In today’s multi-media world, a business is expected to reach out to its audience using all forms of media channels. This includes videos and the quickest way to ensure a more professional image is to master a few principles. Similar to most new businesses, I started out by using my webcam and recording at my office desk. Through the help of Paul Johnstone of ParadigmShakers, I have a few tips on improving my video production which I can use to develop my video techniques. Here are a few that Paul shared with me.
1. Visual Setting. Get the background, lighting and your clothing right. Avoid black and be careful of background colour. Paul pointed out that my head was disappearing into the background due to my blonde hair being shown against a yellow wall.
2. Content. Keep the message short, clear and simple. Record, no more than a few minutes as people get bored.
3. Delivery. Remember to breathe and break recording up into small chunks. You can easily edit them together provided that you leave enough space at the beginning and end of each clip. Don’t rush and take as many retakes as you need until you are comfortable with the content. Don’t memorise as this can appear stilted but repetition will ensure you become familiar with the content so that you communicate smoothly, without filler words such as “er” and “um”.
These are only a few of the tips that Paul shared and which he included in a full written report for me to use as a reference document. I am sure my videos will not show a dramatic improvement immediately but I am confident that if I keep to the principles, they will come across as more professional. I am sure you will let me know what you think!
And if you want to see how not to do it from a previous video – take a look at this. Cat Interrupts
The Week: A short week due to the camping holiday. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent catching up and preparing for the September Forums. Leadership Forum on the 7th September in Colchester and the London Highflyingdivas on the 13th September, hosted by KPMG. On Thursday morning I had my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) training on my new online tool with Steve at Junari, which I am very excited about. Basically the system is designed for SMEs, is less expensive, offers more functionality and greater customisation than other more recognised tools. . In the afternoon it was off to CECs (Central Essex Community Services) for a number of meetings relating to my Non-Executive Director role. Friday is my day for admin, social media, accounts etc.
Reading for the week. Paul recommended “Your Voice & How to Use it” by Cicely Berry OBE , the Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It contains useful exercises for the main elements of good speech, namely, breathing, word-formation and tone.
Lighter Reflections. Well it has to be the camping doesn’t it. I wrote in my last blog that I suspected we were going with seasoned campers and when we met them, the first confirmation was that we three people and large dog were stuffed into our car and they, two adults and a dog half the size of ours were in an estate complete with trailer. We realised why when we watched them unpack their double divan bed, sleeping bags, duvet, pillows, 2 cookers, bar-b-que and, of course, the fridge. They also managed to erect their tent, unpack their folding chairs and brew a cup of tea whilst we were still struggling with instructions and tent poles. I was later mollified when they realised they had forgotten their towels. All dogs had to be on leads, so we duly put Baron on a rope. All fine until James went off to the washroom and Baron leapt up, rushing off to join him, taking the table, 3 chairs and crockery with him. It had to be the neighbours’ cafetière that was broken of course. James then had the fun of trying to haul Baron off our air-mattress as the dog was convinced it was laid out for him (and possibly me if I were to bribe him with biscuits). We went to bed to find with James quickly sinking to the floor whilst I remained suspended in mid-air. This didn’t last for long as our mattress proceeded to deflate. Not a good night’s sleep, particularly as I was coveting the neighbours’ double divan. Felt better in the morning when they told us that theirs had deflated too. We trooped off to buy new air-beds but the replacements didn’t seem to be much better – any recommendations anyone? Well the weekend was fabulous. Our friends tolerated us and our dog and generously shared whatever they had brought with them. Paul even cooked breakfast for 2 of the 4 days. We managed to get away with buying some croissants and offering “continental” in return. Not sure they noticed. We all agreed that we would love to go away together again and we truly mean it. Haven’t seen them since we got back though – can’t understand why. After all we did lend them some of our towels!
Highflyingdivas, 13th September, London – NLP for Business (hosted by KPMG)