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Zoom and pre-recorded content

Hi! The last platform I used had a "stimu-live" option, where much of the content was pre-recorded. But I hear that is not a best practise in Zoom. In a class I did last week, if you were the one sharing your screen and a video was playing, you couldn't click off of the screen you were sharing to check questions, etc.

1) Is the best practice in Zoom to go live and not use pre-recorded video?

2) If we are sharing  a recording, is there a way to do so and still be able to click off of the monitor with the video playing without affecting the viewer experience? 

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  • Hi Shanna,

    Thanks for the question, it's an interesting one. Pre-recorded content, either segments, presentations or whole lessons/webinars, can be the right thing to do. I was doing some consultancy recently for an on-boarding live online session, and one suggestion there was to get some short presentations recorded from people to use either as pre-work or in the session, to free up the time of those individuals from having to present live everytime. 

    Another example is that I've been asedk to speak to a conference in Australia, but the time zone difference to the UK mean that a recorded session is likely to bring about better quality. In that example they also want the recorded session done as a backup in case a live speaker can't attend or has technical difficulties. 

    Some speakers like recording this, as then they can 'attend' live to pay attention to and contribute to the chat and answer people's questions. This is good if it's a large session, a smaller session and my thinking is that an experienced person can deal with chat questions as they go. 

    With regards the technical part of what you are talking about, you are sharing your screen as it plays on your computer, which is the problem you are having. You might want to look at this post where I explain sharing just a window. In that case it was PowerPoint, which is what you might be using, or it could be your video player window you apply the same concept too. 

    The other thing you could consider is using a second computer to play the media from. I have an old laptop that sits next to me and in a recent session I needed to be the host for the audience and MC, do the producuing and run the presentation, with the speakers taking control. I couldn't do the production parts of the job and use chat etc. with them controling PowerPoint on my computer, similar to the video issue you are describing, so I set that part up on the laptop. 

    This way you share the screen on the other computer and on your main machine you can still use chat, type away and so on. 

    Hope that helps and do let us know how you get on!

    Zoom: screen sharing PowerPoint in a window
    A few people have asked about good ways to share their PowerPoint slides when facilitating in Zoom so that they can still use the chat and participan…
  • 1 - it depends what your doing... but for me, a virtual session is supposed to be presented by people, otherwise its a "watch party" and can be done via VIMEO or YouTube... why bother with Zoom?  I personally feel a bit short chanmged by a 100% pre-recorded video piece.,

    2 - In Zoom dont shar the desktop, share the video app that you are playing the video from.  Avoid embeding video in slides, and make sure you select optimise share for video playback in zoom.

    You can also setup RTMP streams from Zoom to Vimeo or YouTube if you want to use less people in Zoom, and this way you can embed a zoom webinar window within a web-page or inside something like Attendify, SwapCard or even a sharepoint / intranet page.


    • Hi James. First, I totally agree with your point! We used pre-recordings/simulives in our last platform, but I am steering people away from that in Zoom.

      This is a pre-recorded video with the CEO of our company though, so it really had to be pre-recorded, edited, etc.

      It's an MP4, so we aren't using a video player. Can I just share my screen with the video playing or is there anothr way?

      What is really driving me crazy is that, in order to start the video I have to press screenshare, then move to the video to start it. The audience will be able to see that.

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