Video content is becoming more common as it is the fastest way to consume information. In fact, it’s been reported that 90% of the information our brains process is visual because brains can understand images 60,000 times faster than text.
As a medical device marketer, you may consider making some visual content of your own, which could include filming physicians, creating short clips for social media or even pre-recording a webinar.
Whatever it is you are doing, it's crucial to do it right the first time especially if you’re featuring a speaker with a busy schedule.
We have compiled our top tips for creating professional-looking, high-quality videos. These tips can apply anytime you're recording another person speaking remotely.
Setting up filming for high-quality videos
For high-quality footage, setting up your speaker in the right place for recording is just as important as the video content. Below are some tips on how you can advise your speaker on managing their background, positioning, lighting and audio to improve their footage quality.
Keep the background simple
Although the focus will be solely on the speaker, the background will affect the viewer's impression of the video.
It is important to keep the background simple so that the attention doesn't drift away from the speaker, leading the audience to miss important information.
Here are some things to avoid:
Avoid busy or colourful backgrounds so that your speaker can get their message across effectively.
Template backgrounds from Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Sometimes speakers may opt to use a blurred background which adds a border around the speaker, creating an unclear line that can be distracting.
You might suggest the following to the speaker instead:
A plain white background with a plant for a pop of colour
An office setting (glass offices looking out onto a quiet 'working office' look very professional!)
A bookshelf (topical books in view is even better)
Placing a few objects in the background, such as ornaments, that say a bit about who they are for an emotional connection with the audience
Make sure you have good lighting
Good lighting enhances the visual quality of a video, making it easier for the audience to connect with the speaker. It's always a good idea to make sure your speaker is aware of their position with regards to the light source (window, light or lamp). The general rule is that lighting should be placed directly in front of the speaker as lighting behind the subject creates a dark shadow and obscures their face. Sitting in front of a window should be the first-choice option as it is the best way to get natural lighting.
If you cannot find any natural light sources that work, there are plenty of alternative light sources available which replicate natural daylight, such as this laptop clip.
It can be very distracting to watch a video in which the speaker is sat too far from the camera, or the camera is angled to look up at them - after all, nobody wants to be looking up someone’s nose.
Ask the speaker to sit directly in front of the camera, not off to the side. They should also ensure that they are not too close to the camera or too far away; instead, they should sit centrally in the frame. Furthermore, the camera should be facing them head-on. All of this helps to mimic real interaction and eye contact, making it easier for viewers to engage.
It may be helpful to use a tripod to get the correct camera angle, or the speaker could use some boxes or books to prop up their laptop.
Make sure you have clear audio
If viewers can hear a video clearly, they are more likely to engage with it. Bad audio will make your video seem less polished and will undo all the great work you have done in setting up, and here is how you can help:
Ask speakers to avoid setting up where they have background noise and to turn off their phones and emails.
Earphones are a great way to improve audio quality. Air pods are a perfect option as they are small therefore less visible.
You could also ask your speaker to record the audio on their phone, in sync with your recording, so you have two audio files at the end of filming. Mobile phones tend to have excellent microphones, so they will produce great audio (especially when connected to earphones).
Host a preparation call
It is a great idea to host a preparation call if your speaker can spare this time. This provides an opportunity to make sure that the speaker understands the best way to present themselves and can find the location, positioning and lighting that works best.
This meeting should take no longer than 10 minutes but will mean that you will be ready to record on the day without any delays.
Recording high-quality videos
A well-planned video is an impactful video. Getting prepared can take time, but it is time well spent to ensure you make the most of the session.
Know what you want to be discussed
Before you start filming, you need to know who your audience is and be sure about your purpose for making the video. This clarity will make it much easier to describe to your speaker what you are hoping for them to discuss. It is essential to brief the speaker fully so there are no surprises for them, and they can prepare if they wish to.
It is a good idea to avoid any kind of scripts, especially lengthy ones, as they can be hard to recall and can make the video seem stiff and mechanical, which is awkward to watch. The speaker might choose to have notes, but this is entirely their choice, and if they do, you should suggest they keep them at eye level, so they are not looking down or away from the camera as viewers will pick up on this.
Leave space for editing
Editing is a crucial part of the process of creating high-quality video content.
Poor editing can result in a lack of flow in the video and may not seem professional. It is always helpful to ensure that there is edit space around your retakes. If you have your speaker mentally count to 3 before they start talking or before doing a retake, it will leave you space to edit and reduce abruptness.
Speak clearly and with personality
We tend to find that the most prominent problem speakers encounter when presenting is a lack of movement and vocal range, as it takes a while to get comfortable speaking in front of a camera. This can result in stiff and unengaging footage.
To combat this, why not suggest trying some power poses to get more comfortable. Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy did a Ted Talk on how body language can affect how we feel about ourselves. Some power poses may be all your speaker needs to get in the zone.
Starting the session with just a normal conversation is also great for helping them to loosen up and get comfortable.
If they have time, you might suggest pre-recording a rehearsal so that they can look back and ensure they are happy with their presentation, or even invest in speaker training.
There are always some technical features involved in making video content, but this should not be of concern for the speaker. Before you start recording, you should ensure that everything is set up correctly.
Make sure before you start that the speaker has a stable internet connection that isn't going to cut out suddenly or drop in sound quality. The lowest level of internet connection that is acceptable is 5MB upload and download speed.
Lights, camera, action!
Hopefully you found our tips and tricks helpful, and you feel confident enough to go out there and engage with your audience with impactful videos! To make sure you’ve got everything covered, why don’t you check out our videography checklist (link here).
At Podymos, we understand the value of knowledge. We dedicate time each week to learning something new, to keep us sharp, and ensure we always produce our best work. Over the years we’ve learned a lot, so why not share it?
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