Whether you are just laying the foundations for your video presence or already have a few recordings under your belt… here are ten tips to ensure you can be camera-ready and as cool as a cucumber for your next video training shooting.
Using real people in your videos is one of the strongest ways to create a connection with your audience. The person in front of the camera should be chosen wisely — whether it is someone on your team or someone you hire for the job, being personable and able to build a strong rapport is a must. Some people have a special penchant for being on camera, but even the most experienced presenters can use a few extra tips.
How to be camera ready for your next video training recording
1. Be the expert
The person in front of the camera should come across as knowledgeable and confident. It is vital that you know your content in detail and can talk about it effortlessly.
2. Dress the part
Knowing that first impressions do matter, it is important to consider the way you dress and style your overall appearance. Avoid ill-fitting clothes, unflattering patterns or any statement jewelry. Consider hiring a make-up artist to help you look your best. Even make-up averse people can benefit from a bit of anti-shine powder and under-eye concealer.
3. Be yourself
Coming across as genuine is as important as knowing your stuff. You should make sure to find your voice as a speaker and avoid being someone you’re not.
As you prepare your script, be ready to adapt your content to your natural speaking style.
Watch your body language: don’t try to copy anyone’s presentation style and mannerisms.
4. Practice, practice, practice
It is essential that you can feel at ease in front of the camera and preparation is key in order for it to happen. There is no such thing as too many rehearsals. You should rehearse by yourself, in front of the mirror and in front of other people, but also in front of the camera. Shoot an actual video of the rehearsal and watch it — this will give you areas to improve upon. The more comfortable you are in front of the camera the better, and the more you watch yourself in a video, the easier it gets.
5. Find your pace
We’ve seen in previous articles that an energetic pace works best for training, and you should make sure you find yours. It shouldn’t be excessively quick neither painfully slow — try to find the middle ground that will keep your audience engaged.
6. Pay attention to every detail
You should be alert and cautious about every sensorial aspect of the video. Watch out for excessive patterns and colours: how does the shirt you’ll be wearing blend in with the surroundings? What’s the audio quality like? What saturation level is appropriate? If shooting outdoors, can you control the access to the filming zone?
7. Look at the camera, but speak to the person
It is important to try to make eye contact with your audience — which means looking straight at the camera. Nevertheless, as you speak, you should think of your audience and try to connect with them: imagine there’s someone you know behind the small screen you are facing. As a presenter, it is important to show emotion: smile, be enthusiastic, move your hand naturally, and maintain that eye contact. A good script will help you do this, and you can even include movement prompts in your drafts. Unless there is a special mandate, you shouldn’t be overly formal. You should always avoid reading off the slides and strive to make the topic understandable.
8. Remember to warm up, take breaks and look after yourself
Shooting a training video is almost like running a marathon: after a lot of practice, you want to be at your best performance. That’s why it’s important to warm up your body with a few stretches (this will also help you sound more alert and enthusiastic) and take some breaks in between takes. Remember to shake off any tension — relax your face, your jaw and your muscles. Finally, remember to maintain a good posture and stay hydrated and well nourished! You don’t want to be hindered by any lack of energy or grumpiness.
9. Stay positive
Your approach to this project will be reflected in the video itself. If you own every step of the process, plan accordingly, rehearse as many times as you can… you can only be positive about the whole thing!
10. Film short segments
This is our final tip today. Filming short segments will save you a good amount of time and editing efforts. If you keep your segments short, you can always mix and match them to create a longer video, without the need to re-do big chunks of content. It is easier to paste shorter segments together than to remove bits of content that are integrated in a larger one.
We want to conclude with a quick reminder: there is definitely no need to be stressed or to overthink this. The first times in front of the camera may seem daunting and might not even go so well, but you shouldn’t give up. Keep practicing and things will get better. If you really feel at a loss, ask for some professional help. Our Digital Learning Solutions team can advise you on instructional design aspects, and also on every phase of any video production.