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Be a Webcam Pro -- Jan Ozer's Mastering Webcam and Smartphone Video

We're definitely in the age of video, where you can set up a smartphone and start communicating across the globe -- participating in web conferences and producing your own webinars. But these are not amateur activities, not just point and shoot in the kitchen -- you need to look and sound professional to better represent yourself and your company.

Luckily, it's not that hard to look good in videoconferences and webinars -- just follow the guidance in Jan Ozer's great new book, Mastering Webcam and Smartphone Video, which offers practical advice and explanations for setting up for the shoot, optimizing the video and audio, and using various web video applications.

You may know Ozer as the go-to authority for understanding the gory details of video compression and formats, especially for producing streaming video.

He also kindly shares his knowledge and real-world experience through articles, conference presentations (see earlier post), and in his over 25 books (see earlier post) -- See his Streaming Learning Center site for (much!) more information.

Ozer's new Webcam book is focused on practical experience. The first Quick Start chapter is a wonderful summary of the advice throughout the book, with a series of photos clearly showing the differences between good and bad setups ("Do This, Don't Do That"), including positioning, lighting, background, clothing, and webcam settings. The next chapters then elaborate on each of these issues, with more examples, some technical details in sidebars, and each chapter summarized in Key Takeaways.

The middle of the book then focuses on setting up your webcam and microphone, positioning the mic and adjusting the audio, and then has individual chapters on working with desktop Windows and Mac systems as well as iOS and Android devices.

This Webinar Edition of the Webcam book also includes chapters with application-specific information on optimizing audio and video in conferencing applications (FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype), plus mainstream webinar programs (WebEx, GoToWebinar, On24 Webcast Elite, Onstream Webinars, and Talkpoint Convey).

The final chapter, "Getting it Right on Game Day," wraps up by providing helpful checklists as a sanity check to avoid errors for a video conference -- a week before, day before, one hour, and 15 minutes before the event.

The result is a book that takes advantage of Ozer's deep experience to help you understand the best ways to set up and execute a video shoot, like avoiding distracting backgrounds and shadows and tweaking the video and audio to look and sound their best. Take advantage of this practical advice -- "Do This, Don't Do That" -- and you can be a webcam pro too.

Mastering Webcam and Smartphone Video, the Webinar edition, is available as a Kindle e-book for $9.99, or in paperback for $24.95.

[Review of prerelease edition before final editing.]

Mastering Webcam and Smartphone Video:
How to Look and Sound Great in Webinars and Videoconferences: Webinar Edition
Doceo Publishing (May 15, 2015), 302 pages
ISBN-10: 0976259567

Find Mastering Webcam and Smartphone Video
on Amazon.com

Contents ...

Introduction: We Were All Media Novices Once

Quick Start: Do This, Don't Do That

Chapter 1: It's All About the Bandwidth
Chapter 2: Positioning Your Webcam
Chapter 3: Choosing Your Background
Chapter 4: Dressing for Success
Chapter 5: Simple Lighting Techniques

Chapter 6: Optimizing Your Webcam Settings
Chapter 7: Choosing a Mic
Chapter 8: Using Microphones
Chapter 9: Audio Fundamentals

Chapter 10: Working with Audio in Windows
Chapter 11: Working with Audio on the Mac
Chapter 12: Working with Audio on iOS Devices
Chapter 13: Working with Audio on Android Devices

Chapter 14: Working with FaceTime
Chapter 15: Working with Google Hangouts
Chapter 16: Working with GoToWebinar
Chapter 17: Working with On24 Webcast Elite
Chapter 18: Working with Onstream Webinars
Chapter 19: Working with Skype
Chapter 20: Working with TalkPoint Convey
Chapter 21: Working with WebEx

Chapter 22: Getting it Right on Game Day

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