Virtual Presenting Recommended tech list
I've tested the tech so you don't have to
As part of my experiments to work out how to do the most engaging virtual presentations, I’ve invested in a lot of tech.
It’s been a hit-and-miss experience. Mainly miss. And I don’t want you to go through that. So I’m sharing a list of the tech that I recommend.
In other words, I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
In this list you’ll find the best webcams, best microphones and best video lights. As well as the best software and resources to help you deliver the most engaging presentations.
These are Amazon Affiliate links, which means I get a teensy little kickback. But the money goes towards me continuing experimenting, making mistakes and sharing my findings with you. If you’ve got a problem with that, please close this page and go on your merry way.
the right tech for your remote presenting setup
You tend to get what you pay for. And cheap gear is probably a waste of money (believe me – I’ve learned from my mistakes). This is quality gear that will help you look and sound great.
The best microphones
This is the most important part of your setup. If people can’t hear you, it doesn’t matter how good you look. So get yourself a good mic and use it well.
RODE NT-USB – This is a lovely condenser microphone that’s so easy to use. Just plug it into your computer and you’re ready to go. It sounds great. I’ve used it for voiceovers and audiobooks.
Sennheiser USB Lavalier – This clip-on mic is great. It sounds good and is just plug and play.
The best lights
Elgato Keylight – These are amazing lights that give off a flattering soft light. They’re powerful and easily controllable from your laptop or smartphone.
Elgato Keylight Air – These are the little brother of the Keylights. They work beautifully in a small space.
The best webcams
I won’t mince my words here: most webcams are absolute crap. There are only two that I currently recommend.
Logitech BRIO – This is what I use the majority of the time. It’s a 4K cam that is really clear and gives pretty good colour reproduction.
Elgato Facecam – This is a great camera that has brilliant reviews. It gives you a great looking, sharp image.
Clamps & Stands
You’ll probably want something to get your lovely new gear in the right position and hold it in place. Duct tape and broom handles really don’t cut it.
Magic arm – These are one of the most useful items in my studio. I’ve got a bunch of them that hold up everything from microphones to cameras to lights to iPads. I recommend you grab a few of them. (Here’s a small one. And here’s a bigger one.)
Desk mount – If you sit at your desk while you present, this is a must-have. It’s a modular system that holds your camera, mic, lights and mug of coffee (if you can find a suitable holder for it).
Camera tripod – If you need more flexibility with your camera position, you should probably get a decent tripod like this.
Lighting stand – You may want your lights to be positioned further away from you. If so, these are super-affordable.
Getting a teleprompter was an absolute game-changer for me. It allows me to look into my audience’s eyes while I present. Or preview my performance. Or even read a script while looking into the lens.
Teleprompter – This is the teleprompter I use all the time. It’s just the right size. It usually sits about 18 inches from me, so it’s nice and close for me to see everything even with my bad eyesight.
Video monitor – You’ll need something like this for your teleprompter. You don’t need all the fancy touchscreen features. This is an affordable one.
Cables, connectors & power
Yup. You’ll need some cables and stuff. Here are some recommendations.
HDMI cable – It’s best to have some longer cables. You’ll want good quality ones that can handle more signal than you need.
USB C – The one that came with my webcam just wasn’t long enough. So here’s a good quality replacement.
Power strip – I’ve really struggled with the number of sockets in my studio. Grab yourself a good power strip (and don’t overload it!) Get one with USB sockets because they can be really useful.
Smart plugs – I have my studio automated so that my gear and lights will switch on when I say the magic words. It might sound a bit unnecessary but when you’re the only one in the room operating all the equipment, it can be really useful.
Take your presentations to the next level
Some other helpful links
Zoom – I’m sure you’ve got it, but here’s a link anyway
mmhmm – a simple way to upgrade your presentations
Presentify – screen annotation for macOS
Epic Pen – screen annotation for Windows and macOS
Butter – for more interactive and engaging online meetings
Imagery and video
Canva – free graphic templates and stock imagery
Pixlr – free online photo editor
Unsplash – free stock photography library
Pexels – free stock photography and video library
Pixabay – free stock photography and video library
Storyblocks – a subscription service for high-quality video and images
Epidemic Sound – a subscription service for high-quality music and sound effects
Dave’s free online tools
Story Dice – a handy prompt to hone your storytelling skills
This ‘n’ That – combine two objects to create something new
Industry Switcheroo – be inspired by another industry
Brain Swap – come up with ideas by thinking like someone else
Inspiration Engine – apply lessons learned from other amazing ideas