What Makes a Quality Recorded Speech Video?

The three goals of the course, as you read in Course Information Documents, are to learn to write and to deliver an effective speech and to critique the effectiveness of speeches given by others. Successful video recording is not a goal of this class, but the ability to do it effectively in an on-line, public speaking course is essential. So, during this icebreaker session, I wish you to know the basics of what is expected and how to prepare for a successful recording and uploading of your speeches for evaluation.


Preparation for Successful Recording


Make advanced plans for 5 adults (kids and pets do not count as audience members) to be present when you record your “final” presentation. Of course, you may practice as many times as you wish in advance of the”final” recording just as you would do if you are taking this class on campus. You may record and save multiple attempts of your presentation, but you will only submit one for evaluation.


  • Video files require large chunks of storage space even when they are compressed, so view and delete practice ones and only keep a saved copy of each required speech you upload with audience to be graded.
  • Anticipate that on the day you plan to record your speech one or more of your pledged audience members will suddenly become unavailable. You need backup people to step in and to assist you. You may even need to reschedule recording with an audience until you have have secured five adults. This will only be a worry if you have waited to record speech too close to the assignment deadline and not given yourself time to re-group. Five audience members must be present in the speech you submit for evaluation There are NO exceptions.

Designate one of the five people to be your recorder. This is the person who will hold the devise being used to capture your speech. This recorder will make sure that your full body length is visable. Close ups are not needed on you or on visual aids, if used. The recording is meant to focus on you as the speaker. Recordings of you from the waist up or without a pan of the five member audience at the start and end of the speech will not be evaluated for points or count as a completion of the assignment.


Create a clear presentation space. Remove all unnecessary or distracting items from the speaking background. Be aware of what is around you as you present. It is distracting to have a plant seem like it is coming out of your head. It is distracting to see, unrelated to your speech topic, kid toys or worse, empty beer cans visable to the audience while you are presenting. Turn off tvs, secure cats and dogs they love to photo bomb recordings AND re-record if you see that there are distractions in the recording.  Again, you are uploading your best  version before the deadline and it may not be the one you recorded on your first try.  I think you get the idea. You need to create a neutral presentation space that does not distract your audience from the presentation. While you may record at home, it is perfectly acceptable to have your audience join you in a space of your choosing and one that you have permission to use. For example, you may make arrangements to be recorded in an empty classroom/conference-meeting room, any available space where you and your audience will be comfortable and the setting is not distracting.


An effective recording is one that the audience can easily see and hear you while you are speaking. This includes your viewers watching the recording.    I encourage you to do a check before you present. Anticipate what could be distracting… I have two large dogs at home that I have no doubt as soon as I start to record..would start barking loudly. I need to secure them away from the recording area. It is also important to make sure settings on your devise are appropriately set for the recording. For example, it would be awful to have the screen lock-up sometime during the presentation and your recorder needs your password to continue, or to receive an incoming call/message with sounds (remind your audience members to turn off phones during the recording.) Just like creating an effective space, create the best possible lighting and sound for your presentation. Finally, make sure the battery for the devise being used is fully charged.


When your space is ready, your audience and recorder are in place and the equipment has been checked, queue your recorder to start.

The recorder should first show you and then quickly and smoothly pan the audience members so that they are visible and counted….including the recorder if this is the fifth person. Nothing is expected of audience..they do not have to speak or to identify themselves. They do need to be adults..meaning they are old enough to be taking a college course on campus.

Cuts and editing are not permitted in the recording submitted for evaluation. Just like in the classroom, once the presentation starts with the pan of the audience and then it shifts to you as the speaker, the camera keeps rolling until you end and your audience applauds. During the presentation it is OK if all members of the audience are not visible; however, at the end, as the audience applauds, the recorder should do one last quick and smooth pan to confirm that they were present. IMPORTANT: No cuts..do not stop recording at any time between the opening shot of you in place, pan of audience, your presentation, and the final pan of audience before hitting stop.


Save recording to your computer and to your YouTube Account to save space/storage on your devise.   Title the recording with the name of required speech assignment and your name.  For example:  Ice Breaker Speech Lee Ann Thomas.  It is important to compress the file to better manage the amount of storage it takes and the amount of time to upload.