Posted by Phil Hall
Thou Shalt Be Prepared Before Shooting a Business Video
I would like to call your attention to a business video I found by accident: http://www.dssimonvlogviews.com/?p=64. You can really learn a lot from watching this – not about PR, but about video production. However, the lesson is along the line of how not to make a business video.
If you can’t make it through that entire clip, I’ll spare you the pain and provide a few pointers on what to consider when shooting a business video.
1. Use a high quality camera. Shaky hand-held cameras are okay if you’re chasing the Blair Witch, but it doesn’t work in a business production. Likewise, make sure you have the best quality camera available. If you should decide to distribute your production on DVD, it will look superior if it was shot with an HD camera instead of a cheapo digital job.
2. Use professionals behind the camera. Spend a few extra dollars on a professional videographer and a professional video editor (that person could be one and the same). Someone who shoots videos for a living will know how to properly light a set, position the people on camera, and make sure the sound quality is pristine. Likewise, a professional editor will create a work that flows smoothly and doesn’t resemble a Jack the Ripper-worthy slash job.
3. Look your best on camera. Remember, this is a business video. Dress like you are attending a trade conference at the White House, not a pasta supper at the local VFW hall. And spend a few extra bucks on a better-than-decent haircut – after all, you want to look like a business leader, not a refugee from a Fellini comedy.
4. Work on your voice before you reach the microphone. This is essential for anyone who plans to do a great deal of public speaking. Make the effort to learn how to use your voice effectively – this may require working with a voice coach, a public speaking class or an acting class. Not everyone can sound like James Earl Jones or Judi Dench, but few people will be impressed if you come across sounding like a whiny little girl.
5. If you aren’t saying anything special, don’t make the video. We have YouTube and Google Video to feed our hunger for stupid, pointless and incomprehensible videos – you don’t need to add to the collection.
(Phil Hall is the former president of Open City Communications, a New York PR agency, and former editor of PR News. His new book, "The New PR: An Insider's Guide to Changing the Face of Public Relations," is now available on Amazon.
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