I am a regular contributor to Smaller Indiana. FYI (I am Obsessed with it too). I was reading through some of the blog posts and found a great one by Ellen Dunnigan called Really? That’s Your Company Video?. Ellen owns a public speaking and support company call Accent on Business and her tips are brilliant. I added three on the end to make 10.
Ellen’s 7 Tips to a Great Video
1. “Shakey Cam” may be good for personal videos to friends and family, especially if you and they are young(ish). Not so much for business. Seriously, think about that. Do you want your business partners, clients, colleagues to see you that way? Do you want them to see how little you prepared for your oh-so-important message to them? Put some preparation into it. And if your paid professional videographer insists that you try “shakey cam” (or a digital camera on top of your computer screen, or loud noise in the background, or poor lighting) because it’s all the rage…find a new professional who really has your best interests in mind.
2. Position some lights on your face. Around you. Above you. Not in sight of the camera, but on you or your product. We want to see you if you’re talking to us.
3. Smile. Having a deadpan look doesn’t allow your personality to come through. Remember, in your video blog you are selling you.
4. Look at us. I mean, look into the camera. Pretend your audience is right there in the camera. Don’t look at your assistant who is off camera and to the left. The eyes are the window to the soul. When you look at me, I’m more likely to believe you. Better said, looking to the left or right or down is almost always seen as disingenuous. If you’re telling your staff that you appreciate them and they’re the best, but you won’t look at them (through the camera), they won’t believe you – nor will your customers.
5. Keep your head straight. Stand up straight. Sit up straight. Casual, yes. Sloppy or stiff, no. Use gestures to support your message.
6. Be professional. Don’t dance around, wag your index finger at the camera, make faces, or use poor grammar. And you’re not a nighttime talk show host, so don’t move into the camera like you’re seriously invading your viewer’s space.
7. And, one more item, be mindful of what’s behind and around you. Find a contrasting (and fairly blank) wall; well-painted or stained wood might be nice. Not too much background please, but a small picture or company name might be okay. Make sure you’re not in front of broken or crooked miniblinds, or a white wall (you’ll look washed out), or that there’s a flower pot or something else just above your head. Try not to have others who are not on a microphone talk or yell in the background.
Kyle’s 3 Add On Tips
1. Write Down a brief synopsis on what you want to talk about. I received this advice from Erik Deckers and have used it. It will keep you from stuttering and saying “um.”
2. Use an HD camera if you are going to start doing a video blog or company video. I use the Flip MINO HD. This will keep your videos looking crisp. I also recommend using Vimeo as a video upload site. You get some AWESOME quality.
3. Always write something underneath your video blog post. Gary Vaynerchuk does this and you should too. This helps if people cannot upload your video (whether from a mobile phone or a terrible blog reader). They get a synopsis of what the video is about.
I have noticed that I say "um" a lot too. I am working on it though. I think it helps to go through it a couple of times outloud without the camera on to make sure you are ready to go. I find myself looking at the paper if I write things down. Adding content below is a MUST in most cases. Let the viewer know what they are about to watch. Also, what do people think about actually showing your computer screen if you are talking about something online? Any suggestions on lighting if you are going to show your computer screen? Do you think it is a good or bad idea to let the know how long the video is if you particular player doesn't tell? This way they would know how much of a time commitment they are about to make before clicking play.
Yeah I say “um” a lot unless I’m interviewing someone! LoL.
Great guidelines to follow though when putting video together. I especially like the note to put a synopsis or “show notes” to compliment the video (especially if it’s long). After all, people have a short attention span as it is.
Kyle, thanks — and I like your additions. I might add that when you write down what you want to say, be careful not to be tempted to “read” it to us (which I know you don’t do, Kyle, but others might). You’ll still need to make it sound “conversational”. And for help on that “um” issue, Derek, just call me or contact me thru my website http://www.AccentOnBusiness.net . I’m glad to give you the quick and painless professional technique to getting rid of that.
Should I Include Video on My Blog? « D-Mac’s Blog
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