1. The Beginning and The End of a Video!
As your camera is rolling, I'm going to advise you to leave a few seconds of silence at the very beginning (before you start your script) and at the very end (when you've said everything you wanted to say) of just you looking into the lens, smiling and breathing. This can be an extra 5-10 seconds max but it will make a huge difference when you go into the editing room.
Whenever I do this… it feels like those 10 seconds are minutes long but it's a step I have learnt to appreciate over time and will never skip.
The number one reason for this tip is to leave space for smoother transitions. With that additional time, you have space for images pop into frame with your call to action or website link, plus it will also give the camera time to adjust the color temperature + focus should it need too. If you jump right into the footage when the camera starts rolling, you aren't setting yourself up for success.
2. Breaking Down The Script!
A game changer for me is to shoot my video in sections. This relieves the pressure of having to do it in one full take. I would suggest breaking it up into three parts. The intro (ie beginning), the main points (i.e the middle) and the closing statement plus a call to action (ie the end). It’s more manageable to get through your content this way and makes it easier to edit your footage as you will be working in sections instead of one long clip. If you want to be extra diligent, make a note on your phone or on a piece of paper with which take you felt was the best for each section, as that will also come in handy when you go to edit.
3. Mistakes Happen!
People aren’t expecting you to do one full take and only have perfection. You know that right? I knew this too and yet continued to put pressure on myself, so no judgement here!
From my experience, you can handle fumbles in two ways.
A) Keep pushing through, and correct as you go ... OR....
B) Stop your sentence, take a deep breath in. Don’t skip this step because you need a pause there for editing. Then take the sentence back to the beginning (not the beginning of the video just the part that you stumbled upon) and keep going. Psst: When I'm not live, I go for the second option these days.
I'm a big fan of having an action plan of what to do when mistakes or mishaps happen. You spent all this time putting together a professional, curated video, you want people to watch and people will watch if they see you having fun and enjoying your time on camera.
4. Be Aware Of Ambient Noise!
So you want a professional looking and sounding video do you? This is a skill I can confidently say that I have mastered so let me give you a few tips!
First, having an awareness of your surroundings is crucial. If you hear a lawn mower in the background, a plane go by, a dog barking, a garage door opening... if there is anything loud while you are recording then immediately pause and stop talking. I know it seems tedious patiently waiting for the noise to pass but it is necessary to have quality audio.
If you continue to talk over occasional noise, you will have inconsistent sound. There is an old saying in the film world that people can forgive bad quality footage but not bad quality sound. Think about it, would you watch or listen to a video if it starts getting fuzzy or the sound breaks in or out?
Attention's spans are short. Think about how quickly you go through Instagram or Facebook. You don’t want to give your audiences any reason to leave sooner than they need to, right?
On film sets, they unplug air conditioners and heaters during takes, all fans go off and even fridges get turned off and unplugged right away. They want absolute silence and won’t risk even having a kettle go off in the background. If you want to follow in the steps of the professionals and you want that clean, crisp sound, that’s the way to go my friend.
5. Confidence 101!
Remember, confidence is a choice. I tell myself that reminder on a monthly basis.
"Olivia, all you have to do during your shoot is choose confidence, even if it’s only 51% out of 100% of the time". The goal is to try to turn the volume down on self doubt.
That’s the real training.
So, when you’re feeling doubt creep in, turn down the dial and give yourself a pep talk. Make a deal with yourself. A few hours of shooting and then you have the rest of the day to feel self doubt should you choose to do so. That sounds reasonable right?
It worked for me when I started practicing and realizing that confidence isn’t something people are born with, it’s developed over time. When I heard that statement, I knew that I wanted a deeper understanding and I was willing to do whatever it took to get a grasp on how people attained that inner confidence.
Fun Fact: Fear and excitement generate similar feelings so work with the energy you are radiating and lean more towards excitement instead of fear.
When you think that people are born with confidence, it’s hard to get into the right mindset. The goal of all of this is to negotiate with yourself and start training that confidence muscle to extend it longer and longer every time you are in front of the camera. If I can do it, you can too. And I’m not just saying that because it’s cool to read but let me tell you my most embarrassing moments have all happened on stage, in front of hundreds of people so I really had to muster up that confidence to keep going…and look how far I’ve come!
Here are some quotes that always keep me going:
Brené Brown: He or She who is willing to be the most uncomfortable is not only the bravest, but rises the fastest.
Farrah Gray: Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.
Remember that you deserve to be heard. Now get out there and seize the day.