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Lights, camera, webcam: tips for presenters for the FEAST of Knowledge

All panels and presenters for the 2020 FEAST of Knowledge will have an opportunity exactly 24 hours before your session to test your connection, see how it looks, and do a bit of a dress rehearsal. We will be sending you the exact link to join in soon.

For the preparation call…

Please be in the same location you will be for the actual webinar. This means being in the same house/building, and in the same room in that house/building.

Please use the device for the preparation call that you will use for the actual webinar.

Please have a headset (headphones with a microphone) ready to test. Most cell phones come with headphones that have a microphone built in, but some of (such as iPhone headphones) don’t plug into a computer without an adaptor, so make sure to check the connector. If you don’t have a set of headphones with a microphone, a regular pair of headphones will suffice. Again, please check that you can connect it to your computer.

Think about where you will set yourself up for the actual webinar. Choose a place that has plenty of light. Choose an angle where the main light source is in front of you, not behind. The goal is to avoid the very light and very dark sections like the photo on the left, and aim for everything to be evenly lit, like in the photo on the right.

Here’s a video to help with setting up your webcam angle and lighting. Just using the first three points from this video will make a huge difference. Don’t worry about the rest.

Tech Rehearsal Checklist

Initial Questions

Are you where you will be for the actual webinar?

Are you using the device that you will be using to present from during the actual webinar?

Get screen sharing going so can do the rest below.


Go to and run a test

Need 5Mb/s upload minimum; 10 is preferable. Below 2, suggest they don’t participate, or join audio by phone and someone else runs the powerpoint.

Tethering from phone is another option if home/work internet isn’t fast enough.

Do you have any cloud services syncing – turn off Dropbox, Google Drive etc.

Who else is using the internet right now? (get everyone else off, both for the test and the call)


Are you connected by ethernet? If not, can you be?


Sound is much more important than video. Will there be any noises in your environment during the actual webinar (e.g. drills, kids playing, TVs running, music, traffic etc.)?

The standard video conference etiquette is to mute when you’re not talking – teach how to do this.

Need to be using headphones, preferably ones that have an in-built microphone.

Next best preference is to use headphones for output and the computer’s built-in microphone for input.

Teach how to mute when not talking. If there is excess noise coming from your mic while you’re not speaking, our tech team will mute you.


Good key light (e.g. window if presenting during the day). 

Face can be seen; background isn’t too dark or too bright.

Face is evenly lit (i.e. NOT bright on one side, dark on the other)


Know how to turn on and off.

Check frame – not too close, not too far away. Aiming for head and shoulders

Check angle – not too high, not too low


Is there anything in the background of the shot that you don’t want to be shown during the webinar?

Anything to make it look more pretty or interesting.


Many thanks to Adam Brockway for writing this intro and for his technical expertise on this event!

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