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Lightboard Tips and Techniques

  • Lesson
    • Try to keep your lesson short. 5-6 minutes is recommended. Break longer lessons into smaller chunks. If lesson is in sequence videos, only provide a topic introduction in the first video.
    • Plan your lesson so you know where you will be drawing on the lightboard. If you need to erase (much), it's probably too long.
    • Pause and look at the camera before starting. This gives you or the production crew a clean cut point for editing
    • Be personable but not perfect. Don't strive for perfection and try to re-do every time you mess up. Your audience will relate better to a "real" person.
    • Wear dark clothing but not black. We recommend purple or a deep blue. Make sure there is no text on your clothing.
  • Using the board
    • When writing on the board, look at what you are writing. When talking about something on the board, point at it and look at it.
    • When you aren't writing or pointing, look at the camera.
    • Leave yourself a window. Or at least try not to draw horizontal lines through your eyes or mouth.
    • When pointing, try to point from the side, not from the back, so that your fingers stand out against the black background.
    • Don't hold the marker when you are gesturing or pointing. Put it down, or hold it in your other hand.
    • Put the marker caps somewhere else altogether. The markers will be ok without their caps for the duration of a video.
    • Dry-erase and wet-erase markers squeak. To reduce squeak, use fresh markers and don't push so hard against the glass. With a light touch, you can mostly avoid squeak.
  • PowerPoint
    • Set the slide background to black, and the page aspect ratio to 16x9 before you start. PowerPoint is not good with page layout changes later; it will stretch your slide content. Here's a template PowerPoint deck.
    • Try something other than the usual "bulletpoint talk". How about adding hand-written items interspersed with just a few PowerPoint bullets. Hand-written check marks. Or cartoon sketches but no text.
    • If possible, leave space for you. You become a character inside your PowerPoint slide. (You can also put all your content in a traditional corner inset.)
  • Background
    Our studios use a black background. Images and text will appear in front of the speaker. Walking behind images will cause the user to disappear.
  • Flipped Image
    In order for your writing to appear the correct way to the user, the captured video will be flipped. If you are watching the monitor during the studio session, be aware you will be working opposite of the image being portrayed. In addition, please wear clothing with no writing.
  • ADA Compliance and Captioning

Tips and techniques from Clemson Broadcast Productions, http://cetl.uconn.edu, and http://lightboard.info