[Today's guest post…..Sean is the Head of Business Development at Bravo Video, which enables businesses to capture video from customers, users and fans - right over the web.]
Notice any trends lately on Phil’s blog? If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed a handful of self-recorded videos in some of Phil’s recent posts. Knowing what we know about Phil, my guess is he’s on to something.
We also know that video is incredibly powerful, so I won’t spend too much time arguing this point (although I do feel the need to mention that a recent report from comScore shows that online video increases consumer preference by 25%). Shooting video is incredibly accessible as most of us can get away with using our webcams, smartphones or tablets.
But what holds most of us back is uncertainty. How will we look? Will we come across as confident, or nervous and plagued with verbal diarrhea? Will it help or harm our own reputation, and the reputation of the products/services we’re looking to successfully promote?
Here’s the bottom line – block out an hour or two and just do it. Nobody does it perfectly the first time around – and that’s OK. But with a proper preparation and a little practice, we eventually get the hang of it.
Here are what I like to call the 3 “R’s” of DIY video:
Just do it already. This first step is often the most difficult. Reserve some time to stumble, embarrass yourself a bit and get the kinks out. Record 10 takes without even rehearsing it. Pretend like you’re speaking to someone in person, and avoid looking directly into the camera if need be (you can achieve this by focusing an inch or two away from the camera in any direction). When you pitch your product/service to someone over coffee, you don’t find yourself with a frog in your throat. Preparation and practice can go a long way here.
OK. The worst part is over. Now the fun begins. Take a look at the many takes you did. What did you like about your video? What didn’t you like? Have fun with this second step, and remember not to take yourself too seriously. Take detailed notes of the positive elements in your first initial takes – you’ll want to keep these in mind and use them as a reference point when shooting the final cut.
Now we’re gearing up for the grand finale. Dive back into record mode, and remember those positive elements. I’d recommend getting right back to recording after you’ve gone through the rinse stage, so the takeaways are still fresh in your mind. Record a few takes again and compare them to the initial takes you did in the first step. You should see improvements. If you’re not satisfied, rinse and repeat again until you’re pleased with the the results.
I recently downloaded a great resource provided by ProposalApp (a sales tool that leverages video during the proposal delivery process) called Video 101: How To Shoot Video Like A Pro. One of the many sections in this document focuses on technique, and I think it’s appropriate to summarize these recommendations to assist you further:
Energy – keep your energy levels high. If your energy is a 7 out of 10, it may be perceived as a 5.
Voice – free up your diaphragm, open your throat, and enunciate clearly.
Hands – these can be used effectively to communicate. But don’t over-do it. Use them naturally to keep the video engaging.
Eyes – use your eyes to express emotion. Engage the viewer, excite them and be motivational.
My best advice to you? Just do it. Leveraging quick and simple DIY video techniques on your website, blog and social media properties can make an impressive impact on your promotional activities. Execute these 3 “R’s” and tell us about your results in the comment section below.