“We need you to present this course.” Dreaded words for many of us that would prefer to get a back massage by a gorilla than to be in front of a camera. When I received this request, I felt a mix of excitement (I confess!) and, you guessed it: overwhelming fear. Spoiler alert: it was actually quite a fun and fulfilling experience so, for you, my fellow “camerafobics”, I’m sharing some tips to help you go through it and get a great result.
As you know, we launched the bugle academy on March 12th, 2020. When we created the bugle academy, we decided to use the bugle team members as presenters, as the training topics are based on our areas of expertise both in regard to video training and to our own business areas; and it’s also a nice way for you to get to know the team. In my case, my areas are marketing and inbound sales.
One of the courses already available at the bugle academy is the “Managing an online sales training academy” and it was up to our CEO, João, and me to present the course. The course is fantastic and we were both part of the course creation process, because for the bugle academy project, Marketing is the internal client for our very talented Digital Learning Solutions (DLS) team.
For João, it was not exactly new, as João had already presented other courses for our sister brand. However, it was a first for me.
This means, “Oh, God! I’m going to be terrible, take too much of everyone’s time and make a complete fool of myself” was pretty much in a loop in my head in the days heading up to recording day. So, if you share this sentiment, I hear you and let’s start a club.
So, how did it turn out to be a great experience?
Well, preparation meets a great production crew meets the fear of failure. Just keeping it real.
What helped me the most was, first, knowing and trusting our DLS team’s huge experience creating video training courses (they do it for our customers), and knowing they wanted the end result to be just as perfect as I wanted it to be. Second, I made sure to read as much as I could about it to prepare myself.
From this research and help from our DLS team, here are the tips I believe will help any “camerafobic” be the best presenter they can be.
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
This preparation involves two things. Learn as much as you can about presenting a video. There is a lot of information about it online, including in the bugle blog (check at the bottom some of our articles on this topic), and our DLS team has a few documents prepared for both new and experienced presenters to be comfortable and know what to do and what to expect.
The second thing is practicing with the script. Read the script as many times as you can before the recording day. You will most likely have a teleprompter, as I did, so you will not need to learn it by heart, however, it will help you understand the subtleties of the different sentences, the intonation, the pauses and so on. If you are presenting in a different language, you also have the chance to check pronunciation.
2. Do a test run
A few days before the recording day, we did a test. This is usually part of the process, especially when it comes to non-professional presenters, like me. We did a test with the lights, camera and teleprompter in one of the meeting rooms at the bugle office, already with the final script in place, so I could get more comfortable in front of the camera, train the use of the teleprompter (and find the best speed for me), see if I had any mannerism I had to work on (it turns out I looked up a lot, instead of facing forward…). Although we recorded the final version in the studio, this test really helped me not feel like a deer in headlights in the recording day.
3. Make up is your friend
Especially if you feel a bit self-conscious about how you will look in the video – yes, you guessed it - like me. It’s also important to have your hair done. If you feel confident, it will be easier to take that issue of the table and focus on what is really important: to convey the message.
4. Have a great production team
Having the right production crew is fundamental. Let’s face it, even for professional presenters, this can be a stressful situation so, having the right people around you is key. And not just saying this because “my” crew was from the bugle team and they will read this article. 😊 This will seriously make the difference between a light, fun and fulfilling experience and a frustrating day.
The first thing I said was, please let me know if there is something I’m doing wrong or can do better – and they did – in a kind, loving way, of course – but they did. This is important for the final result. So, don’t take it personally if the production crew asks you to speak slowly or faster, to give it more energy, to stop moving or move more, to look forward or smile more... This is because they are on your side and want the best result. A little bit of humour is also great, as it breaks the ice and allows you to relax a bit.
I knew our DLS team was great, both because I know them and because of our customers’ feedback, but experiencing it was truly fantastic (dear DLS team, if you are reading this – and I know you will - Thank you again! You rock!).
And that’s it! My first experience presenting a video training course, and my 4 tips if you are about to embark in this adventure as well. In summary, never fear. Even if it seems daunting, you can do it with a bit of preparation and the right people around you.
Now, would you like to see the final result? Check out bugle’s academy certification course “Managing an Online Sales Academy” here (if you haven't visited the bugle academy yet, you'll need to do a quick sign up), to see our CEO, João, and me explaining how you can create, launch and run a successful online sales training academy in your company. Oh! And let me know what you think of my newfound presenter skills 😉.
Here’s a guide you can download with some tips on how to prepare for video recording day from bugle’s Digital Learning Solutions team.
You may also find interesting:
Lights, camera, action! 10 tips to be camera-ready and an effective trainer on video (article)
8 Common Misconceptions about Video Training (article)
12 Tips to choose the right training platform (article)
What is instructional design and why you should care about it (article)
The bugle Academy (free online courses)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you offer great video training to your customers, partners and team?