Video presentation skills are essential for marketers these days. Used properly, video can dramatically enhance your credibility and professionalism. We tend to admire those who are engaging behind the camera; because most of us know it is not as easy as it looks.
Fortunately, there are specific skills involved, and that means they can be learned.
Why are these skills essential? Because video allows you to not just talk about your expertise, but to demonstrate it. This makes it an ideal format for personalizing your small business marketing.
Additionally, with the Skype and video conferencing becoming more commonplace, you will want to be sure you are at your best in those situations too. All it takes is a little bit of awareness, and like anything else, a lot of practice.
Eye Contact and Head Position
You have most likely heard the expression the camera never lies. It doesn’t
If you are reading even a few words from a script, you eyes will reveal that. You want to look squarely into that camera as if it were your best friend – smiling naturally, of course.
You want to have a slight downward tilt to your head. This is a little trick that relaxes and opens the eyes - which indeed communicate just as strongly as your words. Additionally, positioning your head like this makes you approachable, whereas tilting it back gives the impression of aloofness.
To validate this, just watch the best news reporters on television. It may look effortless, but that is because they have practiced in front of the mirror, as well as on camera. You should do the same.
Posture and Gestures
For most people, including many professionals, hand gestures are a challenge. Either the arms and hands are all over the place, or they are rigidly locked into a single position, often with hands crossed or stuffed into pockets.
Try to use your hands naturally, such that they accompany your words. Use them to emphasize key points, not every other word! A good example of how not to use them is to watch the spokespeople for your local automobile dealerships.
Obviously, if the energy level of your presentation is high, your gestures will be more frequent. Just be sure you don’t overdo it or you’ll get categorized as the stereotypical used car salesman. And please, for those of you who do sell cars, I understand there are some fine professionals in every industry. It’s the stereotype I’m referring to.
Energy is indeed a key element in your video presentation. Most of us will tune out of a video where the energy level is too low, or too frenetic. My suggestion is to err on the side of having higher energy.
This is one quality the automobile dealership spokespeople usually do well. Why? They understand that most of the time they’ve got one shot at your business, and they don’t want to waste it by appearing disinterested.
In this regard, I am indeed someone who tends to speak quickly. When I first started speaking professionally I was told by some that I talk too fast. So, I made an effort to slow things down. That was a mistake, as subsequent reviewers suggested my energy level was too low. Once again, it’s important to be yourself and do what comes naturally.
The inspiration for this post was the video above of the Beatles performing Hey Bulldog. You will first notice that John Lennon is the only one that smiles during the entire video. He really looks like he is really enjoying himself! Your eyes are drawn to him, and disregarding everything else, that makes him the most likable of the four.
However, what really jumped out at me is how he punches his words. Note how he decisively begins and ends each vocal sequence. This is something that all of us can improve upon.
And just like this three minute video, your videos should be short – preferably less than two minutes. So, the few words you do use should be delivered with emphasis.
When it comes to content, first and foremost you want to skip the foreplay and jump right in. Your subscribers and visitors are ready to consume your message. That’s why you need to serve it up, and avoid cute little intros such as welcoming them to “coffee talk” (or whatever your blog theme may be) by making them endure 20 seconds of you sipping coffee.
The words you use in your videos should not be memorized, but they should indeed be scripted. I know this sounds like a contradiction. It isn’t. It’s a matter of preparing well so that you don’t sound rehearsed.
When I am creating any kind of audio or video recording I always write it out exactly as I would like to deliver it. Then, I’ll read it a few times, maybe even aloud, just to get the feel of delivering it. I’ll then anchor my thoughts by writing out the one, two or three key points (in a word or two each), compose myself – then roll camera!
A Bit More
The search engines love video because people love video. And if you are trying to communicate with a younger audience, you will not want to overlook this medium. They aren’t subscribing to blogs; they are subscribing to YouTube channels.
Video is easy to learn with just a little effort.
We are now surrounded by this technology that may put you on video at a moments notice. This is precisely why you want to take the time to study and practice these skills to be sure you are always at your best.
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Until tomorrow, Jeff