Learn how to set up your live cooking classes

Creating a professional and engaging live lesson often contains many moving parts, but when you’re able to pull everything together, the payoff is huge.

 

Here at Amphy, we want you to succeed in getting your students hooked on your classes so we’ve compiled a simple to execute guide to make it as simple as possible to give live lessons like a pro.

Space

Place the camera so it will cover all the space you’re going to use, and nothing else.


It’s important for your students to see what you’re doing at all times, so make sure your camera is placed so it captures your entire working space and also your entire body. To do this you can use an adjustable stand, table, or even a stack of books.

Expert tip 1: use a wide lens camera or a motion-tracking camera to boost image quality and class experience.

 

Expert tip 2: don’t move your camera during the lesson. If you need to cover your lesson from multiple angels, you can use double or even triple camera support: one camera aims directly at you and the other(s) giving a side view/whatever extra angle you may need to show your students.

The Background

Create an even distance between the camera, yourself and the background. This will keep you and the working space in focus, while the background is will be out of focus.

 

 

The background is also a part of the lesson – it cannot be too cluttered or distracting, but if you personalize it and give it your special touch, your student may connect with you better.

 

This will keep you and the working space in focus, while the background is will be out of focus.

 

The background is also a part of the lesson – it cannot be too cluttered or distracting, but if you personalize it and give it your special touch, your student may connect with you better.

 

Expert tip: create color contrast between yourself and the background as it brings focus to where it matters – on you. If your background is all white – wear a color, if your background is full of color – try stick to plain black or white.

 

 

Not so good

Much better

The sound

Microphone

 

You may have an awesome computer but its microphone is probably pretty basic. Audio setup sometimes doesn’t receive all the attention it deserves but it’s essential to delivering a professional live stream, especially in a loud kitchen with eco potential. Your students need to hear you clearly at all times and that means you’ll need to use an external mic. But don’t worry, there are loads of great microphones on the market that won’t break the bank.

 

Low budget: Use wireless headphones with a good microphone. Here are a few models under 100$ we recommend.

 

Higher budget: Use an external wireless on-body microphone or external boom. Here are a few models we recommend.

 

Audio computer settings

 

Set up your live stream for success with these pro tips:

  1. – Share computer music directly from your computer, so it stays high quality.
  2. – Mute everyone before you start – if some people join late they can be very distracting if not entering on mute.

Expert tip: play some background music as students join the class to get them into the right atmosphere. It’s much nicer for students to enter and start to get into the mood of the class, rather than a soundless empty kitchen.

Lighting

There’s a reason they call “Lights, Camera, Action” before shooting a movie scene. Lighting can make or break your online class.

 

Front Light is the most important light for your class. You can use natural light, a ring light, a lampshade, or even a combination of all 3. Just be sure that the main light hits you directly and evenly on the front of your face. If the main light hits you from other angels it can create shadows and make it difficult for your students to see. In addition to your front light, you can use a reflector or fill light to gently light up the rest of your space.

 

Expert tip: Gently light up your background with delicate neon, a Christmas light or a table lamp. This is a delicate touch that can add uniqueness and atmosphere to your space.

Camera

For starters, record a demo lesson and observe it to test the image quality of your laptop’s camera. If you don’t think it’s clear enough and you want a clearer image, or perhaps a different angle, you can buy an external webcam.

 

If you want to take your image quality to the next level invest in a DSLR /  Mirrorless camera. The image quality is incomparable to your laptop’s camera quality and will give your students a next-level cooking experience.

Extra tips for a 5-star class setup

There are a few more things you can do to come as prepared as possible for your lesson:


Use a Whiteboard

 

This is the ultimate cheat sheet. Build a clear plan for each session and have it written out neatly and in view at all times. This will help you to remember the class plan and stay on track. Sometimes teaching online can throw you, and having the full class outline in the background can help you smoothen out transitions.


Connect a Large Screen

 

Connect your laptop via HDMI cable to a large TV screen to get a better view of your students. This is especially handy while teaching group classes.


Have a Great Profile Photo

 

This is the first thing students will see when they enter your class. It’s much nicer to look at your lovely face rather than a blank screen, isn’t it?


Pre-record Complex, Hard to Demonstrate Actions

 

Whether it’s a unique dumpling folding technique or endless polenta steering, if it’s hard to demonstrate while observing and guiding your students – you can always pre-record these parts and play them back while screen sharing with your students. This way your focus can be on looking and guiding rather than demonstrating.


Ensure Bandwidth Availability

 

Use fast internet connection and Test your upload speed to ensure you have consistent upload bandwidth before each class or your live stream may not be viewable by your audience.


Be Ready Before Class

 

Be sure to pre-prepare before each class: check the availability of all the equipment you’re going to use, test the internet, adjust the camera and light and make sure everything you plan to use is already within reach. Make sure to be ready at least 5 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin. Go through your class plan and pump yourself with motivation for another successful lesson.

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