Throughout the years, I’ve helped many people integrate web video and video email into their marketing activities, and while the power of successfully using web video is immense, it can be hampered by not paying attention to certain aspects of the video production process. These details are relatively insignificant by themselves, but when combined, they can make the difference between a web video that produces and one that makes you look like a rookie.
Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that your videos have maximum impact:
1. Frame Your Shot
Time and time again, I see video emails where the person is sitting either too close to the camera or too far away. The ideal shot, provided you are sitting down, is framed from your chest to slightly above the head. You don’t want to have too much head room (unless the point of the video is to show something behind you), so keep it to less than 6 inches above your head.
2. Maintain Good Posture
Nobody looks good slouching so stand or sit straight. Poor posture gives a negative perception in person, and web video is no different. Besides, when you maintain good posture, you’ll look and feel more confident.
3. Make Sure You Have Proper Video Lighting
Lighting is something that often gets forgotten. You want to have enough lighting so that your viewer can actually see you but not so much that you look like you are on-board an alien spaceship. The quality of your video depends on proper lighting. Low light situations cause digital cameras to produce grainy video. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on lighting, just make sure you are in a well-lit area, and if you need to, plug in an extra lamp.
4. Make Eye Contact
What is one of the first things they teach you about public speaking… besides picture everyone naked? Make eye contact! In this case, it’s more like lens contact. Make sure you are looking at the video camera when you record a video. It’s pretty obvious when you’re reading a script, especially when the camera is within a few feet of you. The only time you can get away with reading without looking like your staring down is when the camera is a good seven feet away (the farther the better). Even then, you had better keep your notes right under the video camera. If you want a better solution, just keep your eyes on the video camera, and pay close attention to bullet 5 below.
5. Have a Conversation
Don’t memorize or read a script! If you really want to make great web videos, quickly, learn an outline of what you are going to say, and then say it. When you make videos that have a conversational tone, you will be able to fully leverage the power of video. I want to make sure the difference between memorizing a script and learning a script is clear. The former is when you try to learn every single word in order, and often results in you sounding like a robot. When you memorize, you lose a lot of the value derived from tone and inflection. Learning means you know the gist of what you want to say, and then how exactly that comes out is left to nature. I would compare it to having a conversation with someone about your favorite book or TV show. You already know the topic; what you say about it comes out naturally. Even if it comes out a little differently every time, it doesn’t matter.
If this sounds hard, it doesn’t have to be. Here is one of the simplest ways to learn your script:
1) Figure out what you want to say.
2) Create a list of one to two word bullet points for each sentence or idea you want to convey.
3) Practice saying your message using the list as a guide [ideally each bullet should remind you of what you want to say].
4) As you continue to practice, look at the list less frequently, weaning yourself off of it.
5) Once you can say the whole thing smoothly and comfortably without the sheet, you’re ready to record your video!
So there you have it. I’m sure there’s more I could write about, but this covers the basics. If you practice this strategy, you’ll be more than a step ahead of the pack when using web video and video email marketing in your business.
Let me know if you found this post helpful. I can start writing more about the elements of producing high quality videos for the web, quickly.