Celtic Knot Conference 2022/Online program/pre-recorded videos guidelines

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Celtic Knot
Wikimedia Language Conference
1-2 July 2022
hybrid event

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On this page, we’ve gathered some information, advice and tips to help you prepare and send your contribution to the "News from the Language Communities" session for the Celtic Knot Conference 2022.

Is this the first time you’ll be pre-recording a talk for a conference? Don’t panic - it’s going to be fine :) We made this page to help you through the experience, and we’re available to help if you have any issues. You can contact Lea Lacroix (WMDE) at lea.lacroix@wikimedia.de if you have questions or need support.

In shortEdit

In order to participate in the "News from the Languages Communities", you can send us a video presenting your project and what you have been working on over the past year. We encourage you to prepare this contribution together with your community, local group or other people involved in the project.


5 minutes to present your project
The maximum length of the video is 5 minutes. The main goal of this lightning talk is to present the activities that you are doing, related to minority languages on the Wikimedia projects. Here's a suggestion of structure you can adopt for your presentation:
  • 1 min: Brief presentation of who you are (community, project, etc.). Give a bit of background (for example, about the language you’re working on) so people can have some context;
  • 2 min: Present one exciting project happening at the moment OR 1 important thing that happened over the past year;
  • 1 min: Mention one important challenge and how your community overcame it (or not);
  • 10 seconds at the end: wrap up, display contact info, mention how to get in touch with you during/after the conference.


All languages welcome!
You can decide to present in English, or in the language that makes the most sense for you. In any case, the organization team will provide English subtitles for all videos. If you choose English, please make sure to speak in a clear and slow way to ease the comprehension for non-native speakers.


Format
Your video should ideally have a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a WebM or MPEG file format, with a loud and clear sound quality. If the language is other than English, sending the script together with the video would be much appreciated to ease the translation process.


Send your contribution before May 31
Please note that we are running on a tight timeline, therefore delayed contributions cannot receive the same attention than contributions arrived on time (for example regarding subtitles production). Your contribution should be sent by email to Léa Lacroix (lea.lacroix(_AT_)wikimedia.de) and should contain:
  • the link to your final video on the file transfer tool of your choice;
  • a short title of your session that includes the name of your community or project;
  • a short description (2–3 sentences) of the content of your video, in English;
  • The script of your video if it is not in English;
  • the name and e-mail address of the person who we should contact if we have questions or issues.

Expectations and contextEdit

  • The main goal of the contribution is to present your project related to minority languages on the Wikimedia projects, and start a conversation with other people during and after the conference.
  • If your never participated in the Celtic Knot before, welcome! The conference participants will be very happy to discover the work you've been doing.
  • If you already talked at a Celtic Knot event before: you may want to focus on giving an update of what happened over the past year, focusing on challenges and what you learned from them.
  • Your video should be sent to the organizers; we’ll take care of adding English subtitles and publishing it on YouTube. You can upload your video to your favorite file transfer service, to your own server if you have one, or to Commons, then send the link to lea.lacroix@wikimedia.de before 31 May 2022. (examples of file transfer services: wetransfer.com, Dropbox, filetransfer.io)
  • The videos will be published on YouTube under the CC-BY-SA license. You can upload it to Commons as well if you want (but the organizers cannot do this for you).
  • Don't forget to send us a title and description together with the file link.

Structure and contentEdit

Prepare the structure of your presentation. 5 minutes is quite short, so you need to know what is the goal of your presentation, what are the key points you want to highlight, and in case you have multiple speakers, who will present which part. Depending on your preference, you can write down the full script of your video before recording, or only the main points.

Prepare slides… or something different. The video format allows you a wide range of formats. You can face the camera and talk directly to people. You can of course use some good old slides. You can record a demo of your tool beforehand and include it in your video. You can show pictures and diagrams. You can even include content from elsewhere (but make sure you’re complying with copyright and licenses). Finally, you can include a discussion with other stakeholders in a recorded video call, interview a few people, and thereby bring more voices into your session. Or you can use a mix of all these options to build a dynamic and surprising session.

Rehearse and keep track of time. Once your structure is in place, we advise you to rehearse it several times so you have a good feeling for how long it will take. You can record the video once and watch it to see how it could be improved. (We know, it can be mortifying to watch oneself on video, but it usually gets better after a bit of practice.)

Breathe and take breaks. When filming a video, it can be tempting to speak fast to shorten the video and to avoid uncomfortable silences. However, this may make the viewing experience difficult for your viewers, especially if the language you speak isn’t your audience’s mother tongue. Take your time, enunciate, take deep breaths between sentences. If there’s an awkward pause, it’s fine; also bear in mind you can edit it out of the video.

Keep it simple. Although the format allows you to blend all kinds of content, jumping from slides to live demo to you facing the camera to another video, do keep in mind that simplicity means less stress for you and less confusion for the audience. Again, stick to the core of your topic and what you want to deliver to the viewers.

Technical setupEdit

Ready to go on (virtual) stage? Let’s talk about what you need to record your session. You probably don’t have access to super fancy studio equipment: that’s absolutely fine, you can  use what you already have at home.

What do you need to record your session?

  • A quiet place with no background noise and good lighting
  • The best microphone you can find
  • An average-to-good camera or webcam
  • A computer
  • Most likely, software to record your screen and video-editing software. Don’t worry, you can find free and open-source options.

EquipmentEdit

Sound is crucial for a video that is pleasant to watch. If you can, don’t use your laptop’s built-in microphone; find an external microphone. The integrated microphones in USB webcams can be pretty good. Make sure that the microphone’s gain is set correctly. Generally, loud is better than quiet, but make sure your levels aren’t too hot.

Suggestions: look for microphones made for podcasting, streaming, or radio. Beware of stage microphones and ones used for recording music, which can be too narrow in the sound they pick up, and also beware of voice recorders, which can pick up too much ambient noise.

Note: it’s totally fine if the microphone is visible on screen or obscures your mouth. At the end of the day, great sound quality is the most important thing for a good viewing experience.

Picture is important too but doesn’t have to be perfect. No one expects you to have a professional studio at home. If you have a good camera or a solid external webcam, that’s more than sufficient. Even if you only have a built-in webcam or just your phone, it’s fine too. Rather than how expensive a device is, here are the really important things you should think about:

  • The camera must be stable to avoid movements.
  • The camera should frame your face
  • The lighting should be bright and stable. Natural light is nice, but sunlight will change over time. Avoid backlighting, and place extra lamps behind the camera to cast light on your face.
  • The background should be as neutral as possible.

Note: showing your face on screen is good, because it gives viewers a contact point with you and a more human touch to your content, but it is not mandatory. If you don’t feel comfortable showing your face, don’t. Just make sure that the content you show is interesting and holds the attention of the audience.

Test everything. Taking time for proper testing will forestall disappointment when filming your final video. Gather what you have and run some tests: record samples and see which devices provide the best sound and picture. Test how close you need to be to the microphone. Try different rooms where you are in order to test the light, the sound quality, and the background.

SoftwareEdit

Record the video: If you’re filming on your phone, the native camera/video app will do the job. If you’re filming on your computer, you’ll need software to record what comes through your webcam or camera. Like your phone, most computer operating systems have an application for recording video.

Depending on the format of your session and what you plan to show (slides, demos, pictures) you might need to record your screen or combine several sources of content. For this purpose, we can recommend using OBS, an open-source, multi-platform application with which you can record yourself, your screen or both: your slides can take up most of the screen with your face in a little frame in one corner. See the “Other resources” section below for tutorials.

Another interesting option might be to use a video conferencing tool (for example, Jitsi) that offers a recording feature.

Edit the video: You may need to edit your video, depending on the format you choose. You may also need to remove something from the raw footage. This can seem intimidating if you’ve never done video editing, but here’s a piece of advice: keep it simple. Don’t bother adding transitions, complex overlays or effects — these things just make the task more difficult for you and, frankly, don’t add much value for the audience.

Some operating systems include video editing software (Movie Maker on Windows, iMovie on MacOS). There’s plenty of free and not-free video editing software out there; a search for “easy video editing software” will certainly yield some useful results. For Linux-based computers we can recommend KDEnlive, perfect for performing simple actions like cutting out a section of your video.

More tips & further adviceEdit

  • Do test runs before filming your final video! They will save you a lot of time in the long run.
  • If you feel weird talking to your camera all by yourself, you can ask a friend to sit with you to simulate an audience. Make sure that they sit behind the camera and that they don’t applaud too loudly.
  • Watch your entire video before sending it to the organizers. Yes, I know it can be mortifying. But isn’t that better than realizing your video has a problem during the actual event?
  • If you edit the video, leave breaks and don’t cut sections too close. If it seems like you’re not breathing, viewers will unconsciously hold their breath in sympathy. Spare your audience this unpleasant experience.
  • Good picture quality is nice to have, but good sound is essential. If there’s one thing to focus on and invest time in, it’s sound.
  • Don’t add any background music or jingles: background music creates accessibility issues for people with hearing or attention impairment and may also constitute copyright infringement.
  • If you’re showing text on screen, for example a wiki page or a piece of code, make sure that the text is readable. Zoom in on the page if possible. Keep in mind that some people may end up watching the video on a phone screen.
  • If you’re a native English speaker, remember that some people in the audience aren’t: speak slowly and clearly.

SupportEdit

If you need advice or support to prepare, record or edit your video, feel free to contact Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (lea.lacroix wikimedia.de). Support from the organizers may include for example:

  • Design elements: feel free to use the official visual pictures for your video or slides
  • Slidedeck template to duplicate and edit
  • Discussion by email to brainstorm/discuss the topic and content of your contribution
  • Have a call to brainstorm/discuss the content of your contribution
  • Review the slides or script of your contribution
  • Have a call to rehearse your presentation together before recording
  • Guidance and support to record the presentation (e.g. recording the presentation together over a video call)

Please note that the active support phase for contributors will run from 3 May 2022 to 24 May 2022, so don't wait for the last minute if you need help!

Other resourcesEdit

Here’s a short list of helpful links. If you have more information, feel free to edit this section! It could really help the other speakers.