Video content is a great way to engage an audience and send a compelling message, but the technical skills involved can feel intimidating. Filming video doesn’t need to be complicated – you just need to keep in mind some of the basics.
In these ever-changing times, it’s important for leaders and organisations to be agile and adapt to changing environments. When we can’t physically gather, videos are the next best thing for engaging with your staff; conveying information, offering reassurance, and adding a personal touch that can’t be achieved through powerpoint slides or lengthy emails.
Follow these simple tips to create high-quality videos in your own home:
1. Outline the goal of the your video
Before you film anything, clearly define what you want this video to achieve, and who your target audience is. Your goal will inform the content of your video, while your target audience will determine how best to deliver this message.
2. Keep it simple
Your video should have a clear message and be delivered concisely – make a video too long and you risk losing the interest of your audience. Focus on your key ideas and how best to convey these to your audience. There’s no need to have a full script prepared (this may feel unnatural on camera), but making notes beforehand ensures the message in concise and no important information is forgotten. You can also consider adding interest with visuals to compliment the face-to-camera sections. Keep in mind that when appearing in a video it is important to be relaxed and act naturally – your body language will convey as strong a message as your words do.
3. Don’t worry about a professional camera
You may feel like you need a camera crew to make professional-looking videos, but the only equipment you need to begin with is your smart phone. Setting up your phone on a stand (or asking someone with steady hands to film you) allows you to quickly and easily film content anywhere. This also makes it easy to upload and share portions of your video content without using complicated editing software: explore in-phone applications for making simple changes to video.
4. Choose a background
You want the background of your video to contribute to, and not overwhelm, your video’s message. It’s easiest to choose a real life background without too many distractions, such as a tidy home office. Filming in your home can feel overly personal, but remember that it is important for leaders to show that they too are facing the same challenges as staff, and leading the way for normalising working from home. If you feel confident, you can experiment with virtual backgrounds: different programs allow you to insert a digital background of your choosing.
5. Consider colours and clothing
Ensure that the colours in your shot are harmonious and not distracting to the viewer. If your background is mostly in blues and greys, don’t bring in bright orange through your props or clothing. When choosing an outfit, remember that block colours appear much more clearly on camera than anything with a pattern.
6. Use natural lighting
Natural lighting is always best for shooting video, and saves you the trouble of setting up and trying to balance a lot of artificial lighting. Choose a room with plenty of windows for filming, and shoot during the day. Experiment with angels and the position you’re standing in to ensure the light is best – not bright and distracting, and not casting any shadows over you or important aspects of your video.
7. Consider composition
When composition is done right, it’s not even noticeable – but when it’s done incorrectly, your audience can tell! Make sure you frame yourself on the screen so that your head appears in the top half of the frame, without too much space above you. Avoid cutting off the top of your head or having any dramatic close ups; for filming at home, it’s easiest to use mid shots (or shots showing from the waist up). If you’re setting up your camera on a stand, experiment with the angle to ensure it is right before filming; if you have someone filming you, discuss composition with them.
8. Think about your sound
Crackly or unclear sound will dilute the message your video is trying to send. Always test your audio set up before you start recording, ensuring you’re capturing as much sound as possible. Don’t film in a noisy environment; if there’s a lot of external sound, wait for it to pass before hitting record. Speak as though you were giving a speech to a large room – projecting your voice and speaking clearly will improve the quality for the viewer.
9. Film short takes
Don’t try to make your video all in one go – it just means you have a lot more work to do if you make a mistake, if there’s a technical error, or if a loud siren goes past outside! Filming in short sections allows you to easily reshoot. If you’re delivering a complex message, it also means you have less to remember and can refer to notes between takes. It’s easy to edit out sections you don’t like when compiling your video later.
10. Distribute your video
You’ve gone to the trouble of making a great video, now it’s time to share it! Video content is perfect for sharing on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It can also be embedded into email mail outs, or shared on internal staff systems. After you’ve shared your video, you can track the views and engagements it is receiving.