way of critiquing your performance or getting feedback from your mastermind group or speaking mentor.

Rather than reinvent the wheel I’ve taken Jeremy Nichols (a fellow member of the PSA, Professional Speakers Association) up on his offer to share this information from his recent presentation in London:


The best way to get footage is to bribe the camera operator at a corporate event. I’ve found that £50 is about the right amount to get the footage. Always check with the organisers that it’s OK, but it’s usually fine, if it’s your intellectual property on camera and not confidential company information that you are presenting. Get it on the day! Have a USB disk permanently on your key ring and leave with the footage. Don’t wait on a promise of them sending it later.

But what if there isn’t a camera on the day?


Make sure it’s well lit. Switch on the lights in the room, if they’ve been dimmed for powerpoint presentions. Take along your own lights if necessary, even domestic lamps will help fill in the detail on your face if there’s awful downward lighting in the room.
Don’t stand in front of the projector screen or a window or anything that is brighter than you are! Use a camcorder that has a
separate audio input, because the microphone on the top of the camera is inadequate, especially at distance.

If you have the camera at the back of the room, record the audio separately on your phone or digital recorder. Clap once at the start to sync the devices. Match up the audio and video in post-production on your laptop.  Well no one said it was going to be simple!  We use Camtasia but there are more ideas below.


Microphones work best when they are close to you. So wear a lavalier mic on your lapel or have a Rode video mic near the front.
Record audio onto your smartphone using the Rode smart lav microphone, or use a Zoom 2 recorder.


A camcorder – Sony and Canon are both good, but I’d go for this one from Panasonic. Or use a Digital SLR which is a stills camera, but most of the new ones will shoot excellent quality video footage too. Again look for the external mic input. Sony and Nikon are good, but my choice would be the Canon 700D.
Microphones – The Rode video mic will sit on top of your camera and plug into the external socket. If you are filming the action from a distance, then consider recording your audio separately by wearing a Rode SmartLav microphone which is a lapel mic which will plug into your smartphone and record broadcast quality audio on it’s own app. Remember to put your phone to airplane mode.
The Zoom h2n is an excellent device for recording you and the audience. It records in four channels so you balance it afterwards. (I record Moving Voice, the official PSA podcast on a Zoom h2n.) The Zoom h1 is its smaller brother which will fit more neatly into your pocket if you want to attach a lapel mic. The jack on a digital recorder is different to the mic/headphone socket on your
smartphone, but you can use the Rode SmartLav for both, by buying this adaptor which is a great saving as it will allow you to use the same lapel mic on your phone, your recorder and your camera.



Video – iMovie is perfectly good enough. Avoid using the built in templates like Hollywood movie trailers, because it will show that you’ve made it yourself. Final Cut Pro X is for more advanced users and it gives you more advanced tools for transitions and graphics. It’s what I use and it’s £199 and for that price it’s a bargain. If you know how to use iMovie you’ll pick up Final
Cut Pro X in no time.
Audio – GarageBand will do everything you need. There is a professional version called Logic Pro X which again will give you more effects, but I wouldn’t bother. I edit the PSA podcast Moving Voices on GarageBand.


Video – edit on Windows Movie Maker Audio – edit on Audacity.


So there we go.  Not for the fainthearted maybe but a damn good investment if you are starting a speaking or training career, or adding it into the mix of how you deliver your products and services.



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