Do you ever want to try something new with your blog? How about video blogging or vlogging? I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Every time I visit a blog where there are video posts my first reaction is always, “Wow that took courage.” There’s something very inviting, very personal that I like about it. It’s like a welcoming invitation to get to know someone a little better. Not unlike that message on Twitter that turns into a DM, then to an email exchange. And sometimes a phone call and, if you’re lucky, a face-to-face conversation.
The film person in me screams, “You need good lighting, you don’t have the right camera, etc. etc.” The vain part of me screams, “You don’t look on camera – you sound okay, but you look funny.” Truth be told, some people just do look better in front of the camera than others, but I when I settle into watching a good video post, it’s like good writing: I become engaged – I’m listening. Processing and thinking. So, having said that, here are a few hints that will help your video look better:
– First and foremost, be you. Don’t change the way you communicate just because there’s a camera on. For instance, if you need to laugh, use your hands when you talk, use a certain turn of phrase, do it. Be you.
– Think background – it matters. Point your camera at where you’ll be talking from, then stand behind the camera and have a look. It’s called setting the frame. Anything distracting there? It could be as simple as a picture on the wall, bulletin board with something flashy pinned on it, a mirror (always a definite no) or anything that causes your eye to drift from where you’ll be talking.
– Think lighting – it matters. If you’re using natural light streaming in from outside, uncover all those windows and let in as much as you can. Shoot a little test and see how it looks. You may have to change to get the best positioning for the optimum lighting advantage — lighting that makes you look good. If you need to add light, move some lamps, etc. around to get the best effect. Lighting from behind usually does not look the best. Light your face from the front, point a lamp at your face from beside the camera or on the floor in front of you. Move things around, experiment and play with it – have fun.
–Think sound – You really do need to have it quiet when you record. You can have a bad background and poor quality lighting and still have an ok post. If you have poor quality sound you have nothing. Viewers automatically disengage when they can’t hear. You can look like a rockstar but if they can’t hear you it doesn’t count for anything!
– Think timing – Most people watch videos that are between 3:00 and 4:00 long. After that, unless you’re giving an informational talk or doing an exercise video you lose people’s attention, sad, but it’s true. Think about a regular post you would write and how long it would take to read it. Maybe you’re doing a vlog as something special or just for fun. Stick to what you’re hoping to convey.
– Think articulation – If you’re nervous, you may have a tendency to rush your speech. Think about being clear and delivering your words effectively so others can make them out. This doesn’t mean drone on in a monotone. It just refers to being aware of how you are talking. Sometimes when speaking in public or on camera it’s helpful to think of reading a story to a child out loud . It helps to slow you down a bit.
Last but not least, have fun!
Have you tried a video blog? If you have, please leave a link — I’d love to check it out. I need inspiration too! If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?
from Kathryn Jennex aka @northernchick