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Five Tips for Better Videos

I am really excited about today’s guest post, especially since I am now involved in the #ShutUpShow with my very good friend, Berni and my friend, Noeleen, is fantastic and offers up some great tips for you!! Please let me know which ones you find most useful.

Noeleen McGrath is the President of McGrath Comm. Her firm specializes in executive media training and executive presentation skills coaching. She recently launched a podcast, “Eat The Lens,” where she offers bite-sized tips to help you improve your on-camera performance. You can also find her on twitter as @McGrathComm and on google+.

As an executive media trainer and executive presentation skills coach, I work with many people to improve their on-camera performance. While the executives I work with usually perform at a very high level, occasionally I work with people who are new to being on-camera. Some are even trying to produce their own videos to promote their practices and businesses. Typically I start my coaching sessions with these professionals by reviewing videos that they have already produced. Without fail, I see the same mistakes over and over again. But with a little coaching– and a better understanding of video production—they show great improvement.

Here are some tips to help you improve your on-camera performance and appearance.


#1 Get some light on your face. Good lighting makes a HUGE difference to your on-camera appearance. The inexpensive option is to go outside. The downside is that if you’re like me you’ll squint in the sunlight. That’s why I invested in a professional video light for my office. I just set it up about five feet from my face and I look like a million bucks.

#2 Keep your messaging tight. Figure out what you want to say and don’t repeat yourself. That’s one of the biggest mistakes I see beginners make. They are trying to talk their way through what they want to say and they wind up babbling like a brook. Practice off-camera first. Then record yourself.

#3 Keep your videos short. If it’s just you on-camera, don’t go longer than a minute.  That’s a long time to watch someone, especially if they aren’t really charismatic. If you’ve got some video to cover when you’re on-camera, then you can probably go two minutes.

#4 Make sure your camera is level with or higher than your face. The fastest way to create double chins is to have your camera or laptop shooting up at you. My advice is to buy a tripod for your camera. Or if you need to raise up your laptop– stack some dictionaries or phone books underneath it until the chins disappear.

#5 Smile! Nothing will endear you more to an audience than a great smile. Make it real. Make it warm. You will find that people will forgive most of your mistakes while you’re learning how to perform on-camera if you flash those pearly whites.

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