Skott McKinney, Head of Marketing & Creative Services
We’ve all felt it. The need to get up and running quickly to continue to do business with overwhelming anxiety and constant uncertainty. I’ve been asked many times over the last few months, “What do I need? Where do I begin?”. The truth is, I often find myself on a Virtual call, face-to-face with an advisor asking them why they’re so concerned when they’re in fact on camera using the computer at that time.
Change can be hard. But the difficulty is often in our own minds and we forget to realize that everything goes smooth, as long as you don’t panic. Most computers nowadays come with the necessary hardware to conduct these meetings. So, don’t procrastinate. Get familiar with your new environment, then you’ll better understand what you need.
To help those who are ready to take their virtual tech power up a notch, here is a short list of equipment that will help you achieve webinar stardom.
The backbone to any webinar or virtual meeting is of course the software. Here are my picks for virtual meeting and webinar software to get you going.
- Zoom meetings can be added to your meeting repertoire for Free, but I do suggest going one step up to $14.99/mo. Zoom offers a host of features that offer flexibility and integration with many of your other business tools. With recent security breaches, Zoom has patched their product to ensure your meetings stay secure.
Start your Zoom meetings now
- WebinarJam is my goto for webinars. The simple interface, flexible options, and robust features allow you to get up and running quickly and professionally. WebinarJam’s interface will also allow you to take your webinars to new heights with live rooms, highly optimized registration page templates, and more.
Click here to get your 14-day WebinarJam trial
Now that you have the software out of the way, let’s take a look at hardware. The hardware you choose is important. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg if you’re not intending to make the next virtual mini-series from your computer, so I’ve put a list of great hardware that won’t break the bank.
- The Camera. You want a camera with a sharp picture, secure mount, and compatible with your operating system.
The Logitech C930e has a glass camera with auto-focus, digital zoom, has automatic low-light compensation, and can stream in full HD at 1080p with 15 megapixels. Plus, this camera is compatible with Mac, PC and Chrome OS through the USB port.
Typically, under $100, this is a great camera at an affordable price. Note that webcams are in high demand and price gouging is in full swing with these. Check it our here
- The Microphone: Many internal or integrated mics tend to pick up all ambient noise, as well as your voice. This means your viewers/listeners will lose much of the tone separation, making it difficult to understand.
The Blue Yeti is a retro-style microphone with modern-day technology built-in. The Blue Yeti is a condenser microphone that plugs in using USB and it’s compatible your Mac or PC. With features that allow you to choose your sound pattern and adjust sensitivity on the fly, your listeners are sure to enjoy an immersive vocal experience. Check it out
- Your Lighting: To look your best, humans require soft, directional light. This eliminates unwanted shadows and makes your skin look healthy and vibrant. Unfortunately, most home and office lighting is not set up to do this properly.
The CowboyStudio lighting kit features two soft boxes and tripods that you can position anywhere that suits you. The softbox diffuses continuous light to give you that perfect glow. They will also allow you to achieve an almost shadow-less light that will appear to wrap around you as you speak on camera. Check it out here
Now that you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to head out and make webinar history. Remember, your biggest failure is to procrastinate while you wait to achieve “perfection”. Perfection is a myth, so go out there, start your webinars now, and please, share your results.