When diving into personalized video messaging, it’s vital to convey a positive, personal, and friendly message with your video as a whole. That means what you are saying visually in your video is just as important as the words you speak.
What we mean by that is that you need to pay attention to the aesthetics of your video. Is the top of your head cut out of frame? Is the video too dark? Do you have the dreaded double chin?
And yes, even though filming a personalized video is as easy as whipping out your phone and pressing record, there are a few technical things we need to address so that you and your videos look effortless.
Here are 6 tips and tricks to help you shine on video.
Frame yourself correctly.
First and foremost, mind your frame. Don’t cut off the top of your head or leave too much space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. A general rule of thumb is to have about ⅓ of the frame space above your head. Try to center yourself as best as possible so that your viewer’s eye focuses on you, and stick to landscape framing if at all possible.
Be mindful of your background.
Speaking of drawing the viewer’s focus, be mindful of what is behind you while filming. Try filming in front of a wall or while sitting at your dining room table or desk. We recommend watching your video after you film it to see if there is something in your background that draws focus away from you. Odds are if you notice that pile of laundry in the chair or your cat walking across the back of the couch, your viewers will too.
You want your background to lend itself to your message. The fewer distractions there are in the frame, the easier it will be to focus on you and what you are saying.
Watch your angles.
Ahh, angles. Have you ever accidentally opened your front-facing camera and noticed the unfortunate angle? While angles may not be the first thing we think about when we film, they are extremely important. A good rule of thumb to avoid the dreaded double chin is to have the camera at eye level or just slightly above. You can accomplish this by using a tripod, or if you don’t have a tripod, you can set your laptop on a shoebox on a table.
Face the light.
We’re not saying that you need to blind yourself, obviously, but be mindful of your lighting situation. Natural lighting is best, so if you have a window, try facing it. If that’s not realistic for you, you can use a lamp or even a ring light. Avoid direct overhead lighting if you can, and don’t backlight yourself – aka don’t sit with your back to your light. It will make your video look shadowy and people won’t be able to see your face. After all, video is about putting a face to your brand!
It can be easy to jumble your words, mumble, or speed up without even realizing it. And from time to time, we can all be guilty of a poorly-placed “umm”. You can work through this by practicing what you want to say before you start filming, writing an outline to keep you on track, or if absolutely necessary, write out a script for yourself. Ultimately, like anything else, the more you speak on camera, the better you will be. So get to practicing!
Sit up and look alive.
Posture is key when filming a video. Slouching not only looks unprofessional, but it looks bad on camera. So sit up, shoulders back (just like Grandma taught you), and keep your chin forward. Your non-verbal communication is just as, if not more important than what you say. If you are slouching, looking bored, tired, inconvenienced, or fidgety, then your audience will likely focus on that and not on what you have to say. And bonus! You will feel (and look) more confident with good posture.
We hope these tips help you conquer any fears you may have about using video in your communication strategy. You can do it!