Technical guidelines for recording video sessions

Recording Equipment and Editing


  • You can record your presentation using a video camera, a web-cam, a handy-cam, a tablet, laptop, desktop computer or even with a smart phone. We recommend that you use the highest quality settings while recording the video.
  • The video could also include slides, graphics, photographs, film material, etc. to support your presentation.

Camera Angle: 

  • Place the camera at eye-level 
  • We highly recommend that you avoid recording a video with only a “talking head”. When recording yourself talking to the camera please frame above the shoulders and record with the camera aligned to the eyes.


It is highly recommended that you use an external microphone to record the audio voice over. 

  • Test your audio before making your final recording. Listen for echoing, muffling or clipping (when you talk too loudly and the audio gets distorted).
  • Ensure that you record the audio in a quiet space, with no background noises.
  • Opt for a room with as little echo as possible. Keep all noises to a minimum while you’re recording – this includes typing, mouse clicks, shuffling paper, humming fan, air conditioner, opening and closing doors and windows etc. 
  • Be aware that your mic will pick up all typing and mouse clicks. It will also pick up sounds of you shifting objects. Examples like moving a mug or adjusting a lamp will be picked up, and could interfere with your talk.
  • Adjust mic placement (if external) or your distance from the computer to get a good balance. You can also adjust the settings of the mic on your computer (Settings on PC, System Preferences on Mac).
  • Make sure to leave a buffer of roughly 10 seconds at the beginning and end of your clips. If possible, try to record your talk in one clip (mistakes included!) as it makes it easier to edit out the errors and keep a consistent sound quality throughout.
  • If you're worried about the audio, you can always record a backup on your phone to include if you have editing software. While the audio quality may be different, it will be better than missing bits of audio. Just make sure you’re on 'Do not Disturb' or Airplane Mode so text messages, push notifications or calls don't interrupt.


  • Natural light will feature you best (light coming through a window). Try to be evenly and well lit, and that there are no shadows obscuring your face. 
  • Avoid being backlit. This is what occurs when a light source is behind you but no light is in front of you. Avoid, for example, sitting with a window behind you as the only light source. This will seem to make you appear darker and shadowed. 
  • If you cannot be evenly lit, then go for front lightning which means the light source is in front of you not behind you (I.e. sit facing a window or light source) or side lit (I.e. a window to your side). Typically, overhead lightning provides even lightning depending on the overhead light.


You may use any editing software, including iMovies, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro,  or Snagit.  You can also use Power Point Presentation or Keynote with a recorded voice over to create a QuickTime video. For audio editing, you can use Audacity (

Technical Specifications for the Video

Please consider the following technical specifications for your video:

  • Duration: 60 to 75 minute pre-recorded video session
  • Format:  MP4, MOV, WMV, AVI, and FLV 
  • 720 p dimension (not HD)
  • 24 to 30 frames per second (fps) compression (either NTSC or PAL are ok)
  • Size: The output file size should not exceed 2GB
  • Aim for a 16:9 aspect ratio or the older 4:3. Avoid portrait mode on a phone if possible.    


  • Please consider subtitling your video in English or one of the other working languages of IAMCR (Spanish or French). If you choose to send a subtitled video, please also send us the synchronised .SRT file via iamcr2021 [at]

Adapted from Cadmore Media Inc.