I know you don’t want to hear it, but video is eating the world!
Video is everywhere. It’s taking over everything. Video even killed the radio star!
Vlogging; sales promo videos; skype; online video workshops; Facebook feeds; Youtube; Instagram; Facetime; webinars; Periscope; video conferencing. There’s no getting away from the video presentation (or the video presentation tips you’ll get from friends and family).
At some point, you’re going to have to get comfortable giving a video presentation – even if you hate the way you look on camera and you cringe listening to the sound of your voice played back to you.
Fortunately, like most things public speaking, you can go a long way with some careful techniques, eliminating silly mistakes, and good old fashioned practice.
To warm things up, how about a short clip in how not to do video. Take a minute to watch ‘Little’ Marco Rubio’s painful delivery of the official Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address in 2013. It’ll make you feel better about your own struggles.
(Keep the FREE CHECKLIST – 19 Video Presentation Tips to hand for the next time you’re on camera)
(or And you’ll definitely want to take my Free Video Workshop Series: Why most speeches suck and how to make sure yours wont’.
So, now that you’ve had your own sip of water, let’s begin with my own video presentation tips:
There’s basically three key aspects to giving a great video presentation:
- The Technicalities.
- What you say.
- How you say it.
So, you’re going to speak on video. Just pull out your camera or smartphone and start recording, right? Wrong!
Before you even think about hitting the record button, there are a whole load of technicalities you should sort out first.
1) AUDIO – Get a damn good microphone
As counterintuitive as it may sound, the single most important factor in a good video, is the audio quality. People will readily watch a shaky, grainy, amateur video with good sound, but force them to struggle to hear what’s being said and they’ll switch off in seconds.
A good mic is a great investment.
For video, a lavalier lapel mic is excellent as it sits close to your mouth so picks everything up strongly. I personally use the Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Mic as it’s pretty cheap, plugs into my iPhone, but still gives good sound. For a USB mic to record straight to computer, I love the Blue Yeti USB Mic, which has great sound and a cool old school look.
2) ELIMINATE AMBIENT NOISE – Close the windows
Still on sound, you want to find a quiet spot to do your recording. Close all the windows, and ask your neighbour to turn the music down or suspend the lawn mowing whilst you record. You’d be surprised how much environmental noise gets picked up.
3) DON’T OVER WORRY ABOUT THE CAMERA
Despite the fact that people often get consumed by the type of camera to be used, this is actually one of the least problems you will have. Nowadays cameras are just so damn good you are almost always guaranteed to get decent HD footage.
I do all my recordings with my iPhone 6 and it’s sufficient for my needs. Any half-decent smartphone, or camera, now records nearly as well as the highest spec video recorders of yesteryear. So, unless you need to shoot at Hollywood blockbuster levels, just find a camera that isn’t too old and consider that box ticked off.
4) LIGHTING – not overhead!
Do think about lighting.
Next to good audio, it’s another one of those big technicalities that can have a big impact on the quality of your video. (Amazon have some good options like this one)
Don’t put any lights or windows behind you. They’ll mess with the light levels on your video. Don’t stand under your room spotlights – especially if the top of your head gets really shiny like mine!
Go for bright, soft lighting coming from behind the camera to light up your beautiful face.
5) BACKGROUND – not just a white wall, please!
White walls are boring. Have something innocuous but discernible in the background. Don’t be afraid to show your natural environment e.g. bookcases, plants, painting – as long as they are not too distracting.
I love my podcasts and video blogs, especially anything done by Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income.
He does his videos in his office with books, pictures and files in the background.
6) FRAMING – don’t put yourself dead centre.
You may want to be the centre of attention, but don’t put yourself bang in the centre of your video. It’s a neuroscientific thing, but basically, you want to be slightly off centre to the left or right, rather than directly in the middle of the frame – again check out my man Pat above. He’s ever so slightly to the left of centre. It also leaves a nice space for any text overlay you want to do.
7) CAMERA HEIGHT – don’t show us the inside of your nostrils
Your frame should be slightly off centre, but the camera height can be dead centre.
Be careful of the angle though. The lens should either be directly level or be pointing ever so slightly downwards towards your face.
Try to avoid the Blair Witch Project ‘up the nostrils’ approach.
It’s just not a great look.
So, those are the technicalities. Now for the sexier stuff.
(Did I mention the video presentation tips checklist that goes with this article?)
WHAT YOU SAY
8) PREPARATION – yes, you’ve heard it before but I’m saying it again!
What can I say? If you take one thing from all my articles combined (though I hope there are other things of value that I’ve said), it will be this: PREPARATION. PREPARATION. PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered with this handy checklist called the Ultimate Speech Preparation Checklist
Don’t start speaking til you know exactly what it is you want to say.
9) KEEP IT SHORT
If people are watching you on video, chances are they have many other distractions competing for their time and attention – that YouTube clip of the baby biting his brother’s finger; facebook notifications popping up every 30 seconds; that email from their boss that has to be answered.
Keep it short. Keep it engaging. If it’s going online, remember that anything longer than 3 minutes will experience a sharp drop off in audience viewing.
10) HAVE A POINT – the video will be around for eternity
Most speeches last minutes. Unless someone erases it, your video presentation will last a lifetime, so be sure to have a point to what you’re going to say or people will be watching your pointless video for generations to come.
Don’t ramble. Don’t waffle. Get to the point.
11) USE A STRONG STRUCTURE
However compelling the content of your speech, it will fall flat if it is not set within a strong structure that carries your audience towards a strong climactic conclusion.
And, you guessed it, here’s a Speech Structure Checklist to help you work out a great structure for your presentation.
12) SIMPLE WORDS
Video is no place for tongue twisters so use short simple words.
Don’t forget to sign up for my Free Video Series Workshop on how not to give a speech that s