Basic items you will need (and some you may want to consider)
A Webcam – built-in webcams in older laptops aren’t very high quality, but newer ones are. If you have an older laptop or PC, using a Logitec C920 is currently the best option. It’s best if the camera is placed at an angle that is parallel with your eyes and not looking up at you. You might need to place your laptop on some books or a stand for best results. Being at eye level makes a big difference.
Microphone options – The built-in webcam or computer microphone is the poorest option. External mics are always better. You have 2 choices: a headset with a mic, or an external mic. No matter what, you will want a relatively quiet location.
The very best option is a microphone like the ATR-2100 or AT2500. Either of these two mics can be paired with any kind of headphones or earbuds (which plug directly into the mic) for really good sound for less than $100.
Zoom.us – We generally use this video conferencing service for the podcast. We’ll send you a link making it easy for you to connect.
Internet – You will need an adequate internet connection. It’s not always possible, but it’s ideal if you can have your Internet connected to your computer via an Ethernet cable rather than through Wi-Fi.
Lighting – Almost all webcams are horrible in low light. Having decent amount and quality of light is very important to getting good video. More light is better. Light in front of you is better than behind you. It’s hard to over-do your lighting. Don’t sit with a window or outside door directly behind you. That’ll make it almost impossible to see your face. You can make big improvements by simply placing a lamp in front of you.
Show Prep: Things to do a few days before your appearance
Email us with what you’d like us to promote on your behalf. We want one call to action that can help serve you or your business. Include website addresses or other details that we can include in the accompanying blog post for the episode.
Check your video and audio quality. Is the camera focusing properly? Does the color look correct? Do you have enough light? Is your microphone working properly? We’ll gladly jump on a quick Skype call to help you check these things a few days in advance. Just reach out to Randy Cantrell (Skype: randycantrell) if you’d like help.
Things to do 1 hour before the show
Reboot your computer and keep the number of programs you open to the minimum needed for the podcast (web browser, etc). Rebooting helps the computer get to peak performance.
Manage your Internet bandwidth tasks by making sure nobody on your connection is downloading video, watching Netflix or live gaming. These tasks cribble bandwidth and can cause an inferior connection for our recording.
Reduce the noise in your location. Common issues are dogs barking, fans blowing, phones ringing and people talking in the background. We aim to put you forward in the best possible way during the recording. It’s ideal to be in a quiet room with the door closed with the phones turned off.
Turn off the notifications on your computer so we don’t get any weird sounds during our recording. Close your email, Slack and any other programs that may give you alerts or notifications. It’s ideal to just close all other programs except the ones necessary to log onto Zoom.us.
Do a last minute check of anything you may need in front of you for the show (notes, a bottle of water, etc.). If there are specific references you’d like to make during the show – like books, other websites, etc. – make note of those so you’ll have them at your fingertips during the recording.
Things to remember while you’re on the show
Don’t touch your mic. The recording will pick up you handling the mic.
Stay off your keyboard. The clicking of your keyboard will come through on the recording.
The time will go by much faster than you think and it’s very likely we won’t have time to cover everything we want to talk about. That’s OK, it gives us a reason to invite you back!
Enjoy yourself. We want this to be a meaningful conversation, not an interrogation. Relax. Have fun!
Things to do after the show
Once published, we’ll make an announcement letting everyone know the episode is now available. We’ll be emailing you in advance of the release date so you can share that with your audience as you like. We’ll also be promoting the episode in social media and encourage you to do the same.
Encourage people to listen to or watch your episode, and to share it with their friends.
Thank you for being a guest.