A woman siting in front of a camera, smiling.

How to Record Professional-Quality Conference Presentations

A timely guest post by Katlyn Proctor

Recording a conference presentation is helpful for many reasons, from wanting to share the presentation with others to having it simply to look back on and refer to. Having a high-quality recording is therefore essential and needs to be done right the first time. There are different ways you can record conference presentations depending on the quality needed, what it will be used for, and whether your conferences are in-person or wholly online. This post will cover the basics to get you started.

Recording Conference Presentations With A Laptop

Most laptops come with a built-in webcam and microphone as well as a program to record to, such as Microsoft’s Live Meeting or Apple’s Quicktime. It can be beneficial to plug in an external microphone to your laptop to enhance the audio quality. Newer mobile operating systems are also coming with video editing software built-in, making it easier than ever to cut out parts of the presentation that aren’t needed and create a professional-looking video that can be shared with others, such as those who couldn’t make the conference. One of the main things to consider is that everyone needs to be aware that they are being recorded and that they consent to it. It can be useful to create consent forms to avoid any problems, and it’s also an easy way to give people the chance to exercise their right to not be included

Simple Camera Angles Are Effective

If you’re recording a conference presentation to share with others, such as on social media, it’s important to get the camera angles right. You want to keep it fairly simple, switching between two shots of the speaker and occasionally focusing on a slideshow (if there is one). This keeps it looking professional and places importance on what is being said, rather than any visual effects. If you’re recording a conference for only internal employees or yourself, having one camera that focuses on anyone speaking is perfectly good enough. Be sure to set it up on a tripod so that it’s steady and make sure everyone who needs to be in the shot is before you press record. If needed, you can easily record your slideshow from your computer during the conference presentation.

Automatically Record Video And/Or Audio

More people are turning to the internet to have a conference call, but still want to be able to record everything that happens in them. For Skype calls, you can install a plugin called Pamela to record both sound and video. For free, you can record for up to 5 minutes or you can pay for an upgrade to record for an unlimited amount of time. Pamela can be set to automatically record every time a call starts, so you don’t even have to think about it, or you can hit record when you need it. Apowersoft Screen Recorder can also do this. Or, if you’re using a Mac, just use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-5 to pull up macOS’s built-in screen recording feature. All of these allow you to capture screenshots, capture videos, and edit them.

Once you’ve got everything set up and in place, record a minute or so and watch it back to make sure you’re happy with it so that you don’t end up recording your whole conference only to realize at the end that something wasn’t right with it and it can’t be used.

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Nick Byrd

Nick is a cognitive scientist at Florida State University studying reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower. Check out his blog at byrdnick.com/blog