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  • Writer's pictureRui Veras

"Video kills the radio stars?"

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Making compelling, engaging videos that showcase leadership and strength, while delivering an engaging message is a tall order.

Please look at me, not at the camera. We can take as many shoots as needed, but please imagine you are in a live show, so just keep going. Ready?

Video is set to be a key element – if not the key element - of communication in years to come. The forecast is that soon 80% of internet traffic will be consumed in video format, and visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video. For corporate communication professionals this is often about delivering engaging messages. One way of delivering this is by interviewing people and making them communicate their message in a clear and engaging way. As most of communication executives must be aware, it is not an easy job. So, if you are a radio star make sure you get yourself in front of a camera.

For information, for diversion, for fun - whatever the goal, an online video has to grasp the viewer’s attention in the first seconds. The same happens in TV while one is zapping. But we know a bit more about the online viewers, and while they are more prone than TV audiences to actively engage with the content, it is essential that any on-camera speaker starts off immediately delivering the key message. There is no time for palaver – like a warm knife through butter, the message needs to be delivered immediately in simple and clear language.

Keep your audience in mind and remember that a good message has to be relevant both to the informed audience as well as for the beginner that might not have even heard of you before hitting ‘play’.

Emotion is the key to communication. Emotions become decisions - from sales to responsible behaviour and political decisions. So it is most important to communicate the right message. Check the top tips I would advise to anyone who feels video adventurous.

Know exactly what you want to communicate.

Crafting a good story is an art. Most often the interviewees don’t have a clear focus, or try to convey too many issues or aren’t clear in their delivery. These are just a few challenges that a communication professional has to deal with. Whether interesting or not will depend on the content, but I believe that a good communications professional will know how to encourage his speaker to deliver an emotionally compelling story in the appropriate tone of voice to hook the viewer.

Most editing usually happens in my head while filming.

The magic of video is in the editing. It’s here that you can influence, enhance and align your video’s message. In recent years the video production has been made much easier by editing technology such as iMovie.

Attention to detail is required to ensure everything in the picture is natural, but you might want to omit a detail that might misguide your message – like a bottle of wine next to the speaker conveying a serious message.

What’s very important for the editing room is related content - usually called B-roll. What the viewer is talking about will further engage the viewer. And in addition it will also allow you to edit the speech, as it allows to smoothly paste together your story.

Make it happen

The necessary basics are a camera, microphone and tripod - the holy trinity of video. A clear image with crisp colours engages the senses. A clear sound will allow you to follow what is happening. And a stable image allows the viewer to understand and not feel dizzy. I won’t recommend what equipment you should get, because today’s age is about enabling people to produce the best they can given the available resources. So depending on your budget you will procure the most efficient solutions. In a “journalist citizen age” these tips are meant to apply to all.

Ready, set, stay!

While evolving technology provides amazingly affordable solutions for professional video capture, a semi- professional camera with good stabilisation will still deliver great results. Depending on your equipment you’ll have a different result in video production, but as long as you’re authentic and original, there’s ample room for success. So while I don’t advocate using a phone to produce your video, there is always a way to produce compelling material on a budget. But remember: stabilisation is key, use wide angles for landscapes and close-ups for people.

Tip box:

Lights, camera, action... There’s a reason to always think about this!

  1. Keep in mind your audience at all times and you will know how to talk to them. Invest in meeting your target audience.

  2. Stabilization is key – get a camera with the best stabilisation possible. And when you have no tripod hold your elbows against your body for increased stabilisation and just keep holding the camera still.

  3. If you are using a mobile phone hold it horizontally – you probably won’t remember it when snapping that quick moment you want to capture, but if you are trying to capture something that will be edited, this will make a huge difference.

  4. Get a microphone to plug from your phone onto your speaker. Sound will be one of the key emotions on your video.A clear speaker voice without wind sound is essential. While you might feel tempted to film in the beautiful garden outside, an indoor recording will capture better sound, without background noise.

  5. Capturing what is called B-roll is very important. B-roll are the scenes that relate to what the video content is about. So, go film around and outside for b-roll it will help you with editing.

  6. Lights are very important.Make sure your subjects are well lit and have no shadows on their faces from ceiling lighting for example.

  7. Position your subject on one side of the frame, not in the middle, to ensure depth in your picture

  8. Ask your subject to stand out and stand straight – it surely depends on the message to convey, but one will surely look more assertive.

  9. The message can be framed in several ways according to what is more natural to the interview. You can draw a communication house diagram: One clear message supported by three arguments based in examples. But you can also ask the subject to define the number of topics she wants to talk about and use her fingers – so she won’t miss a thing.

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