There are lots of ways to be better on camera but this 1 tip will keep you on point and make sure you always say exactly what you planned to say on camera.
No matter which style of business video you’re doing… training, sales, a welcome video… the goal is to come across as professional, intelligent, and likable, while getting your message across. Today we’ll talk about a true pro tool to keep you on point.
Hey, Larry Becker here. Whether you’re new to being on camera or you’ve been doing videos for years like I have, there’s always a lot to think about when you’re on camera. There are a bunch of secrets and techniques that can help you have great camera karma, but there’s 1 really important tool most beginners on camera really under estimate. A teleprompter.
If you’re rolling your eyes and telling yourself you don’t need a teleprompter because that’s overkill for your simple business videos, hear me out… I called this video, “how to always deliver a great message,” but I could call it, “A Teleprompter Is ALWAYS Better Than Improv for Business Videos.”
I was working with a client this week who has been on countless commercials, he’s had his own radio talk show, he’s been on stage for presentations hundreds of times, and so when we got together to do 4 or 5 short promotional videos, it was no big deal for him.
During filming he did a brief ‘get to know me’ mini bio video. He did a video to promote his latest book. He did a video that was a short business tips coaching video. And he did a public speaking video for event planners so he could showcase some of his live training skills.
He felt comfortable with all of his messages but one, so he used a script on a teleprompter for that one. For the other ones he pretty much spoke off the cuff. That was his comfort zone.
No question he was comfortable on camera and he knew his topics. He was great at addressing the camera and connecting with the audience.
When he got his finished, edited videos back from my team he said he really liked the production values and had all kinds of nice compliments for me, but he wasn’t really happy with his messages. Turns out the one he was least comfortable delivering and used a teleprompter, was the most accurate message. He ended up wishing he had said different stuff in each of his other off-the-cuff videos. He even said, next time I’m going to use a prompter for all of my videos.
So here you have a guy who is absolutely comfortable in front of a camera and comfortable public speaking and even had his own radio show. He knows how to talk and how to deliver his message. And he couldn’t know the topic any better. These videos where about himself. Promotional videos about himself.
And with all that skill, and knowledge, and confidence, he still knows that a prompter would have helped him craft a better message.
There’s a national Photoshop Convention that’s taken place more than 30 times called Photoshop World. I’ve been to every single one. I’ve been a host and MC at all kinds of events at Photoshop World every year. I teach the orientation session for first time attendees to tell them what Photoshop World is all about. And a couple years ago when I was charged with developing a series of promotional videos to tell people about Photoshop World, I delivered a dozen quick, on-camera video presentations. Just me on camera talking about one topic per 90 second video. Then the video team took my videos and put interesting footage over the top of my narration, but at any point they could be showing me on camera or showing footage, so I didn’t have the option of just riffing on a microphone. I had to deliver tight, accurate messages that didn’t need a lot of editing.
I made up everything I said in all of those dozen videos. But I had a teleprompter with bullet points for each of the dozen topics. That’s because even if you know the topic intimately, like my client who was talking about himself or me talking about Photoshop World, it helps to have notes so you don’t forget anything. And your notes could be on a dry erase board, or a cue card, but if you use a teleprompter, you can have a longer list and you don’t need somebody to hold up multiple cue cards or have some giant dry erase board to hold all your notes. Not to mention how sloppy writing might throw you off in the middle of your video delivery.
A few years ago I did a video overview training series about high end and mid-market teleprompters for B&H but I use something that’s much simpler and I coach my clients to use a far simpler setup. The only problem is, this video is already about as long as it should be. So be sure to come back tomorrow, because I’ll be telling you about an awesome teleprompter. The one that I use. And I’ll tell you how I run it myself while I’m on camera.
Do you have an opinion about teleprompters?
Leave a comment to tell me what you think. Do you have questions about simple, in-house video production setups? Gear? Lights? Microphones? What do you want to know?
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