Techcast Partners

OrgSpring-Nonprofit-Techcast-Cover-Art---1400x300dpiThank you for being a part of the OrgSpring’s Nonprofit Techcast, our weekly podcast introducing new technology to help every nonprofit achieve its mission online.

If you’re viewing this page you’ve already been sent information about the topics we’ll cover during our conference. Please take a moment to review those topics before the call so we can maximize our time together and provide the best experience for our audience.

The TechCast follows a specific format, from which we rarely, if ever, deviate. That allows us to prepare a set of instructions for you to follow when preparing for the conference, whether its being performed on Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, GotoMeeting or just over the phone.

The instructions are listed below and can be downloaded in pdf form for viewing offline too.

We ask that you review the following instructions before our conference and make sure that the technology on your side of the conference is compatible with our systems.

 

TechCast Partner Conference Instructions

 

1) Reboot Your Computer

It’s always best to start fresh. This frees up memory for our conference, regardless of whether we use Skype, Hangouts or any other video platform. Remember also to keep your startup programs to a minimum, as they can eat extra memory and degrade video performance.

logitech-c920

2) Video Quality

If our conference is being done via webcam (Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, etc) we recommend using an HD camera. Most modern computers include a webcam and mic built into the computer itself. If your computer does not have a webcam we recommend using the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. This is currently the number one selling HD webcam on Amazon.com and it is very affordable at approximately $69.

3) Turn Off Computer Notifications

Computer application popups and alerts can be distracting and hard to edit out. That’s why we ask you turn off all notifications during our conference. On Skype, this is done by selecting the Preferences Menu, then selecting Notifications, and then Overview. Make sure to uncheck all boxes on this screen. Your preferences should look similar to this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.32.35 PM

We also recommend you turn off other system notifications. This is done in different ways depending on the computer system you use. Here are a few handy guides you can follow:

 

4) Silence Your Phone

Just before our conference, please take a moment to silence your cell phone(s) and office phone(s).

5) Audio & Video Settings

Make sure to adjust the audio and video settings to your location. This may include adjusting the light in your room. Skype allows to your view your webcam settings by selecting the Preferences  menu and then selecting Audio/Video.

Also, remember to set your audio levels on the mic. You’ll notice the blue bar go up and down as you talk into the mic. I usually prefer to select Auto Adjust here – it works well. I set my volume to approximately 3/4 full for speakers and audio.

My optimal settings are shown in the image below. Also, please note the distance I am away from the webcam. Please try to adjust your settings in a similar fashion with similar distance from the webcam. We want this to look consistent when we do a video conference.

Skype-Video-Settings---TechCast

 

6) Using a Mic or Headphones

We want you to be comfortable during the conference.

If you prefer to use a microphone and/or headphones that’s fine. Try to use a low-profile headset if possible.

I use a microphone that usually stays off-camera. If you prefer to use a mic you’ll know the optimal settings for your location. Please test the location of the microphone inside the video settings to make sure it isn’t stealing focus during the conference. We want our guests to see you — not you obscured by a mic or mic flag stand.

7) Clothing

There’s no dress code for the TechCast, but it’s best not to wear any funky patterned clothing. Stripes are generally discouraged as well.

8) TechCast Topics Sheet

Remember to review the topic sheet we send you prior to the conference. It will cover all the topics we’d like to discuss. If you like to prepare material to discuss those topics, please have them ready on screen or just below the screen so if you do have to glance down to take a peek you’re not looking too far down or off to the side of the webcam.

9) Final Tips

  • Always look directly into the camera. This creates trust with the audience, and conveys sincerity and authority. Again, if you have to glance down at notes, that’s fine – just remember to come back to camera view.
  • Smile – It shouldn’t be a canned smile, but a genuine smile. Of course, you don’t want to shy away from showing genuine emotion during the conference too, but smiling is always a good policy.
  • Follow my audio cues — The conference should feel like a comfortable conversation that the listener is taking part in as well. Please refrain from long, drawn-out explanations or answers. I’ll provide audio and visual cues that should bring you back if this happens, but try to keep answers succinct and with good sound-bytes.
  • Have Fun!