So it’s your first time on camera, shooting a promotional video for your company, giving a testimonial, or any other reason to be in front of those bright lights. Don’t panic! You’re not the first one to have nerves, and you certainly aren’t the last. And it’s frustrating, I know. You can talk to a client about your company in a perfectly smooth and flawless delivery all day long, but the moment the camera starts recording, all of the sudden your brain starts working against you. All of this is common, and it’s a very real thing we deal with over here at SkipperFilms, but more importantly, there are ways to help you get over that deer-in-a-headlight syndrome, and on your way to a natural-sounding on-camera delivery!
So let’s count out SkipperFilms’ Top 4 Tips for giving an On-Camera Interview or Voiceover:
1) Don’t Script It!
You’re representing the passion and personality of your company, what makes you unique, and really connecting with your audience. The absolute worst way to do all of that is to script and memorize every word and gesture. It sounds awkward, cheesy, and you’re far more focused on getting through your words correctly than you are with what the words actually mean, and it WILL show… Big time. Our suggestion, make an outline with bullet points, and use that to guide you through your natural explanation of what you’re trying to talk about. That way you have a reference point, but it allows you to freely speak about that thing you are so passionate about.
2) Practice. PRACTICE
Practice a lot, and with a timer so you know how long your runtime is (trust me, it’s longer than you think). More often than not, we show up with our cameras, and our subject opens his or her script for the first time thinking we can just record each sentence separately and mash it together in editing. This results in sentences that don’t flow, and limits our abilities in editing your video greatly. We’re magicians, not wizards for Pete’s sake! Our suggestion, spend an hour a day for 2-3 days really nailing it down. If your goal is to make a 2-minute video, shoot for your voiceover to cover about 1 minute and 30 seconds or so. That leaves some room for unexpected additions and some extra creative space with the B-Roll footage to run.
3) Have a Conversation.
A lot of times during filming, it starts becoming apparent that we need to switch up the format a bit. If the words just aren’t flowing out like they should, or you practiced your script (see #1!!) or bullet points, but once that camera turned on, all of it just went out the window. We need to find a way to steer you back to reality. A good producer or Video Production company won’t sit there silently behind the camera waiting for you to be happy with the take, we’ll do our best to prompt you with guiding questions. Talk to your video crew like they are your target audience, explain it to them like they are your new clients, this will help you ignore the camera and get you back to your comfort zone!
4) When in Doubt, Get a TelePrompter
It’s not unheard of to simply want to read a script word for word. I know #1 talked all about how this is bad, but if you’re one of those few people who have it in them to deliver a script with passion and emotion, then we’ll allow it… JUST THIS ONCE. Hell, politicians, talk show hosts, or award show hosts all use them, so they clearly have a place in delivering successful messages. You may end up paying a little more for your video production company to provide a real TelePrompter as it requires more equipment and an operator, so keep that in mind when getting pricing, but this by no means you get a free pass on your homework. You still have to practice your script several times each day leading up to the shoot to make sure the words flow together, but this is a great option to knock out an entire script with few or no breaks!
So there you have it, now your ready to get that first on-camera interview or voiceover under your belt! Don’t be afraid to ask your Video Production company for advice on what the best way to deliver your message on camera. We’re here to make your life easier, and it always helps in editing to have more useable takes than mistakes, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to help you knock this out of the park.
If you or your company are interested in creating a company video in the Washington DC, Virginia or Maryland area where we can apply these techniques, Contact Us today and tell us all about your ideas!