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When it comes to creating content that can answer customer questions, a lot of companies prefer to record a video that can be accessed on-demand, any time… but webinars, with their actual time slot on the calendar, give people a sense of urgency and importance about what you have to say.
Webinars help you to get a feel for which of your leads are particularly interested in any given topic… but unfortunately, the “live” aspect of webinars can be both an intimidating feat and also a technological pain.
Maybe you’re uneasy about trying to talk to a computer screen without being able to actually gauge reactions from the audience. Maybe you tend to go down rabbit holes with your subject matter and get into the weeds of technicalities without meaning to. Or maybe you just don’t trust your computer’s reliability in a situation requiring that much bandwidth.
Any of these instances might be a good opportunity to fake a live webinar… by pre-recording it.
Pre-recording provides you with the opportunity to edit out mistakes or excessive deviations in your presentation – or to keep the delivery within a particular time limit. If you want to make sure that your webinar doesn’t go a second over 30 minutes, you can make that happen this way.
1. RECORD YOUR DELIVERY
There are several options when it comes to pre-recording webinars. The easiest option is to use a screen-capture on your computer. Several pieces of software will let you do that – like Quicktime and even Powerpoint – so you don’t need to go download some new, expensive program to accomplish this.
Of course, since we’re sponsored by a video production agency with a customizable multi-camera studio, we’re a bit more biased towards a higher quality of video presentations.
Recording with a studio and/or a multi-camera setting gives the entire webinar an elevated feel, as opposed to a dim office or an awkwardly-furnished, echoing dining room. Your audience also gains the benefit of seeing you face-to-face, which increases the personal feel of the webinar and boosts your credibility.
2. MAINTAIN THE ILLUSION
Whatever the production method, once the recording is complete, your final product is going to be a video file; and there are some tricks you can use to make the video appear to be live during the webinar broadcast. For example, refer to the day and time as if it’s the day and time of the webinar, not the day of production.
Another one of our favorite techniques is, if we’re recording in the studio, we film the five minutes or so of behind-the-scenes preparation leading up to when the cameras roll. That way when viewers tune in three minutes before the webinar, they see your presenter going through their notes or getting makeup applied by the crew, as if he or she is preparing at that very moment.
The next trick to the pre-recorded webinar – and this is particularly important – is to play a video that is much more than just the webinar.
If you’re giving a thirty-minute presentation at 2PM, don’t wait until 2PM to hit “play” in the meeting where everyone can see you do it.
Create a video file that’s, say, an hour long; and start it at 1:45 before any attendees tune in. The first fifteen minutes and last fifteen minutes could be a countdown clock; a slide about yourself or your company; or even other relevant videos for your audience to enjoy! It’s a great way to provide additional content and “commercials” for your viewers’ benefit.
3. CHECK YOUR TECH
One last tip: for whatever reason, a lot of webinar programs struggle to screen-share a rolling video. The audio gets out of sync because the program is trying to connect with your microphone and not the video’s sound. That causes the graphics to pixelate and freeze, and it just gets ugly.
Like any other webinar, you’ll absolutely need to run some tests with your chosen program(s) before diving into the broadcast for real.
Sometimes the screen-share or webinar program you choose will need an adaptor from Amazon or some other plug-in so that you can play video directly from a file; or so that the program will take audio directly from your computer and not your microphone (since you won’t actually be speaking during the broadcast).
Whatever programs and tools you use, testing beforehand will always be your best bet.
In short, if you think webinars are likely a valuable asset for your marketing and sales teams, but the live aspect is a non-starter for you, never fear. Now you can record your presentations and give webinars like a pro… by recording them long beforehand.
Shhh. It’ll be our secret.
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