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Cold, Warm, and Hot - The Three Types of Digital Platforms

Cold, Warm, and Hot - The Three Types of Digital Platforms


By: Amelia Morse Kolkmeyer, MFA - Founder & Lead Instructor/Coach


“The audience is half of a stage actor’s performance. They supply information an actor can’t possibly know until there’s that interaction.”


  • Patti LuPone from “Patti LuPone: A Memoir”


For anyone who uses a Digital Platform to connect with their audience, this blog is for you. Today I’ll be breaking them down and giving you some tips on how to interact with your audience on them.


I start off with that quote from Patti LuPone because it rings true, especially to theatre actors. For film actors they leave their performance in the hands of the director and the editor(s) who determine what the audience sees.


For both the stage and film actor there are previews. This allows the production staff that have authority in making any changes to do so before the play, musical, or film is released.


In the case of anyone who uses any social media, especially the type that involves video, well there isn’t a preview. You are constantly having to gage your audience by how they engage with what you post.


To help you understand how you engage with your platforms, and to do better utilizing them, here are the breakdowns of what they are and how they work.


“Cold Video”


A cold video is when one films information to be shared and seen by an audience at any time. This type of video has no type of audience or interaction. Types of cold videos are YouTube videos, shorts videos shared on IGTV, webinars, etc. Self-tapes is a phrase used to describe them in the Acting world, especially when it comes to submitting auditions.


For a Cold video it’s best you have a script written out, you’ve rehearsed and edited it, and you have it memorized. This helps you waste a bunch of time stopping and starting.


Yes you can improvise it. That may be a great way for you to write your script. You can watch yourself, take information from it, and create your script.


I still encourage you to be organized, prepared, and memorized so you can film, edit, and publish something you feel great about.


“Warm Video”


A warm video is a live video with audience interaction. On this platform the speaker is the only one on camera and is heard. The audience is welcome to interact via a message board that can be seen by the speaker and/or the other participants. Live videos on YoutTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even platforms like Zoom.


You don’t need to have a script or be memorized. It is helpful if you are prepared.


  • Know what your topic is.

  • Have notes or cue cards visible to help you keep on track.


Something you need to know about warm platforms is that it’s easy for people to join and leave. Think of yourself as being in a room with a revolving door. There’s a screen between you and the people that come in that room. You can’t see them or hear them, but you know they’re there.


There are a lot of reasons why people come in, why they stay, and why they may leave. Don’t let that deter you from sharing your message.


  • Keep going.

  • Verbalize when you’re going to check questions.

  • Don’t sweat it if you can’t answer them all during your time there. You can always take questions and turn them in to content or use them for future live sessions.


Keep in mind there will be playbacks.


  • Think of the audience that will be watching this video later.

  • What may work or not work for them when they watch it?


“Hot Video”


A hot video is a live video that includes both the speaker and the audience/participants all be seen and heard. The speaker on this platform is in charge.


  • You can control the ‘mute’ of the other participants.

  • Set the tone with the group.

  • Control how everyone can be seen and heard.


A hot platform anything can happen. So if you’re very picky about how your audience participates, understand you have to make that clear up front. However, we’re all human and life is still happening, so don’t be too hard on your audience.


Hot Videos are great for when you want to see and hear your audience. You want them to be a part of the discussion or to participate in what’s happening.


Last Thoughts


  • Be mindful of your audience and what serves them best.

  • Make sure you check which platforms offer closed captioning and utilize them. This can help people get your message if they aren’t able to listen to it for whatever reason.

  • Check the closed captioning to make sure all the words match what you say in your video if at all possible.

  • Have good body language and facial expressions. You’re on camera so make sure your body language reflects what you want your audience to see and understand about you. This doesn't mean you have to smile or be “on” all the time, but definitely appear to want to be there for them.

  • Always do a sound, video, and equipment check ahead of time. You don’t want to do your best and it doesn’t get captured.

  • Last but not least - have fun! It sounds cliche, but the camera doesn’t lie. Have fun and enjoy doing these for your audience.


For those wanting 1:1 support or to learn more, click here. Let’s work together to help you be a better you on-camera today!


· Public Speakers,Digital Speaker,Social Media