The Thomas College One Button Studio is a user-friendly way to practice and record presentations.
Located inside the Alfond Academic Center Media Lab (Room AL-235).
The studio is available during all regular Library hours. Space is available in half-hour blocks and we encourage you to book the space in advance as times do fill up fast during peak times of the year. You can book the space through Outlook, or stop by the Service Desk during normal business hours to check availability.
How does it work?
There are five easy steps to recording a quality presentation using the One Button Studio:
- Load your presentation or PowerPoint slides on to the Presentation Computer
- Plug your own flash drive into the Recording Computer to activate the lights and camera
- Press the Button to record your presentation
- Stop recording by pressing the Button again
- Remove your flash drive when prompted
When you are finished recording you will have an .mp4 file on your USB drive. The .mp4 format can be played by most media players and mobile media devices. You can also use the computers in the media lab to edit your video if desired.
How big should my flash drive be?
You will need to bring your own USB flash drive. To give you an idea of the size of flash drive you’ll need, a 1GB drive can hold about 25 minutes of recording. We recommend at least an 8GB drive.
If you need to purchase a USB flash drive, the campus store has several varieties available.
What other components are available?
The One Button Studio also includes the following components to help make your presentation easier:
- Pull-down screen
- Photography background curtain
- Desktop computer for users to load presentations, video, webpage etc.
- Wireless Control Mouse (to control your presentation in front of the camera)
- Small portable lectern for your notes.
- Two stools for face-to-face interviews.
What else can I do with the One Button Studio?
The One Button Studio is a great tool for practicing a presentation. Viewing a video of yourself can help you spot verbal issues, hand gestures, and facial expressions that can detract from your presentation. There are many other ways you can use the One Button Studio. For example:
- Students can practice and record presentations for a class. The OBS is also a good resource for practicing for mock interviews, etc.
- Faculty can use One Button Studio for a wide range of class assignments, such as documenting small-group discussions, presentations, and mock interviews.
- Staff can use the One Button Studio to create instructional videos for student employees.
- Once you’ve recorded in the One Button Studio, you can use the raw footage to create a video that includes other elements such as titles, captions, music, and additional footage shot outside the studio.
Please note that the One Button Studio is not a production space. If you plan to edit your video, you’ll need to use other equipment. We recommend using software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, or Sorenson Squeeze, both which are available in the Thomas College Media Lab.
Where can I go for assistance?
If you need any technical assistance while using the One Button Studio, please contact the service desk at 207-859-1204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the Service Desk staff cannot provide post-production assistance for your project. However, various tutorials are available for the editing software packages available in the Media Lab.
Below, you’ll find several Best Practices for using the One Button Studio. The content in this guide was created by The University of Iowa Libraries and used with permission.
- Dress professionally. Overall professionalism in appearance will ensure that your viewers will be focused on the content of your presentation rather than your appearance.
- Avoid patterned clothing including pinstripes, herringbone, Scottish tweed, small tight patterns.
- Avoid saturated red and colors that highly contrast with your completion.
- Avoid fabrics that make noise when they move or are pressed against a microphone (wool).
- Mid-range solids or subtle patterns, soft non-textured fabrics are suitable for video.
- Be sure to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
- Don’t wear dark blue colors against the blue background.
- Pay attention to details – make sure clothes are ironed, be careful with jewelry that might distract.
- Brush your teeth.
- Pay attention to makeup, ensuring that it is business/academic appropriate.
- If your complexion shines or if you tend to sweat a lot, bring some tissues to blot or wear some light face powder.
Preparing your Speech
- Know your audience. Eliminate jargon from your presentation.
- Simple videos can be just as effective as complicated ones, if not more so.
- Watch TED talks and other presentations to get ideas on how to present your topic effectively.
- There are several ways you can create a presentation. Consider PowerPoint or Prezi!
- Be sure you have the right to use any third-party content that you want to add to your presentation.
- Give credit where credit is due.
- When writing a script, write it in as conversational and as friendly a tone as you can. Use short sentences. Write for the ear – not for the eye. Most people will only hear video narration so you can be informal, using contractions, etc.
- Presentations with dark backgrounds and extra-large white fonts are easiest to see.
Keep in mind that the narrative is the most important part of your video. Don’t let a complex video shoot get in the way of telling it.
- Manage your time; know what you plan to record before you start shooting. Make sure you add time into your session for the video to save to your USB drive.
- Use the presentation monitor to display your notes to avoid holding note cards in your hands.
- Gather presentation resources and props ahead of time (white boards, podiums, wireless slide advancer, etc.) and arrange the space appropriately. If you use props, please put the room back to its original layout when you are finished.
- Do a test recording to check voice levels and body placement. Use the Presentation computer to playback your recording. Be sure to give yourself some lead room and head room when positioning yourself in front of the camera. When a single person is the main subject of the recording make sure that there is a small amount of space above your head. You don’t want too much space but you don’t want to cut off your head either.
- Read your script out loud so you can hear where you’ll need to make changes.
- Look directly into the camera keeping your gaze as steady as possible. Imagine you are speaking to someone as you record your video. Avoid allowing your eyes to dart quickly from place to place in the room. Relax! Natural blinking is fine.
- Use good enunciation as you speak.
- Practice makes perfect! Use the One Button Studio to rehearse before you make your final recording. Endless re-do’s on the same day might not improve your end product. Consider planning multiple practice sessions several days apart with viewing and practice in between.
- Shorter recordings are better. If you have a long presentation consider breaking it up into smaller standalone chunks that you can edit later. 3-5 minutes is optimum, no longer than 10 minutes when possible.
- Use the projector during practice recordings as well as your final recording.
- When using the projector use the wireless presentation mouse to advance your slides during your recording. Place your index finger through the trigger of the mouse and use your thumb to left- or right-click the mouse buttons to advance your slides.
- Consider captioning your video or offering a text transcript of the audio.
- Learn how to make simple edits using Lynda.com.
See what video editing software we have available on the computers in the Media Lab, as well as other computer labs on campus
- Interested in purchasing video editing software for your personal computer? See what software is available for you to purchase through the Campus Agreement program by clicking here.
The One Button Studio software is a free OS X application, created by Penn State University. For information on the concept and development of the One Button Studio at Penn State, visit http://onebutton.psu.edu/.