Tips and Tricks for Recording a Video

Setting up:

To start, you’ll need a device (computer, laptop, phone, or tablet) with a camera and an Internet connection. Those are minimal requirements. You don’t need a studio or more special equipment for this event.

  1. Select a place to sit (or stand) with the kind of clutter or lack thereof that best suits you. Ideally you’d like the viewers’ attention more on you than your background.
  2. Check your lighting. The better your lighting the clearer your image will be.
  3. Check for unwanted sounds. Turning off or muting alerts is always a good idea. But also ambient noises and friendly pets. Also check your audio levels.
  4. Check yourself in the camera. Ideally, center your face on the screen. You will likely need to elevate your laptop, phone, or tablet several inches — Stacks of books work great; foreheads only of poets not so great.
  5. Check your clothes. You know what you want people to see or not see. You can stand out or blend in as you choose.
  6. Check your distance from the camera (see 5). Some people believe seeing more of your body is better. Others are happy with their faces filling the screen.
  7. Check out the example of Paul Jones reading for our 2020 Virtual Open Mic below: