Ecamm Live has – finally! – released their brand spanking new interview mode feature.
And, as you can tell, I’m just a little bit excited about it. Because I LOVE having guests on my show and bringing them in used to be incredibly awkward; I’d have to use a third-party tool like Skype or Zoom or complicated audio routing software that would suck the juice out of my computer.
So this new interview mode is set to be a complete game-changer.
Want to know more about how it works, how you can make the most of it on your own show, and why you should be just as excited as I am? Read on!
What You’ll Learn
[4:09] How it was in the olden days!
[4:28] About the new interview mode
[12:14] How it works
[15:09] How to bring in your guests
[20:49] How it went with my guest guinea pigs
[23:29] About my experience of having 5 people on a stream
[26:04] About some other cool features
[26:39] The importance of reminding your guests when you’re going live!
[33:39] About the small print
How It Was in the Olden Days!
Listen at [09:54]
Okay, 2017 might not seem like a billion years ago but in terms of live video tech it might as well be! Back then, if I wanted to bring a guest onto my live show, things were pretty complicated.
As a Mac user, I’m a big fan of the Ecamm Live streaming tool (you can try it for yourself here). However, without this dedicated interview mode feature, I had to resort to inviting guests on my show via Skype.
Now, in this grand scheme of things, using Skype wasn’t so terrible. But it can be buggy, you can’t get rid of the Skype logo from the corner of your screen, and it has a tendency to suck all of the processing power from your computer — not ideal when you’re trying to live stream.
Introducing Interview Mode
Listen at [08:32]
You can see, then, why I’m so excited that Ecamm has introduced their beta version of the interview mode feature.
The feature is available on Ecamm’s Pro version and it allows you to bring guests in via a web link. I’ve been using it now for a month or so and have to say that I’ve found it incredibly easy to use. Even better, it’s really high quality too.
How it Works
Listen at [24:04]
Ecamm Pro users will be familiar with the main screen. It has several cool functions; over on the left I can select my chosen scene, I can use different overlays, there are sound effects, and then there are the functions that I might need to apply when my guests join me, like green screen options and the ability to zoom in or out (i.e make sure my guests look awesome!).
All pretty intuitive and easy to use.
Bringing in Your Guests
Listen at [29:54]
And it’s pretty easy for your interviewees to jump on board too.
You can bring guests in through their phones or tablets, but my recommendation is to send them a web link they can use to join your live.
When they log on as a guest from the link you’ve sent them, they’ll need to click the ‘join’ button, add their name and then select the camera and microphone they want to use — this will send a sound notification to you, the host, to let you know that they’re ready and waiting.
Using interview mode, you have the option to bring in multiple guests at the same time, which is great.
My only bugbear with that is that everyone appears in a row. However, you can use overlays to adjust how people look, for instance, making some guests’ screens appear larger or smaller depending on what’s going on in your show at any particular time. And unlike other streaming tools, Ecamm does allow you to do this ahead of time, which gives you one less thing to worry about once you’ve started recording.
My Guest Guinea Pigs
Listen at [41:14]
When filming the show episode that accompanies this post, I wanted to experiment with Ecamm’s interview mode by inviting three special guests onto the episode at the same time: Tim Lewis, Katie Simpson and Clare Jossa.
And I was pleasantly surprised, and not a little relieved, that it worked perfectly. The guests had no problems hearing one another and were able to join with ease. Clare reckons that if you have a guest who’s not super tech-aware, the process is even easier to use than Zoom.
Katie did mention that she appreciated the step-by-step joining instructions I gave her beforehand (it’s always good to know that the boxes popping up on your screen are the boxes you were expecting to pop up on your screen!) so that’s definitely something to consider when you’re inviting guests onto your own show.
And Then There Were Five…
Listen at [46:34]
Just to push my luck I decided to add another face to the mix and invited Louise Brogan to the guinea pig party, taking us up to 5, the maximum number of people you can feature at any one time.
Again (thankfully!), it worked fairly seamlessly. Louise had no problems joining in and while some tools allow a greater number of guests, she agreed that 5 seemed like a reasonable number.
One thing she did highlight was that guests might experience a slight delay in the broadcast. This can be a little disconcerting so it’s worth warning your own guests beforehand so they remember to look at their camera rather than the host’s image.
My take on it is that it might be caused by the high quality of the tech Ecamm is using, in which case a short lag is a relatively small price to pay for a higher quality output. That said, I’ll be interested to see if it’s something they address as they continue to refine the feature.
Other Cool Features Worth a Mention
Listen at [51:44]
The interview mode function has a few cool features that make it even more fun to use. Guests will be able to view comments as they come in, which is always a useful thing to have, as is the screen sharing tool. If guests want to use a green screen, that’s an option too, although they’ll have to send you it in advance because that’s controlled at the host’s end. And my personal favourite is the ‘dark mode’ option which is great for reducing glare.
I’m also a fan of the green room, guests can view the show live as they’re waiting to be brought in, as well as view comments and viewer numbers in real time.
‘Are We Live Yet?’
Listen at [30:54]
Another point that I should highlight is that it’s best not to confuse your guests…
Because I use Ecamm in conjunction with other streaming tools, the ‘Live’ button didn’t show up on the screen and it looked to everyone else that we were still in preshow mode, in which only the host can see the guests. Luckily they’re consummate professionals and didn’t say or do anything they shouldn’t have, so no need to panic!
But it was a good reminder that it’s always worth letting your guests know when the live portion of the show is about to start!
And don’t forget, you can make things even easier for everyone by using guest placeholders to plan everything out in advance.
The Small Print Stuff
Listen at [06:54]
Interview mode is only available on the Pro version of Ecamm Live and because it’s a really high quality format, there are time limits involved, but don’t worry, the allowance is pretty generous. At the moment, you get 20 hours a month if you’re on Ecamm’s monthly plan or 240 hours per year if you’re on the annual plan. If you need more than that, you do have the option to pay for extra.
I’m going to close by sending thanks to my willing guinea pigs who gave up their time to help me test Ecamm’s interview mode, I’m sure they’re just as relieved as I am that it all went relatively smoothly!
If you want to check out the visuals of everything I’ve talked about here, you see the entire process on the show episode, or if you want to jump straight in and try it out for yourself, head on over here.
Watch Episode 84
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The Confident Live Marketing Show is a weekly live video show and podcast. It’s aimed at established entrepreneurs who want to level up their impact, authority and profits through the power of live video, webinars and podcasts. We’ll focus on knocking down the 3 main barriers these entrepreneurs face when creating live content - camera confidence/mindset, tech/gear and content marketing.
It’s hosted by Ian Anderson Gray. He is the founder of the Confident Live Marketing Academy and is the host of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast. He helps entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority and profits by using live video confidently. He’s founder of Seriously Social - a blog focused on live video and social media tools. He’s an international speaker, trainer, teacher and consultant. He has a passion for making the techno-babble of live video and social media marketing easy to understand. As well as being a geek, husband, and dad to two kids, Ian is also a professional singer and lives near Manchester in the UK.