There’s no denying that video gets more attention. Plus when you post videos onto your YouTube channel, you’re putting them directly onto the second biggest search engine worldwide.
But videos are expensive to produce – aren’t they?
They can be – but they don’t have to be.
Most of us have a good enough video camera in our pockets – the smartphone! Invest in a little tripod and a plug in lavalier (clip mic) and you’ve got a set up that will work well for talking head videos.
If you have a Zoom account you’ve got the facility to record interviews, slides with voiceover or you talking to camera, a combination of any or all of those.
Get the basics right
- Make sure your chair is comfortable, quiet and the right height.
- Check where you appear on the screen – it’s more interesting if you’re not smack in the middle; try sitting slightly closer to one side of the screen instead.
- Make sure you don’t have a cluttered or distracting background. If you don’t have a greenscreen, then sit in front of a plain wall.
- Wear what you would wear to meet a client – but ensure you’re comfortable.
- Ensure you’re well lit. Bad lighting can result in ‘floating head. Effects, pale highlights, reflections in your specs or, worst of all a dark silhouette where nobody can see your face. A halo lamp set up behind your screen is a good way to light your face and good lighting to either side of you so you don’t get half your face in shadow. If your halo lamp is above eye level you shouldn’t get reflections in your glasses.
- The best spot for your mic is around the base of your neck or as near to that as you can comfortably clip it. If you want to invest more in a free-standing mic, a Blue Yeti is a good choice.
Get the message right
Think of your presentation as the equivalent of standing on a stage and speaking to a room full of potential clients. That means you need to think carefully about what you’re going to say and how you get your message across.
Planning pays off. You don’t have to have a set script, but you do need to think about the main points you want to make and in what order. I often use bullet points or even a rough script and have it in front of me while I speak, as nobody can see it on my screen! It stops me rambling and losing track.
Remember your title should have the key word for your subject and you can tag the MP4 file with your keywords too. When you upload it to YouTube use the title as the key phrase and the same keywords.
Your video doesn’t have to be long – say what you need to say to make your point – then stop.
As soon as you start padding it out to make some ‘magic’ number of minutes, you’ll lose your audience’s interest. It can be one minute, a few minutes or a more in-depth presentation. But whatever length it is it must have value.
Avoid delivering a direct sales pitch – there are ads for that! Your aim is to impress the socks off your viewers with your knowledge, wisdom and approach. If people like what you have to say and can see you know your stuff, they’ll come to you anyway. By all means add your contact details on the final slide – at the very least your website.
Being an accomplished presenter doesn’t make up for a boring presentation. And while you should make every effort to deliver good value, it doesn’t matter if your video isn’t professional level. People will ‘buy’ you and your ideas if you’ve got something they want – even if you’re not using state-of-the-art equipment and are a polished presenter.
Tidying things up
If you use a Mac you should have inbuilt video editing software. If you’re a PC user, you may need to get something like Lightworks and learn to use it. Alternatively, look at Fiverr.com and find a video editor who will tidy things up for a small fee.
If you’re not particularly techie, outsourcing your editing is more cost-effective as it can take a while to do what you want if you don’t know what you’re doing. A professional can do it in a few minutes and deliver a better result. If you just want your video topped and tailed with your brand and contact information it’s not a big job and shouldn’t cost much.
With a little practice and some planning you should soon be able to put together videos that you can use on social media and your YouTube channel.