Make Videos With Your Face – “Talking Head Video”

by Susanna

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Make Videos With Your Face

video training siteIt amazes me how many people are afraid to get in front of the camera.

Then I remember how terrified I was before I did it the first time, and understand.

That's why I can tell you, with so much confidence, that the first time is by far the hardest. It gets easier with every video.

I teach people that there are 3 main types of videos, but today we'll focus on what some call the "talking head" videos.

I did talk about this some in the post "Video Making Tips You Can't Ignore", so don't forget to check that one out too.

Essential Tools Needed to Make Videos with Your Face

1.  Camera - I recommend the Kodak PlayTouch because it's so easy to use, and even takes an external mic, for better audio.

However, if you can't pick that up today, use what you already have. You can use your webcam, flip, or any camera with video option.

2.  Mic (optional) - it's optional IF you're in a quiet location.

If you're not using a mic, make sure to speak up. A simple lapel mic will do.

3.  Tripod - If you're not using a webcam, you need a tripod. You have 2 options here.

If you're short on money or space, just pick up a desk tripod for $10-$15 on Amazon. I used that exclusively for nearly the first year of making business videos.

If you can spend a little more, and have the space to set it up, you can pick up full size tripod. These vary so much in price, but you can find one for under $30.

4.  Computer with Internet service - I know I'm stating the obvious, but you never know who's reading...

To Use a Video Script or Not Use a Script...

This is a common question and worth addressing here.

Personally I'm not a big fan of scripts. But I have some good friends, who are amazing on video, and they will rarely go in front of the camera without one.

I recommend you think about exactly what you want to say in your video, and write down the key points you want to make. Refer to those to help keep you on track.

If you must use a script, here are some suggestions;

  • The script needs to be as close to the camera as possible.
  • You should write it the way you speak (you should be doing that with everything you write anyway).
  • You should read it out loud a couple of times before recording, to get really familiar with the flow.
  • Make sure you don't sound like you're reading.
  • Don't forget to smile when appropriate.
  • The closer you are to the camera, the more obvious it's going to be that you're not actually looking into the camera. Take a few steps back.

Video Making Mindset

People will connect with you better if they feel that you care about them...

  • So look into the camera and be friendly.

People will trust you more if they feel that you know what you're talking about...

  • So speak with confidence.

People will relax and listen if you don't appear nervous...

  • So don't fidget with objects, rock back and forth, bounce... unless of course it goes with what you're saying.

People will like you more if you answer their questions or address their needs...

  • So make your videos about them, not you.

People will stick around and watch the entire video if you get to the point...

  • So stick to your notes or script and don't ramble.

Additional Video Making Tips

1. Don't use equipment as an excuse to not make videos yet. Use what you have, unless you can afford to purchase something better.

2. Make sure to use a mic if you're in a crowded place, or outside. Even if it's quiet outside, if the wind blows just right, all you'll hear is the wind. Bad audio will turn people away faster than anything else.

3. Unless you're recording the next Blair Witch Project, use a tripod when you can. It's inexcusable to have a shaky video unless you're out and about.

4. Try making videos both with script and with only key points, see which flows better for you, and which you're more comfortable with. The finished product will tell.

5. If you haven't made your first video yet, DO IT. I don't care what it's about, just take the action of setting up a camera and talking in front of it, while it's recording. Take the action of uploading it to YouTube, even if it's so bad you save it as a private video so no one can see it.

Just taking the steps to do your first one, will motivate and inspire you to make your next one, and make it better.

What do you think? Do you have additional video tips you'd like to add? Please do that in the comments section below.

I always love feedback, so make sure to leave me some! ;)  Oh and please click one of those share buttons, and pass this along.

Thanks!
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Bertram

Thanks Susanna, I couldn’t have said it better! But I will say this, that’s some SOLID advice that you can take to the bank! (Or editing room!)

Reply

Susanna

lol Bertram,

Yes, take it to the editing room! ;)

Reply

Oliver Tausend

Hi Susanna,

awesome video. Thanks for expanding on the topic of using a script. I haven’t used many so far. I am considering it however to have a written version of my videos, even if it’s not 1:1 – I need text for the description or for repurposing the content. What do you think ?

Video marketing is about getting started and overcoming the initial fear.

Take care

Oliver
Oliver Tausend recently posted..The Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar – Undo The Brainwashing To Poverty Pt 5

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Susanna

Hi Oliver!

I generally just use bullet points to keep me on track. There have been a couple that I thought it would be easier with a script though! ;) lol

To produce more content, yes having a text version is great. But some people think you NEED it for SEO. That’s not the case anymore, since Google and YouTube now scan videos and can tell what you’re saying, and if your keywords are in the videos.

You’re right, it starts with overcoming that initial fear.

Thanks for your insightful comment!
Susanna

Reply

Janet @ The Natural Networker

Susanna, aloha. “To or not to script . . .that is the question.” Through trial and error, Susanna, what I learned worked best for me was to note down the points and then just talk. When I scripted it, since I was anxious anyway about my early video attempts, when I missed a word, I could not easily continue and had to start over. Using bullet points as you suggest makes it much easier for me.

What I do is rehearse it a few times in my mind and then decide, “okay, I am going to go tell my friends about this” and then start talking to the camera.

Once again, Susanna, thx for the tips. I look forward to the day when I look as relaxed and natural in front of the camera as you do. You’re a pro!

Best wishes for a terrific weekend. Aloha. Janet
Janet @ The Natural Networker recently posted..Social Media Marketing Conversation By Janet Callaway The Natural Networker

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Susanna

Aloha Janet!

I tried using a script with my very first video. I had much the same experience you just described. I agree, it’s much easier to use bullet points, relax and talk.

Thank you for adding value to this post!
Susanna

Reply

Jane | Find All Answers

Hey Susanna,

That was a great video. Do you have someone shooting it for you? Because I could see that there was a zoom of the first shot. And you were all bubbly and energetic throughout the video, not to mention, your experience with years of doing this.

I liked your tips especially with the script. While we are careful not to miss anything we also should be very careful that we do not miss eye contact with the person we are speaking too. That was a good point.

Thanks for the wonderful post once again.

Cheers,
Jane.
Jane | Find All Answers recently posted..Are You A Procrastinator You Can Survive- Don’t Worry

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Susanna

Thanks Jane!

No, believe it or not, I would be too nervous and self conscious if someone else were in the room with me, shooting my videos. ;) I just edit the zooming in later, to keep it interesting and eyes on the video.

Only my daughters see me make videos, and now my 5 year old loves to stand in front of the camera and starts off with “hi, I’m Abigail…” haha

You’re right, the key is in the eye contact. Without it the viewer will not feel that connection. And that connection is essential for relationship building.

Thank you for the great question! You’ve made this post more valuable.

Susanna

Reply

Jon

Susanna,

You’re quite comfortable on camera and these are great tips. I’m not a fan of scripting either but I do outline my podcasts on paper to some degree. Video? Haven’t implemented it in my current project other than screencasts.

I like your attitude to just get started! No excuses! That’s great and I fully intend to get on camera for my project.

Thanks for your video creation wisdom.

Jon
Jon recently posted..Smart Online Business Strategy- Driving Traffic via Twitter

Reply

Susanna

Hi Jon!

Yes, I don’t feel at all nervous in front of the camera any more. As long as I feel I’m “one on one” with someone, I’m fine. ;)

Great, I’m glad to hear you’re going to get in front of that camera. If you’ve warmed up with podcasts and screencasts, you’ll be able to slip right into “talking head” videos without too much trouble. Just a deep breath and away you go!

I appreciate your great comment. Thank you!
Susanna

Reply

jayne

HI Susanna, ha ha, the next Blair Witch Project… was that not the WORST movie of all time. What was it about that – that is was so captivating to some??

Anyway, sorry I digress.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… I need to get on it!!

I really want to learn editing(How often have I played my violin to you about this?)…

Well… if you can’t make it to BC, maybe I need to go down to Texas? Got a hammock?

Great video, these were wonderful tips and I agree with everything you said.

Best

Jayne
jayne recently posted..Affiliate Marketing &amp Two Terrific Online Marketing Courses

Reply

Susanna

LOL Jayne! I will readily admit, I was not a fan of the Blair Witch Project. I know someone who was very freaked out by it and sure it was real.

You do need to get on it! What are you waiting for? ;)

Sure, come to Texas, I’d love to make some killer videos with you, and edit them together. What fun! I’d get a hammock if that’s what it would take to get you over here. :D

Thanks for stopping in and leaving a wonderful comment!
Susanna

Reply

Dr. Bob Clarke

Hi Susanna,

I do empathize with those that are fearful of making videos. It’s very strange — I’ve spoken professionally to audiences of hundreds, but putting me in front of that little video camera used to really freak me out. I can’t explain it, it just did.

I am going to make a confession here that I have never told anyone outside of my wife — when I first started making videos, I used an online teleprompter. It helped me get over my initial fear of video and, with a little practice appeared fairly natural.

Of course, I look at those videos now and I laugh, but they were instrumental in me getting over my fear. I now use video quite a bit in my marketing and it feels quite natural.

If you readers are interested, the teleprompter I used as called CuePrompter (www. cueprompter.com).

Thanks for the great tips!

Bob
Dr. Bob Clarke recently posted..Stop Hiding Behind Your Computer

Reply

Susanna

Hi Bob!

I empathize as well. I was terrified to start making videos. I saw it was important for business, and business is important to me, so I forced myself to jump in and do it. Just like 99% of the people out there, it was NOT easy for me at first.

Thanks for sharing your confession. ;) There are a lot of people that still use something similar, and if it works for getting going, and especially for getting over that initial fear, I say more power to it.

lol, I feel the same looking back at some of my first ones. Not good. haha We all have to start somewhere, and as long as we’re consistent, we’ll get better.

Thanks for sharing!

Susanna

Reply

Devesh

Hi Susanna,

You always amaze me with your ability to create quality videos. You’re a pro when it comes to video marketing. You ROCK.

Thanks for sharing this awesome info about videos.

Dev
Devesh recently posted..Grab Your Visitor’s Attention With These 8 Simple Graphics

Reply

Susanna

Wow Devesh!

Thank you for this wonderful comment!

We must have a mutual respect, because your posts and what you do online always amaze me too. I have learned a lot from you.

I hope you’re making videos now. With all that you have to offer, I imagine your videos would be top notch!

Thanks for the great comment!
Susanna

Reply

Diana Simon

Hi Susanna,

Terrified of being in front of a camera is an understatement for me! I have all the equipment but not the courage LOL. I believe that if do get the courage to do a video, it will not be scripted. A script would strangely make me feel more nervous as I have to focus on it.

I know it’s important to add videos to posts and I will look into that soon. First I need to find the courage :) Thanks for these tips and I love all the videos you share here!
Diana Simon recently posted..Opt-In Is Finally Up!

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