Note from Jim: I found another great voice in the social media world and asked her to guest for my blog. Jessica Kizorek did a great presentation for us on cost effective internet video last week at the Florida Direct Marketing Association. This is an extension of that presentation (and also a great follow up to my internet video series part 1, part 2) ….
Preparing to be in front of a camera soon? Follow these ten tips or risk looking like a loser on video.
1. Look Me in the Eye
With the advent of the webcam, people are way more interested in looking at themselves perform in the video preview window than actually making eye contact with the person watching the video. Look into the camera. Straight into the lens. Don’t wander with those eyes…you have to be 10 times as engaging through online video to keep people from wandering off your page. Stare them down. Lock them in like a bomber pilot locks in on his target.
2. Be in the Spot Light
If your face is going to be the centerpiece of the video, make sure that it’s got the most light on it. People’s eyes will wander towards the light, so if there’s a bright window with little kids riding tricycles behind you…that’s what people will be watching. Viewers are like horses. Put blinders on them and tell their brain what they should focus on. Illuminate the key elements of the frame, whether that’s your face, a product or a logo. Place a smaller light to the opposite side (and a little behind) so that you have dimension and pop out from the background.
3. Speak Up
Computer stereos are notoriously insufficient when it comes to pumping up the volume. Most people think that the visual element is the most important when it comes to video, and underestimate the power audio has in communicating the message. Video is 50% visual, and 50% auditory. Use an external microphone whenever possible, or get close to the camera if it’s a cheap-o. Speak up, or else people will get frustrated when you make them struggle to hear what’s going on. When they can’t hear, they say “@*#% It.”
4. Think in Threes
Try and narrow your message down to three key ideas. Three ideas that you’ll communicate if you forget everything else. This keeps it simple, and helps you remember what you were saying if you go blank. The more simple your schpeel, the more relaxed you’ll be. Especially if the video is an interview or back and forth exchange.
5. Get Busy with the Mirror
Once you’ve got your three points identified, stand in front of the mirror. You can do it naked or with clothes on. Look yourself in the eye and let loose. Practice delivering your talk until you’re confident and relaxed. You may know what you’re talking about, but you have to convince yourself of that. After a while you’ll stop worrying what you look like and what other people will think. The more you practice in the mirror, the greater chance you have of looking like a natural once the camera’s red light comes on. If not, you’ll spend your energy second guessing yourself and looking like a stiff.
6. Up Close and Personal
Get closer. Closer. A little closer… Don’t be afraid to get close to the camera. Internet video players are pretty small, so don’t want to get lost on the wall paper in the background.
7. Befriend the Camera Girl
If you’re doing a professional shoot, chances are the camera girl knows more than you do about looking good on video. Ask her advice, and let her set up the scene. Listen to her coaching and suggestions. Ask to see the set through her monitor or LCD screen so you know which parts of you are in the frame. If she asks you to repeat a line or change your shirt, do it. She has your best interests at heart, and wants just as much for you to look good on video.
8. Wear Video Friendly Fashion
Be careful what you wear on camera. Red sometimes bleeds on television. Black and white can create too much contrast and throw off exposure, making your face too dark or too bright if you’re using a webcam or camera without manual controls. Avoid stripes, crazy patterns and sparkles, as the can cause noise or pixilation when the video is compressed for the Internet. You may not notice that you’re shirt is wrinkled or dirty, but the camera will. So make sure your clothes are freshly laundered or else be filled with regret once you see the play back.
9. Don’t Sweat it
Nothing will make you more nervous than sweat beads forming on your upper lip. Make sure the room you’ll be shooting in is cool so you don’t start to worry about whether you’re armpit sweat will show on camera. Give yourself one less thing to think about. Heat will make you uncomfortable, and the camera lens will catch that.
10. Act Like You Own the Joint
This may be the wrong way to word it, but seriously. You don’t want to come across arrogant, bit get pumped before you sit down. Stroke your own ego a little. You’ve got what it takes. 250,000 people may see it on YouTube, but it’s only video.
About Jessica Kizorek
Jessica Kizorek is a keynote speaker, Internet video expert and the respected author of three books on the subject of video marketing and the Internet. Jessica Kizorek has made it her mission to keep marketers in the loop with her keynote speeches and seminars on the latest in online video, online branding, consumer marketing trends, plus how social media marketing can be a valuable channel within integrated marketing campaigns.
Jessica has produced video content on all seven continents and was nominated as one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for her passion in documenting the impact of humanitarian efforts around the globe. Jessica Kizorek has been invited to deliver keynote speeches about online video, video marketing and Internet fundraising for many corporate meetings, trade associations, national conferences and non-profit groups.
Since graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Colorado, Jessica Kizorek’s company (The Viral Pulse - www.TheViralPulse.com) has produced video and digital media for clients such as Bacardi, Hyatt Hotels and Moet Hennessy.
As an adjunct professor at the prestigious Miami Ad School, Jessica Kizorek has also been published as an expert in the online video marketing field by industry journals such as The American Association of Advertising Agencies, MediaPost and iMedia Connection.
Jessica Kizorek, The Viral Pulse
firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell: 630.835.4811
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