If You’re Using Zoom for Online Pole Classes…
Over this last week I’ve spoken to a lot of studio owners about the logistics of holding their live classes.
Anyone keen to take their studio online no doubt has a lot of questions about how to make that happen! I answered several of the most popular ones in my recent posts – Getting Your Studio Set Up Online and Recommended Tools & Platforms for Online Lessons – in this post I will answering a couple of Zoom specific questions, and adding to the collection as and when I get any new FAQs!
Zoom is a common and popular choice for video streaming lessons for good reason (I also wrote about a few alternative online options my earlier post). It is simple to use and covers all the essentials of online video streaming (and a few cool extras too) at an affordable price. But as with any new tool or technology, there are some things to learn and perhaps a few things you have been wondering how to do…
- Can I make it so everyone sees only my screen (instead of jumping to whoever speaks)?
- Can I record only MY camera, but still see everyone else?
- I think Zoom keeps trying to fix the lighting so it’s going from light to dark as I move
- I’m using Zoom and the quality of the video doesn’t seem to be great (looks more 480 than 720 or HD) what can I do?
- How do I improve the sound quality? Can I make it so my students can hear me as well as the music?
Video & Audio Quality
Q. Can I make it so everyone sees only my screen (instead of jumping to whoever speaks)?
Yes! You can ‘Pin’ or ‘Spotlight’ a video to make it take up the full screen, the difference between these is –
- To ‘Pin’ is to change YOUR view only (it will not affect other guests, or the recording) – everyone can choose their own videos to pin)
To ‘Spotlight’ is to set the view for EVERYONE (including the recording, in some cases, as outlined below) – only the host can choose to Spotlight themselves or someone else
For more help with this check out the Zoom tutorial: Helper Center >> Spotlight Video
At the time of writing, you can Spotlight yourself on desktop by clicking on the thumbnail of your video (on the 3 dot menu) when inside a Zoom meeting. Note: you will need 3 or more people on the call for the Spotlight feature to appear.
Q. Can I record only MY camera, but still see everyone else?
Yes! This is possible as long as you are on a paid Zoom account (even just the lowest tier – “Pro” – will do fine) and you have 3+ people on the call (yourself included).
From your account on the Zoom website
- Go to Settings (in left menu) then Recording (tab near the top)
- Toggle on Cloud recording if not already on
- You must tick the checkbox to “record separately” – then tick each view you want to record, they will each get their own video file
- Check out anything else you might want to turn on/off while you’re there in settings (like showing/hiding names or timestamp, saving anything they type into Chat etc)
- There is no save button, your changes are effective immediately – but if you have any running meetings I expect you’ll need to end those and start new meetings 🙂
Then From your Zoom app
- You must be recording to the cloud (not locally onto your computer) choose this option when you click to start recording
- Finally, you must ‘spotlight’ (not ‘pin’) your video so it doesnt jump to other people when they speak or make noise
Q. I think Zoom keeps trying to fix the lighting so it’s going from light to dark as I move…
In my experience, this is more likely to be your camera/webcam doing it – in my experience – and can be hard to avoid! Best bet is to light yourself well from the front (a ring light from Amazon is great for this!) and to avoid unbalanced or reflective light throughout the room as much as possible. – also note the changing lighting will happen more often if you move closer & further from the screen, or move to block/reveal the source of the light (because in both cases you are changing how much light gets into the lens and the video responds accordingly) – I know this is tough in a movement based class! A well-lit room and good camera angle is your best bet here.
Q. I’m using Zoom and the quality of the video doesn’t seem to be great (looks more 480 than 720 or HD) what can I do?
Ok, This could be caused by a number of different things including your camera/webcam quality, your internet connectivity, or even the processing power of your computer for example. Here’s some links for more info that might help:
Most likely you will have to do some test & measure here to see what the culprit is (internet bandwidth, computing resourses, recording tool etc) – good luck!
Q. How do I improve the sound quality? Can I make it so my students can hear me as well as the music?
The ideal scenario would be to have a small mic on your body, or near the instructor, which could record your voice to its own audio track. This way the mic picks up everything you say, nice and clearly, and you can also adjust the levels to turn one track up and the other down as needed. Better yet you’d be recording in a studio specifically designed for filming this kind of thing, but something a little less high-tech is totally workable too! If you all you have is yourself, your phone and a speaker – you can make this work! The best approach is usually to have yourself positioned in between the music source (a bluetooth speaker for example) and the camera – so the sound of your voice is closer to the mic and you also have a better sense of the volume, compared to having the speaker near the camera where it could drown you out, for example. If you are pre-recording these videos and have the opportunity to edit before uploading, you can always add the audio track over at the end, so you get a clean sounding copy and can adjust the volume levels as required. You can do this by recording in silence (or with earbud headphones) so the video will be just your voice and maybe some environmental noises too (especially if working from home for this one!) and then you are free the add the music track in your chosen video editing tool afterwards. There are many affordable and free options for video and audio editing available online if this sounds like the solution for you!
Got Any More Questions?
Please get in touch! The best place to reach me at the moment is over Facebook Messenger, but you can also email me or submit a contact form.