In this section we focus more specifically on the tools you can use for your content.

If you’d like to read more about the principles for communicating with your audience, including identifying the specific audience, selecting your channels and medium, head to the ‘Tell – Engagement Type’.

What we won’t cover here (for the moment) is long-from technical content which is probably better served through traditional documents. However, having produced a comprehensive document I would invite you to consider tapping into what we cover below as further ways to generate interest and understanding for your audience.

Covered below you will find:

  • Audio recording and distribution tools that allow you to capture presentations, interviews or other spoken word communications
  • Video recording and distribution tools that allow you to capture presentations, interviews or other communications with visuals
  • Survey tools which allow you to capture feedback or input from an audience
woman recording a podcast

Audio Recording, Editing and Distribution

Audio has the advantage of allowing increased flexibility in consumption, for example, your audience may opt to listen to an audio track while exercising, performing household chores or commuting. The absence of a requirement for visual attention is key here.

Consider using audio recording to share content that does not require visualisation such as interviews, panel conversations or general updates. If your content is already captured as video, you might consider extracting the audio track in order to provide flexibility in consumption.

While there are advantages to recording with professional audio equipment the technology available in many smartphones is often adequate and is generally better than using your computer. Investing in a microphone you can plug into your phone or computer can go a long way and should be considered if you find yourself recording audio regularly.

If you’d like to know more about improving your audio quality head to Tell – Engagement Type

There are three key parts to the equation of getting your audio to your audience: recording, editing and distribution.

Audio Recording

When it’s a single person recording you may well get away with simply recording into a smartphone, or on your computer using Windows Recorder (on Windows) or Voice Memos (on Mac), however, as soon as you have multiple people you’ll benefit from something different – and there are very straightforward solutions out there thanks to the rise of podcasting.

The audio recording software we’ve found to be extremely useful is Zencastr. Zencastr is a web-based application for audio recording that does a few very smart things including:

  1. Requiring your presenters or interviewees to simply access a web link, no downloads required, and allow it to access their microphone.
  2. Serving as your conversation channel yet recording each person’s audio locally so that it can process a high-quality audio file that is not impacted by internet bandwidth.
  3. Applying some sound engineering smarts to the edit of your final audio track automagically!

After you finish recording, Zencastr’s automatic postproduction can mix your tracks into one audio (or video) mix, according to Zencastr ‘giving you studio-quality sound with loudness normalization, noise and hum reduction and other smart enhancements that make your audio sound like it was recorded in a studio’.

sound editing computer software

Audio Editing

Depending on the form of your recording you may or may not need to edit it, however, often there’s a case for some form of editing. This could range from extracting a short introduction to the content right through to cutting out a significant amount of chatter from an interview that will risk losing your audience.

To keep this as close to the no-fuss, consumer end of the market I’ll limit this to the native GarageBand (on Mac) and Audacity (Windows/Mac/Linux).

Each of these will allow you to drop your audio files into a timeline and begin combining, slicing up or out the sections you want, and both will offer some straightforward effects including noise removal.

Audio Distribution

Now that you’ve got your audio track you need to get it to your audience. The simplest way to do this is to attach the file to an email or place the file on an audience-accessible location such as Google Drive or Dropbox and provide the link to it, but if you want people to be able to play the track directly you’ll need some form of audio hosting service.

Audio hosting services have been built primarily around music and podcast distribution. Depending on how wide you’re wanting to distribute your audio some of these will benefit you more or less than others.

It’s important to note that the locations you likely consume sound – Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify – don’t actually host the files but rather perform an organising function for a specific audience, consider these ‘directories’. Many audio hosting services will provide the option to distribute to most, if not all, of these ‘directories’.

And many of these will provide a tiered licence structure with a free entry point.

Some prominent audio hosts include:
BuzzSprout
Libsyn
Podbean
Simplecast
Soundcloud
Spreaker

people on computers

You’re ready to share your audio!

Keep reading for video recording

Video Recording, Editing and Distribution

Video content can be consumed at any time and so your audience can consume at their convenience. It also creates an asset that can be more broadly shared or referenced in multiple engagements.

For example, you might create a high-level program summary in a 3-minute video for participants to view so that they can develop a better understanding of the different stages of the program and where they are currently positioned in the process.

Video recordings are advantageous for many reasons, including the value of presenting visual models such as planning concepts or animations, or simply the symbolic value of conveying information from specific people, such as the CEO of an organisation or the key representative of a body of work.

The audio recording considerations (above) are equally important when creating video. If you haven’t already read the section on Improving Your Impact through Video, we encourage you to pick up a few tips there.

As with the audio recording section, let’s unpack the three components of recording, editing and distribution.

Video Recording

While there are advantages to recording with professional video equipment, the technology available in many smartphones is often adequate and is generally better than using your computer. For example, if you are only capturing a single person speaking, a device like the latest iPhone offers a very high-resolution image and good image stabilisation so you can film without the need for a tripod or other equipment.

If you are looking to record a presentation, one of the easiest ways to do this is to record yourself presenting it within Zoom or Teams. You could also use this approach to capture people speaking with or without content. A key thing to be mindful of when recording using Zoom or Teams, however, is the limitations around resolution along with the impacts of poor internet bandwidth from any of your contributors.

Zencastr is a product we mentioned in the audio recording section and they have expanded their product into video with the same key features that we are big fans of:

  1. Requiring your presenters or interviewees to simply access a web link, no downloads required, and allow it to access their camera and microphone.
  2. Serving as your video conversation channel yet recording each person’s video and audio locally so that it can process a high-quality video and audio file that is not impacted by internet bandwidth.
  3. Applying some sound engineering smarts to the edit of your final video track automagically!

In a similar fashion to Zencastr the rise of live video broadcasts, great products are available for producing your video content including Restream and StreamYard.

So far the options described are relatively accessible and straightforward. From here we move into more involved hardware and software. As soon as you go beyond these you add more equipment, cost and technical knowledge to your requirements – we can write more about this but for the moment we’ll cap the complexity here.

video editing software

Video Editing

Depending on the form of your recording you may or may not need to edit it, however, often there’s a case for some form of editing. This could range from extracting a short introduction to the content right through to cutting out sections or layering other recordings and presentations.

As with our recommendations on audio editing, to keep this as simple as possible take a look at iMovie which is a standard issue on a Mac, or web-based applications such as Clipchamp.

Each of these will allow you to drop your video files into an editable timeline and begin combining, slicing up or out the sections you want, or adding layers of imagery and graphics.

Advanced software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve will give you a significant increase in features and control however this will come with a requirement for investment in the skills to use it.

getting your video in front of your audience

Video Distribution

Now that you’ve got your video track, you need to a way to get it to your audience. While you could attach it to an email or place it in a shared drive, the size of video files can be a barrier to sharing them.

Streaming services such as Vimeo and YouTube are the most common choices for hosting. Vimeo is regarded as a platform with greater control over where and how your video can be viewed and YouTube is known for its broader audience reach. Both will allow you to upload your videos and create links to them that you can share without publishing to the wider audience of the platform. In YouTube, these are referred to as ‘unlisted’ and in Vimeo ‘private’ or ‘password protected’.

You're ready to share your video!

Keep reading for survey tools

[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]
Answers beach, south australia

Survey Tools

Content coming soon

[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

Connection Tools & Tips

Collaboration Tools & Tips

Home –– Field Guide –– Tools and Technology –– Content – Audio, Video and Survey Tools