Quality matters in every aspect of content created for your brand. Look at YouTube – this online video platform was created so anyone can create an account and generate content. To stick out, top-earning YouTubers like PewDiePie, Smosh, and WatchMojo built quality HD videos using professional equipment, staff, and scripts.
In doing so, they grew from obscurity to stardom and built revenue machines capable of competing with media juggernauts like Eminem, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry, who have tens of millions of followers on every platform they choose to participate in. PewDiePie alone ended 2016 with a net worth of $90 million, more than Hillary Clinton, Seth Rogen, even Kendrick Lamar.
Even with YouTube now pushing for live video, these stars are still using scripts, teams of researchers, animators, and other tools to keep things running smoothly. In fact, implementing pre-recorded video into live webcasts, webinars, and other forms of livestreams is much more prevalent than you’d think (Don’t believe me? Ask Lady Gaga). I’d argue it’s the only way to ensure a quality product.
Benefits of Pre-recording Webinars
You may think holding a webinar is difficult to prepare for because you can’t gauge the audience reaction. This misconception is fueled by the many flubs seen on newscasts, stage shows, and other live performances. While there is some live interaction required, a webcast can be effectively pre-recorded during the outlining, drafting, and rehearsal stages.
Actors run through several iterations of script readings and dress rehearsals before giving a live performance. This discipline and practice adds a polish to your presentation that removes common obstacles people face when speaking in public (regardless of medium or group size).
- Get Honest Feedback
You’re absolutely going to solicit feedback from your webinar audience, but that doesn’t mean they need to be the first people to view your presentation. Just like movies hold pre-release screenings for industry insiders, media, and select audience members, pre-recording your webinar allows you to beta test different ideas and iterations to different audiences and find out what really works before going live.
- Fix Timing Issues
You never know what may happen during a live broadcast, as Robert E Kelly learned during his live BBC interview. Even the best public speakers like Barrack Obama or Donald Trump (whichever you prefer) consistently use words like “um,” “uh,” and other placeholders when gathering his thoughts. With a pre-recording, speech and presentation can be polished and optimized ahead of time to provide a professional and pleasant experience for everyone involved.
- Have a Contingency for Emergencies
Even if you don’t use the recording, it’s nice to have for emergencies. Perhaps a planned speaker or guest doesn’t show up, the Internet connection goes down, or any number of emergencies come up. Your pre-recorded webinar can be easily streamed from a cloud server as a contingency plan to manage the risk of losing this valuable audience.
- Improve Quality
Laptop and phone cameras are ok, and external web cams step the quality up another notch. However video quality on DSLR and other handheld video cameras with 4k Ultra-HD can seriously improve the quality for your webinar participants. While newer versions often include some form of streaming (such as Nikon’s SnapBridge), you can pick up older models with great video quality that can be edited locally on used goods stores all over the Internet.
- Focus on Audience Interaction
Pre-recording doesn’t disconnect you from your audience; it relieves the stress of presenting to allow you to focus your live efforts on interacting with the audience. Have you ever seen those Tweets and Facebook posts scrolling alongside your favorite shows only to find the cast and crew interacting with viewers during the broadcast?
That’s the personalized experience you’ll be creating by pre-recording your webinar. Of course, these benefits mean nothing if you’re unfamiliar with how to pre-record and implement it into your live webinar.
How to Pre-record a Live Webinar
The MaestroConference platform takes care of everything you need to create, schedule, track, organize, and execute your webinar successfully. There are several ways to gather video to be used in your webinar, even if only to supplement live content being shared on your screen.
- Pre-recording “Live” Video – Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and pay attention to backlighting. This means the light should be behind the camera with you staring into it. Frame and film the video in the same place you’ll be during the live webinar in case you need to switch between live and pre-recorded streams. Small details matter, so remove any clocks and moving pieces from the frame, pay attention to wardrobe, and place tape on the ground to marks spot if necessary.
- Pre-recording Featured Video – There are times when you may need to feature a pre-recorded video within your live webinar as a pre-recorded video. An example of this would be a news story where footage of the event being described is easier to get the point across than a description. Also, when discussing a process, showing it in action or videos of outcomes can really spruce up a boring webinar presentation.
- Pre-recording Screen Shares – Even if you decide to go completely live with your webinar, you’ll find screen sharing to be a useful tool. Using a screen recording tool, you can run through PowerPoint presentations, slides, and tutorials in advance to reduce the chance of errors and help you stay focused on the task at hand. Having this prepared in advance means you’ll only need to play the video on your device and share your screen.
Get Started Today
Preparation and proactive planning always win the game, whether it’s in sports, business, media, or just life in general. He who puts in the time and work reaps the benefits, so stop procrastinating and get started on the webinar outline and script today.
If you’re unsure where to start, we have a staff of trained professionals ready to help guide you through the process and organize things for a successful webinar. We’ve helped banks, universities, non-profits, and even the Obama campaign run quality webinars. Let us help you too.