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How to run effective video webcasts

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Webcasts are technically live Internet broadcasts; however, due to their video nature, many video webcasts are posted for posterity either internally or for the general public. Whether your video webcast is a one-time event or will be made available for years to come, you'll want it to be both effective and professional. Use these tips to ensure that your webcasts are both.

Production Values

Approach your video webcasts as you would any other video production. Just as lighting, appropriate attire, an attractive stage, and sound quality are important when shooting a corporate video, the same is true of a video webcast. If your office has sufficient space, consider building a small studio for holding webcasts. If not, you can temporarily convert a conference room or other space into a studio. Consider investing in professional lights and microphones.

Content

Just as you'd script a corporate video, the same is true of your video webcast. This doesn't necessarily mean that every word needs to be scripted. It does mean that you should have a well thought out agenda. Consider both the audio and video content. For example, if you will be discussing regional sales figures, make sure to include graphics that illustrate them visually. This is much more effective than reading the numbers out loud.

Participation

Unlike traditional videos, video webcasts typically include participants. This interactivity adds a measure of unpredictability to your webcast. Determine in advance who will participate in the webcast and at what level. For example, will your audience be relatively passive until you open up the webcast for questions or will your webcast be more of a "round table" meeting where participants interact throughout? Will you have specific speakers who talk at specific times and for predetermined lengths of time?

Another consideration involves which interactive features to enable. For example, do you want participants to be able to use text-based chats during the webcast? Would an online poll complement your video webcast?

Time Considerations

Effective video webcasts are neither too short or too long. By creating an agenda or loosely scripting your webcast, you will have a much better sense of how much time to allot for your webcast. Once you have scheduled it and invited participants, be as mindful as possible about timing. If you've told everyone the webcast will take up just 20 minutes of their time, don't allow it to run over. Respect your participants' time and they'll be more likely to participate in future webcasts.

Technical Considerations

Have a plan for technical difficulties. Many video webcasters have an assistant standing by specifically to help should something go awry. For example, if a participant can't hear the audio, instead of halting the webcast while you figure it out, your assistant can help troubleshoot the issue.

Finally, rehearse your webcast before the actual event. Rehearsals with all equipment and a few assistants can help you to overcome any obstacles and fine-tune your presentation in advance. Knowing that all of the kinks have been worked out will help you to deliver your webcast with confidence.

Mark Phillips is an expert in the IT industry and specializes in video communication technology. He has worked with many clients who are looking for a reliable online video platform and most of his clients recommends MediaPlatform video webcasts. For more information or questions, feel free to connect with him over at Google+.

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