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One Button Studio Presentation Best Practices

This guide provides a set of best practices for One Button Studio (OBS) presentation recordings. When recording in the One Button Studio, there are certain considerations to keep in mind, to make the resulting video as accessible and easy-to-use as possible.

Scripting

While not 100% necessary, putting together a script before you head into the OBS to record is always a good idea, and highly recommended.

This affords you the ability to gather your thoughts in one place, create a coherent flow of ideas, and practice what you are planning to say. It will also most likely make the recording easier, and possibly shorter, as you will have already fully considered your points, and will have a script to reference if you need it.

A script will also make it much easier if and when you need to add closed captions to your video.

What to Wear

It may seem minor, but your choice of clothing is very important depending on the type of recordings that you are doing.

Generally, you want to avoid clothes that will be distracting (shiny fabrics, bold prints or patterns), or that will get you lost in the background (white, yellow, lighter pastel colors). It’s about finding a balance – you want to stand out in the video, but never distract your audience.

Backgrounds in the OBS are typically white or light gray, so darker colors are usually a good bet.

If you are recording in front of a green screen, it is also important that you yourself do not wear green, as that will interfere with the footage when it is edited (i.e. any part of you covered in green will disappear in full or in part).

Recording

Duration

Try to keep your video recording short – between 3 to 5 minutes in length. This provides digestible pieces of content for your viewers, and will hold their attention much more reliably.

Eye Contact

When determining where to look during your recording, it’s best to think of the camera as being your audience. Looking at the camera will make it appear like you are making eye contact with your viewers when they watch your video. This provides a more welcoming, engaging video for those watching.

Audio and Tone

The OBS uses a high quality shotgun microphone to record audio, which results in a nice sounding recording for your voice most every time. Still, it is important to keep in mind the volume at which you are speaking, and where you are in relation to the microphone.

Try to keep your speaking tone and style very conversational, unless you have a specific reason to present yourself otherwise. Like eye contact, this keeps your video welcoming, relatable and engaging – and is typically a much better method for presenting and relaying information to your audience.

Presentations

If you are recording using a PowerPoint, Keynote or any other media for presenting, it’s helpful to follow some general rules about font, color and any photos you may be including. In general, keep slides as simple as possible and avoid any flashy transitions or animations, unless absolutely necessary.

Contrast

Keeping a high contrast between your text, images, and background will go a long way in keeping your slides easy to see. The One Button Studio lights can be bright, and they have the potential to “wash out” your slides and images if there is not enough contrast or dark color.

For detailed information on contrast, please see the Penn State Accessibility Office’s page on the subject here: accessibility.psu.edu/legibility/contrast/

Text

As a general rule – the larger the text, the better. Minimum visible text in most One Button Studios is 20pt font, but 32pt font or larger is optimal and recommended. This will ensure that your text is always clear and visible on screen.

Limit text as much as possible, and instead rely on images/graphics and your own voice. Also, try to limit the use of bullet points, since the viewer should not have to read and listen at the same time.

Photos/Graphics

If you’re using photos in your slides, it is useful to describe the contents of those photos as they appear on screen. This not only gives context and description for your viewers, but it also allows those who are blind to understand what the image is depicting.

Try to use high-quality images and graphics, and use only a single image per slide, unless directly comparing images. It is usually best to make your images as large as possible.

Describing Slides

It is recommended that if you have visuals on your screen that you recite titles and describe other images in your presentation. This helps viewers with visual disabilities understand the content.

Captioning and Accessibility Resources

Captioning is becoming an important part of the video production process and is required for some Penn State videos. Here are some resources that can help you learn more about caption tools available at Penn State.