Learn from Australian experts in online engagement on how to deliver Virtual Excursions. Find out how to set up your space and use the right technology for your programs. Create professional, successful, engaging session for your audience.
Worried about being on video?
More people than ever before are doing live videos and things don’t always work out perfectly. No one expects perfection. Being relatable and real is more likely to help endear your audience to you. Practice makes perfect – try it out on your friends, family or colleagues and be open to feedback.
Find out about the importance of audio, video and lighting with Stephen Bancroft from RVR Media.
Where to start?
Choose a web software platform that works for your audience. Think about your own capacity to manage and host people online, and how you want to manage your audience interaction.
Check that your chosen application or software connects with your A/V technology and won’t be blocked by internet security or firewalls.
Use easy timezone conversion tools, consider when people will most likely participate and put date and time information together for example: Monday 5 June, 16:00 AEDT.
Cameras: Will you have more than one? Ensure your video system connects with a good audio system. At least have a good quality USB camera with a built-in decent microphone and consider a light. Consider a versatile videoconferencing camera with pan tilt and zoom. A lot of the great camera work is about good set up – making sure the camera can focus, and setting your room up with interesting props that you can use as an alternative to ‘talking heads’.
Audio: If you’re doing a webinar, the audio may be good enough on a new laptop. Next level up: a headset microphone or a good Bluetooth microphone. Reduce echo where possible, for example with soft furnishings.
Check your network and internet: Make sure your internet is fast and reliable. An ethernet cable connected to a computer is always better than WiFi. Reduce the amount of internet being used during the conference by turning off Netflix, YouTube or other similar high-bandwidth heavy applications during your session.
Type ‘speed test’ into Google to run an internet speed test that will identify any site issues. If you have a video conferencing system, their diagnostics will allow you to look deeper into the speed of the data and as well as data loss.
Do technical checks on everything days before. If you’re using video conferencing, use a Videoconferencing Test Site service. On the day, log on early to test everything. Have a backup if everything fails for example an email or social media post drafted ready to send. Ensure speakers are aware of the backup plan.
Discover what you can do to create a great space for delivering virtual excursion with Karen Player from Australian Environmental Education
Online delivery essentials
Use this as your checklist to help deliver engaging Virtual Excursions.
Have a clear strategy: Know who you are talking to, what they might enjoy (you can always test and adapt), and what you are trying to achieve.
Develop an effective content and delivery plan: What are you going to present? How will you make and keep it interesting, at the right comprehension level?
Check your visuals: Everything from the speaker and their background to what you want to show your audience.
Check your audio: ensure you have good quality voice amplification, any external audio set up, and avoid annoying background noise.
Set up safe, reliable online environment: This is about ensuring that the technology works and that you establish good practice.
Record your event: Even if you don’t share publicly, by reviewing your work you’ll get better. And if you do share it out you’ll have bonus data on your audience.
Make sure you have a plan, you have tested your equipment and done a practice session and remember it is OK to make a mistake.
This content originates from Web Conferencing 101 Essentials training. The Virtual Excursions training package was coordinated for national delivery by Inspiring Australia NSW. It was produced and delivered by Fizzics Education, Sydney Science Education and Refraction Media with support from the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer and state Inspiring Australia programs in NSW, ACT, QLD, WA and SA.