Videos have become one of the quickest ways to deliver content using a multitude of social media platforms whilst also serving the purpose of branding you and your company. Whether you are creating educational tutorials, promotional content or just moving motivational recordings – you can learn how to speak on camera.
Objective and timing
You first need to decide on the purpose of your video; will it be a promotional, motivational or educational recording. Scripting your content is a critical aspect. Unlike speaking in front of an audience where you can tailor your content for the audience – with a video – you cannot control who will ultimately be viewing your content. This creates a bigger responsibility for you to ensure that you use simple but impactful words to get your message across.
The attention span for a video audience is limited to 2,5 to 6,5 minutes. You need to grip your audience within the first 10 to 20 seconds of the video or they will switch off. Apart from speaking, you need to engage your viewer with a range of visual distractions every 15 to 20 seconds to complement your message. There is no limit to what you could use and simple tools like using a flip chart, props, switching to a PowerPoint slide, or having a graphic displayed on the screen as you speak, are all effective.
You as a speaker
It can be difficult to record the video as there are no physical people to look at – just the camera lens. To help you get into a speaking mode – you need to imagine an audience behind that lens and use words as if you are actually speaking to someone. You would say things like ‘My message to you is …’ versus ‘My message to everyone is …’. If it is too daunting to look into the camera to speak, you can make the video more engaging by getting someone to interview you so that you are looking at another person instead of the camera lens.
You also need to decide on whether or not your video is going to be a head-shot, half-body, or full-body visual. More attention to stage presence, eye contact, vocal variety and stage movement is required if you choose to be recorded full-length.
Choose clothing that is simple and non-distracting. Avoid wearing excessive accessories and clothing with patterns or stripes on them – lighter colours are the best. You need to be seen as an expert on what you are talking about, so dress the part accordingly. Lab coats (if you are a doctor), suits, books behind you, and flags propped next to you are all additional items that add credibility to your video.
- Lapel mic: Do insist on a lapel microphone. Avoid a headset or hand-held mic.
- Energy: Passion and excitement is what you need to keep your audience engaged.
- Record in snippets: You do not have to record the full video in one sitting. Break up the video into pieces and the video editor will flawlessly put it together.
- Rehearsal: Video recordings are time-consuming and expensive – the more practice you get before-hand, the more confident you will feel on the day of recording.
- A good place to start: Like driving, you get better with videos the more you do them. Do not give up after your first video attempt.
Author: Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) is a business owner and public speaker trainer