Looking good in front of the camera – video making tips
Creating videos for your business comprising of a talking head is a very daunting task for most. Most of us do not like the sound of our own voices nor do we like looking at ourselves on video, but this is something which we can quickly get used too. The video making tips below should help may the process less painful.
In this post I have concentrated on video tips to help you look good in the finished video. There are two very important elements which you should pay particular attention to getting right before you start recording. The first is sound and the second is lighting. If the sound quality is poor in the finished video, it will not make any difference if the rest of your production is of award wining standard. Your audience will not watch it. (see example in video below)
Be natural, smile and relax.
Don’t try to be something you’re not, it will come across as fake or forced. ie. if you’re not naturally upbeat, don’t try to be. If you are, don’t try to be to serious. Be honest and be your natural self.
Write out a script – but don’t read it word-for-word.Convert it into bullet points once you know what you want to say. Use a whiteboard behind the camera or computer for your bullet points. This will help you appear like you are talking directly to your audience by keeping your face looking up at all times and you aren’t shuffling pages throughout your video. It is very important to engage with the audience by looking directly into the lens as much as possible. If you have an iPad, these make very good tele promters and there are plenty of free apps. Try to keep one objective per video so you don’t go off-topic on a tangent. Videos should be primarily related to your business/brand/skills/expertise.
Sound and Lighting
Front lighting is good, but be cautious of how bright or close it is to you as it may wash out your face or cause you to squint. Don’t use direct overhead lighting as it can cast shadows below your eye brow, making it look like you had a bad nights sleep. Natural light is good but run a test video first if shooting directly against a window as the camera may adjust to the outside light and/or pick up a reflection. If you wear glasses, consider removing them or have a reflection coating added to cut the glare.
Shoot from the chest up and try to frame your face so it looks natural. Head closer to the top of the frame and zoom in, not too close but so you take up most of the space. As a guide, imagine if you divided the screen into three even horizontal parts. Your eye line should be between the top and middle portion as shown in the image. (image from http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/)
If possible, use a separate microphone. Built-in microphones tend to be cheap and may not create good quality recordings. A good quality USB condenser mic can be purchased from €80 upwards or use a wired lapel mic. Consider background/outside noise when determining when to record. If you live by a major road, rush hour may not be the best time to record. Other considerations might be kids playing after school, lawns being mowed at mid-day, the postman delivering post and the neighbour’s dog, etc.
When speaking, speak at a pace that is not too fast or too slow so viewers can easily understand you and keep up.
Use a tripod for steady videos. Start the recording, click your fingers or clap your hands once, then wait 5 seconds before you start talking, then leave the same amount of time after you end before turning off the recording. This allows for easy editing.
Simple and easy to follow content is best.
Sit still during recording – don’t move your head a lot, talk with your hands, etc. If you’re a naturally overly animated person, you may need to try and correct this and tone it down. Keep your ‘background environment’ natural to your business tone. i.e. if you have a casual business tone, your video background (shown behind you in the video) should be neat and tidy but casual – not full of band instruments (unless your business is music related). Same goes for ugly backgrounds; loud colours and distracting items will pull the attention from you and to the background.
Consider your business tone and clothing. You don’t want to be ultra-business like online yet recording videos in your track suit (unless this is your business attire) Also make sure that you are not wearing colours that may bleed on screen or blend with the background.
Always end with a call to action; share, like, comment, join something, buy something, call a number, etc.
Before you begin check yourself in the mirror. You want to look your best throughout the video so it is wise to check before you start.
If you found this post, interesting, please share it with your friends. If you didn’t find it interesting, I would like to know why, so please leave a comment below. Also check out my other posts for more video making tips to help with you get started on your video marketing journey.
The content in this post is from years of experience as a professional videographer in a previous life and from ongoing learning in the subject of video marketing.