I applaud anyone who has the confidence to jump in front a camera and make a video. To put something out there for all to see with your face front and center makes me sweat just thinking about it! However, I see so many videos that are terrible! The content may be amazing and the message may be clear BUT no one is going to see if it it starts with an close up of Jeff's hairy left nostril in a dark, echoey room (sorry Jeff).
With video being a format that you HAVE to embrace as a company, I thought I'd put my 5 top tips together so Jeff can learn how to make his videos look professional and finally get people to watch until the end. Go Jeff!
Cinema cameras can work really well in a dark, moody, dramatic scene, Jeff's selfie camera on his phone does not. It looks like he filmed it back in 2007 on his Motorola Razr.
Phone companies have investment huge amounts of money to make their cameras better and it shows! You can now film a decent video quickly and easily just using your phone but, one area that they still struggle in is in dark environments.
Don't stress though, you don't have to go and spend your marketing budget on studio lighting. Natural light is perfect for making sure your video is clear and the best quality it can be. Stand in front of a window (make sure the window is in front of you. Don't film with the window behind you because being backlit is also something your cameras phone can't deal with) or go outside. Both of these work well. If it's very sunny just be careful that you're not in direct sunlight as this will make you squint and again, your camera may struggle with this.
If you live in England, you'll struggle with light as it's either dark or raining. To combat this you could buy a small light that's either rechargeable or plugs into you mains. These aren't a huge investment and will make the world of difference to your videos. I've stuck some links below so even Jeff will know what to buy;
Jeff isn't William Shakespeare so why would he need a script? He's just doing a quick post to his social media?! Whilst this is true, you should think about the videos that you're posting and have at least some talking points jotted down. No one engages with a video where you ramble through, double back and miss key points.
Now i get it, you don't want to spend hours writing out a script to then read it and sound like a robot. Just make a note of key points and keep it fluid and natural. Hopefully doing this means your video will be short and concise.
Jeff can't change his voice and neither can you so try not to worry about how you sound on your videos (we all cringe at the sound of our voice) I promise it gets easier the more you do it.
One thing you can do is to get the best quality audio possible with what you have. That might be headphones, a small microphone or even just your phones mic. If a video sounds terrible, no one will be able to listen, let alone want to!
try to be somewhere with little to no background noise but ideally not in a cathedral sized empty room with acoustics that Adele would kill for.
Some editing software can also remove background noise from your videos and isolate your voice. In my opinion this small change raises your video from 'meh' to 'sounds good'! and takes roughly 10 seconds to do.
Back to Jeff who is stood in his front room with his pants drying on an airer behind him and a half finished wallpapered wall.
Whilst we don't all have the luxury of an office or space dedicated to making videos, you should try to find at least a tidy background to your videos. You may think "why does it matter"? I imagine you're reading this as you plan to or are currently making videos for you or your company so it important to come across as having your s**t together.
I'm a big fan of having something in the background which may be a nice bookcase, shelf with plants or even a kitchen. I know some people who like to stand right up against a wall so they have a plain background. Personally I'm not a fan of this as it tends to cast harsh shadows and its mega boring.
Work with what you have. If you can, film with your background as far away as possible as this will create a effect where the background is blurry and you're in focus.
We all know a Jeff that posts a video where he speaks very slowly and you are stuck wishing that you could go home and watch the paint dry on your living room wall.
Even if you are talking about something boring like a tax update (sorry accountants) try to be upbeat and don't be afraid to move around and be animated. This ties into the beginning of this post, we don't want to watch a video where its just your face edge to edge of the screen and it's your nostrils front and center. take a few steps back or wheel back on your chair. doing this means you can be a little animated without disappearing from the screen.
BONUS TIP FOR HOW TO MAKE YOUR VIDEOS LOOK PROFESSIONAL
This may blow your mind but filming everything with your cameras wide angle lens is a sure fire way to make your videos look amateur. Jeff does this and it makes him look really flat and emphasises his big beak.
A wide angle has its place but only if you want your face to be distorted and have no depth. If you can, use your phones rear camera, prop it up on something and zoom it in to 50mm (most phones will let you know when you get to 50mm, I think Iphones have a 52mm setting). This gives the most natural looking video as it replicate the viewing angle of your eyes. so unless you're a Chameleon with 360 degree vision, zoom in to 50mm.
I hope this helps all the Jeffs out there who can now create videos that look pretty darn good and keep their audience engaged.
Alternatively, If you are serious about your video content and would prefer to invest in professional help, please give us a call and we will be happy to see if we could help.
Disclaimer - this post is not directed at any individual Jeffs, just the ones like at the beginning of the post. You know who you are!