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How to make a video? (Review)

A Review by Anne Yaish

Trial and error creating informative video Ads for LinkedIn

Crossing your t’s and doting your I’s

A month ago, I was asked to do some video Ads for a client at this new company I just started working called ‘theNextSales’. This was up my ally regarding my performance and marketing background. I thought “hey this will be simple”. I have been an ambassador and promotions model plenty times how would it be so different from doing it on Video?

Boy was I wrong… here is my story on how I failed but learnt so much in the process AND I finally got it RIGHT! In 6 days or in total of 24hours with countless tries!

Through great guidance and mentorship from Effy Shkuri and Renee Van De Heuvel– Here is my tips and tricks I’ve gathered through the process.

1. Learning your script off by heart?

I was so enthusiastic I wanted to show my capability, and learnt the business video scripts off by heart, just as I have done for plenty of previous commercial – auditions in the past. Though it impressed the client, it presented a few very real challenges.

  • I found it difficult to alter wording and phrases, to be flexible to changes that needed to be made to the script.
  • Having changed to the script left my body feeling awkward, as I learnt the script with body language and movement linked to phrases and words.
  • BOTTOM LINE DON’T LEARN WORD FOR WORD! – use a teleprompter. (I will touch on this topic later).

2. Emphasis and Acting?

 This was a huge thing that left me feeling embarrassed when reviewing the video AD. When trying to dissect what you are saying to your audience you tend to become a grade A theatrical performer. You find yourself over acting and expressing your body language, with way too much emphasis. This isn’t theatre, this is business and a conversation with your audience over a video.

  • Over acting looks terrible on camera.
  • Dial down acting – Have a conversation, be natural, be yourself! If you not feeling the connection as if you are having a conversation or relating to yourself, how do you expect your audience to do so?
  • This is about finding your voice! – it’s the same voice you would use when you are socializing, so use that image as visualization before starting to talk or act on video.
  • Its all about reviewing and watching yourself repeatedly. make sure that you are happy with your “conversation”

3.  The importance of a smile.

 This ties in so much with emphasis and acting. When trying to get out point across we so often use facial expressions as cues for an emotional response. Guess what, this isn’t necessary. When filming video informative ads, you can do just as much, if not more with just a smile. Besides, you don’t want everyone to see that horrid frown crack in the middle of your forehead.

  • Smile Smile Smile- Before, During, and After!!!
  • Looking like a fool makes you look good: Yes, before you start talking on video, stand still like a smiling mannequin for about 3-5 seconds. It may feel awkward and look foolish, but it’s a great preparation tool. WHY? It gives you a great tonality and pronunciation, you look friendly and relatable, plus it puts you in a good mood to do it 1000 times if needed, even if you mess up.
  • Again, end the video standing like a smiling mannequin for 3-5 seconds, it just does something amazing for the viewer at the end. Almost as the same enjoyment as a happy ever after at the end of a movie. It’s a feel-good moment.

For more video prospecting tips 

4. Check your mic and receiver!

 I spent so much time on recordings to get it right, just to realize I made forgetful errors. This can be so frustrating especially when you made the perfect video, and you need to scratch it!

  • Put your mic on your garment the right way. Mine had a logo on the back which was visible. Make sure that if yours has a logo hide it. – it doesn’t look professional.
  • Make sure your receiver is plugged in the device, I could have kicked myself for the number of times I forgot and filmed without a mic.
  • Make sure your devices are charged!

 5. Do a video test…

 At first, I just went into filming eager to start, but there is so many reasons to do a test run first- to save you time and frustration!

  • Check your lighting, you want to look good on camera, and the light should be on your face. There is nothing worse than fading into the background. Check the background, have a few options.
  • Check the video for surrounding things you may want to remove or change. There may be a sign that could be unnecessary, or a very common access point and you end up with people in the background using a door for example.
  • Make sure your centered (I use a pen on the floor for my maker where to stand.)
  • Make sure your hands are visible, this builds trust with your audience, and you can use gestures- (not all the time) to put emphasis on certain words or phrases. It will put the viewer off if you over gesture, just like over acting.
  • Leave a little space on top of your head, and make sure you’re not too close to the camera. Try not to distant yourself from the viewer it can be distracting to focus on too many things, focus on getting that message across more than the environment.
  • Stand still, only move when necessary. Again, can be very distracting from the message, but also it can create extra feedback noise or static, especially if the mic is on your garment. This takes me to the next point…
  • Background-noise check. This is so very important as you don’t need the extra effects; kids playing, clanging cups or pots, or police siren in the background unless intentional.
  • Lastly check your appearance, hair, make-up, garment (also have a few options for your background adjust to have different looks if you will be duplicating the same video multiple times). Most importantly … posture- it always makes you look good on camera no matter your weight.

So far this was all what I learnt in my first couple days of trying out this new skill.

 6. To use a teleprompter or not?

 Next, I was introduced to a teleprompter, which I have never used in my life, and was a bit nervous, being dyslexic lol, and I was heart set on memorizing the scripts, but as I mentioned it leave little room for improvement. The biggest challenge is how to learn something to perfection, use it once and then just to learn a new script perfectly again, doing this over and over. It takes so much time, effort, and unneeded space in your head (if anything it can be unnecessary stress)- and that’s all for 1 script, 1 video. However, you need to do maybe up to 7 in one day. How frustrating and exhausting? Therefore, you should use a teleprompter. Here are a few tips I learnt…

  • Adjust the script into pauses. What this means as you read the script out loud identify, where you would pause in your speech, then add an extra space or “enter or return line”

Example:

Script:

Digital transformation was talk, but today the life of an organization may depend on its ability to impact the business with high velocity.

Layout:

Digital transformation was talk,

but today the life of an organization may depend on its ability to impact the business with high velocity.

  • Change the speed of the teleprompter to get the message across the way you speak, without making it sound rushed and making sure that you can hear every word. You want to sound as natural as possible- like you are NOT reading.
  • Glance away briefly in one or two pauses. This helps the video look natural like as if you are not reading.
  • If you are making a few mistakes on a few words, change the color, font, or size on the teleprompter for that specific word you are forgetting/ mispronouncing or want to emphasize.
  • Pronouncing tip 1: if you uncertain on the pronunciation on a certain word you can use your friendly google to assist. Just type the word and pronunciation google will give you an option to listen and practice. It will assist with the vowel, consonant, and emphasis placement.
  • Pronouncing tip 2: say the word you battling to pronounce over and over again while walking, or making coffee and just think about it now and then. Then add it to your script and break up the word, the same way you hear and say it in uppercase bold letters.

Can you believe the above is what I learnt days 2 and 3 of filming? By now I felt a bit more comfortable in front of the camera. My conversation and speech pattern were improving. The best way I can explain it, is as the same if you are talking and explaining the information to someone you know. Yes, I was still making a tone of bloopers, but I could identify immediately where I was going wrong, and how I wanted to present the information. The formula was simple, it was now all about practising.

From spending 30min on 1 video I was spending 15- 20 min including the bloopers of- course.

 This takes me to my final notes.

  • Keep doing it as often as possible, the more you do the more natural it will become.
  • Do one video right first, before moving to the next video.
  • When presented with a new script go over it a few times before recording- Read it as how you would say it.
  • Adjust the script according to your speech pattern.
  • Breath, smile and test the scripts at first – the first few times will NOT be perfect! – it takes some time to get the rhythm right for a new script.
  • Review after you completed your video, check if you missed something, listen to the pauses and pronunciations. Make sure it doesn’t look like you’re reading the teleprompter.

If you make a blooper just laugh it off stop, smile, wait and go again. Find your rhythm, find your voice … you will be surprised how naturally it happens when you’re being AUTHENTICLY YOU! That’s all you need in video marketing

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