Tips for your successful online studio

If you want to run online classes you need a space to perform your exercises. The set up is very important for the overall experience. We have the most important…

Wednesday,   |   Reading time: 5 min

If you want to run online classes you need a space to perform your exercises. The set up is very important for the overall experience. We have the most important tips for you regarding setting up your perfect online studio. Decoration, location or equipment – we cover every topic so that you can start immediately with your online courses!

1. Find a suitable room

You can adapt many rooms to the needs of an online studio! This could be, for example, the corner in your bedroom, living room, working room or your actual studio. One important thing you should take into consideration is if you can close that room in order to avoid unnecessary noise and interruptions. You probably want your online course to be as professional as possible and therefore you should also think about outside noise sources like construction work, street noises or noises in your home – roommates, kids or animals.

2. Think about your background

To really keep your participants focused, you should prepare the background in a way that it is not distracting. Your background should be as minimalistic as possible. Too many decorations, objects or equipment can distract your participants easily and make it harder to follow exercises. Even a carpet or a mat with intense colors can be distracting. Here, we recommend you to apply “less is more” rule. Things that positively influence your background are plants, few equipment and a lot of light! Candles can create a nice ambiente, but please place them in a space where you cannot accidentally knock them over. 

This is how our partner yogalidou set up her online studio.

3. The technical setup 

This may be easier than you think! Start with what you have and build up on that if needed. Here are a few steps that you should consider while setting up your technical equipment:

1. Check your internet connection before your course starts. You can find a lot of online tools to check your upload and download speed. One page for example is Speedtest. For group videos with more than seven people, Skype recommends a download speed of 8 Mbit/s and more. Another possibility is to make sure everything is running fine is to run a test course with friends and family. We also recommend you to start your course 15 minutes before the actual start time to avoid technical issues.

2. Basic technical equipment can increase the quality of your course dramatically. If you have access to additional equipment we highly recommend you to use it. Your equipment doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. If you don’t have additional equipment or don’t want to use it, you should check the quality of your integrated camera and microphone.

3. To reduce the audio problems and enable your participants to hear you loud and clear, we recommend you to use an additional microphone. You have various options here: 

Headset with integrated microphone (Bluetooth)
– Expensive alternative: AirPods
– Cheaper alternative: Mpow Flame

Microphone
– Microphone with bluetooth connection: Movo WMIC50
– Connectable microphone: Rode VideoMicro

4. For good video quality and streaming you may also use an external camera like the Logitech C920 HD PRO Webcam. These are only our recommendations – please feel free to research on your own and find equipment that fulfills your specific needs. 

4. Install your camera and you microphone

The installation depends on chosen hardware. While you don’t have to worry about the installation of integrated cameras and microphones, external ones can have very different installation flows. Because of this, we unfortunately can’t give you an universal guide for every hardware. We recommend you to read the instructions carefully and follow the installation guideline. After your equipment is installed, you don’t have to worry about setting it up for each class – it should work smoothly anytime. 

After the installation, you will have the option to choose your external camera or microphone via the settings in the chosen streaming service. Most of the time, before joining the stream, you will be asked which microphone and/or camera you would like to use. In case this question doesn’t pop up, you can click on the small arrow in Zoom next to the microphone and video option and choose another source. In Skype, you have to hover over the microphone or camera icon to choose another source of input. You can see in the screenshots below of how it is done:

5. Position your equipment 

There are few things you should consider before using and placing your camera and microphone. Your camera should be far enough that your participants can see your whole body standing, sitting and lying. Think about which exercises you have planned  and if you are visible in every position. If you are doing exercises where your participants need to have a closer look you may zoom in with your camera or just take your camera in your hand if possible. If you are using your laptop with an integrated camera and microphone, your laptop should be far enough that everyone can see you – but close enough for you to see your participants. With an external microphone you should double check if it is secured safely and there are no loose strings lying around which can be an obstacle for you during exercises. If you are using the microphone from your laptop or the camera is attached to it, be aware that you point the microphone in your direction for better sound.

6. Create a calm atmosphere 

To create a quiet and calming atmosphere you should think about all potential sources that may interrupt your lesson. This could be your smartphone, telephone, tablets, laptops notifications, alarms, clocks, timers and a lot of other things. Everything that may come up with a loud notification sound usually sounds very loud via video. We recommend you to mute your devices or to use the “do not disturb” mode. This way your atmosphere won’t be disturbed with annoying sounds. 

And these were all the necessary things you should consider while transforming your living room to an online studio! Even if your first streaming is not perfect, don’t get discouraged! 

A big thank you to Julia from Urban Sports Club who helped us in creating this article. You rock! – Fitogram Team

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