How To Use Zencastr – A Guest’s Guide

Thank you for agreeing to be a guest on our podcast. 

Watch the video to get all you need to be fully prepared.  Most importantly remember that it is not a live broadcast so we can edit and remember to have fun!

We use a platform called Zencastr to record our podcasts remotely and to ensure it all goes smoothly on recording day and to make an incredibly good podcast, we ask you are aware of the following points.

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Before Your Zencastr Interview

Before the recording you will be sent a link and you do not need to sign up to an account as a guest, you can just follow that link at the time of your interview.

Note that:

  • Zencastr does not work on devices like phones at present. You need to be on a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Chrome is best but Zencastr will work in Firefox too. Having a problem? Make sure you have the latest version of the browser.
  • Close other programs and browsers if you can.
  • Zencastr records locally and then sends the file at the end of the recording so you need to ensure you have space for that. Usually this is not a problem as the files are not very big, unless your hard drive is full.
  • If possible please wear headphones! Although it is possible to record without them, it may create problems.
  • Phone earphones don’t tend to work so well – best to test them beforehand if you can as there can be interference with these.
  • If you have Bluetooth headphones and you have an option to plug them in, please plug them in.

During Your Zencastr Interview

If you want to understand the layout of Zencastr during an interview please watch the video above. However, the main points are:

  • Notice there is a box for each participant on screen. When you speak you should see audio levels move.
  • There is a tab under your box that opens up and you can open up a Health Check (red text signifies a problem).
  • On the right of the Health Check you can see Mic and whether your microphone is being picked up. If you have an external microphone plugged in then you are likely going to need to identify that via the next step.
  • On the top right of the screen is a gear box icon – open that to set audio input and output. Here’s where you change your microphone setting.
  • You may need to then refresh the page to get it to pick up your external microphone.
  • Notice there is a chat box so if your microphone is not picking up and you need to communicate, use that. Or if you want to communicate during the recording without speaking.
  • The host will start the recording and the timer will start – let it run for 5-10 seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your interview.
  • At the end the host will stop the recording and Zencastr will upload your interview. You must leave the browser open whilst this is happening. Wait for the pop up notification letting you know that this is done.

5 Tips For A Great Recording On Zencastr

  1. Find a quiet place to record, turn off any devices creating noise in the background, close the window if it’s noisy outside and go somewhere where you will not be disturbed.
  2. Be aware that tapping or knocking surfaces and keyboards will be picked up by the microphone. Same goes for jangly jewellery. Banging the table for emphasis, for example, will be really bad for the mic.
  3. Don’t talk over each other. This usually means the listener cannot hear what anyone is saying. If you could not find headphones this is especially important as Zencastr will start to cut everyone’s audio out if you are talking at the same time.
  4. Bring a glass of water. Even if you bring coffee (essential IMO), you will also want a glass of water on hand. Most people get dry mouth at some time during interviews and water is better for your throat than a beverage containing milk.
  5. Stop and take a break if you need to gather your thoughts. It’s not a live interview and it is easier to cut out silence than hesitant speech. Stop, collect yourself, take a breath and then go.