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Business Video Presentation Tips

I have met a few people who speak well in front of a camera. But let’s face it, the majority of us do not. So here are a few tips that will make the video process easier. Now before I get into too much, understand that I am speaking to business owner’s that may have a limited budget. However, these tips do apply no matter how much money you have for your advertising.

  • Don’t use teleprompters. They require too much skill… and when not used properly, you or your subject will look silly.
  • Use an interviewer.

In my experience, interviewers are the most efficient and effective way to do a presentation, especially when the subject is not comfortable on camera.

Three Things an Interviewer Can Do:

  1. They can offer support to the interviewee. The interviewee does not feel alone and they can look at the interviewer instead of the camera. Eye-to-camera lens often distracts the inexperienced presenting their information.
  2. An interviewer can draw good content out of the subject for a better presentation. Most business owners know the aspects surrounding their business. The problem is the cold start in front of a camera and the meandering that can occur when the subject steps away from his or her verbal message.
  3. An Interviewer can save time – both in editing and presentation. You will be amazed at how much time you can save with your video project when answering a few questions from an interviewer.

Shooting and Editing Tips:

If you, or your interviewer are not experts in front of a camera – shoot in small bites. What I mean is focus on one question and the response to that question. Shoot your first question/answer segment then do the same for the other segments of the interview.

A good editor can splice those segments together easily with creative transitions or b-roll over each transition. Either of these will make the video flow much better in the viewer’s eyes. Below is a video that explains B-Roll and contains some other useful tips that will help make your video presentations better.

Be Prepared:

This goes without saying in any presentation. Talk over the important items you want your interviewer to draw out of you before hitting record. Try to keep your video short, but hit on the most important items pertaining to your subject matter.

Leading and Feeding:

Give content that’s informative! Give the viewer information that will lead them to possibly take further action. If you have some interesting and compelling reasons for using your services, have the interviewer question you on these. End your video with: I can be reached… or For more information… Thank you for watching… etc.

A couple of general, first time, interview questions I like:

  • Tell us about what you do?
  • What areas do you serve?
  • What would you say to prospective customers about your business?
  • What separates you from the competition?

Sound Matters in a Video:

More often than not, I have shot video of interviews in noisy locations.  This is always a challenge. One of the worst things you can have with your presentation is bad sound. Poor audio can reduce the interest of viewers more than poor quality video.

You will need the right mic and a voice recorder. When I do interviews in noisy climates, I use my Sure SM58s and a voice recorder – the combination works very well as you will see in my sample below. None of these items are terribly expensive, but if you’re going to shoot video, do it right… get the most out of your time and presentation.

A Great Microphone For Interviews
The Shure SM58 – Great Noise Canceling Microphone

 

Above is an on-the-fly interview (No rehearsal – 1 take) I did at the Home and Garden Show in Cleveland, Ohio. I used my Samsung Grand Prime smartphone in selfie mode, a voice recorder and two SM58s. I can tell you for a fact that crowd noise was incredible, but these microphones did their job well as you can hear from the video.

Hopefully these tips will help you with your business presentation video. If you need coaching or help with your next video, please fill out the contact form on this page and I will be happy to get back to you. I’ll have  more on video tips. See my other post for DIY Video Presentations.

Should A Contractor Consider Doing A Video For Their Website?

No matter what home improvement/contractor service you offer, consider doing a video about you business for your website.

In this techno-transparent society we live in, it’s hard not to be seen or found by some online photo or have your name and address on some listing site. If you want to have some fun, type in your address in Google and see the map appear. Use the earth view window and zoom to see the camera’s eye view of your location. You might be surprised at what you find…

Google View
Me Going To My Car – Google View

So all being said above, there is  little you or I can do about it… So what in the hell does this have to do with video?

The point to all this is, you’re out there whether you like it or not. I’m not saying it’s right! In fact, I don’t care for a surveillance state. However, when it comes to business transparency and familiarity are important to your customers… especially when you may be entering their home.

The majority of us are not movie stars and have little experience in front of a camera. But there are ways you present yourself effectively and in a way that will be beneficial to your customers.

If they found you online, you should be in the place where they found you… meaning they should meet you before you come to their door. We have the technology to do this, so why not use it.

Remember, there are many scams out there and people have good reasons not to trust, even if you are who you say you are.

By presenting yourself in a brief home page video or on an about us page, the customer and you have many benefits.

  • The client can see you, hear you and know who you are.
  • The homeowner can get a feel for the kind of person you are to work with have a sense of familiarity with you.
  • Note: (as silly as it sounds) There is a stigma with video  – for some strange reason – it’s like being on TV. But this is good if you can present yourself as an expert in your field! It’s not hard! I can teach you some tips on tips and tricks videos... that was a hint for another post.
  • You also show the customer you’re not hiding (and have nothing to hide) behind a fancy website.
  • Your video can be posted and media platforms like YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook to get additional search optimization – this can be very helpful to get more business.

Contractor Videos I will produce! I will coach you through the process. Believe me, it will be worth your time and money.

Trust me on this one – Business owners, I’m pulling for you!

Thanks for reading!

Before You Produce Your Business Video With a Smart Phone and a Selfie Stick…

Using A Smart Phone For Your Business Video Is Great… When Done Properly.

Video is a great way to send a message about your business and services. I’ve been producing them for businesses for years. With YouTube and other video media platforms, you have the power to influence and be found online.

However, there are a couple of things one should consider before posting their business presentation online.

  1. Who is the target audience?
  2. What is your message?
  3. How will you produce, present and edit your video message?

Selfie sticks and mobile phones are, and will continue, to be a force in the video production world. But if not used properly, you can take the professionalism out of your presentation.

Three things that make a bad video:

  1. Shaky or blurry camera
  2. Poor audio
  3. Poor light

I can’t tell you how many videos I have watched of some prominent companies that have used shaky, unfocused camera phones along with poor audio and poor light. It really makes me wonder… are they this quality conscience with the services they offer?

My father told me, “If you want to make an impression on a potential employer, dress for the job you’re aiming for, not the one you’re trying to leave.” In other words, put your best foot forward on how you present yourself.

I’m not saying that phone videos are bad. In fact, I have used them a number of times and had great results.

Consider your message, audience and the impression you’re leaving.

Some Video Production Tips To Make Your Smartphone Video More Professional:

  • Stay away form selfie stick videos unless you’re blogging about something on the go. They have no place with a quality business video presentation.
  • Get a tripod with a mobile phone bracket. Neither will break the bank. You can get a good mobile phone tripod mount for under 20 dollars. A solid mount under a camera will make a much better impression than a wobbly selfie stick.
SHILL Smartphone Mount with Two 1/4-20 Threads
SHILL Smartphone Mount with Two 1/4-20 Threads – See B&H Photo
  • Audio: Get a voice recorder – a good one. I recommend the Zoom H1 for starters. It will cost you about $100, but well worth it. You can get an awesome lave mic to attach to it for less than $20. You will have to sync your audio, but results will be much better. I’ll go into more of this on future posts…

Please note: This is not the “end-all configuration” There are other devices on the market that will enable good audio with your smartphone. However this configuration will give you a wide range of flexibility and mobility.

Zoom_H1 Ultra Portable Digital Audio

Affordable Audio Recording Zoom H1 and Mic Setup
An Affordable Lavalier Mic Setup Using the Zoom H1

Sony ECM-CS3 Tie Clip Microphone

  • Shoot in a quiet, well lit room or outside as long as wind conditions are a minimum.
  • Rehearse your video presentation. If you are having trouble, have a person ask you questions pertaining to your message. Your message will flow much better when interviewed.
  • Stay away from teleprompters unless you are very experienced with one. Trust me on this one. I have been behind the camera too many times with those who thought then could work with a teleprompter… it’s not pretty and doesn’t look genuine.
  • If using a phone for your videos, always shoot your video with phone in the landscape position. See photo below.
Proper Way To Shoot Phone Video
Proper Camera Orientation

Hopefully these tips will be helpful with your next self-produced video. If you are in the Cleveland area, please contact us for help with your next video production. I can teach you how to do it yourself, or do it for you. We can also edit the clips you have shot yourself.

Video Help Request
8 + 8 =

Do It Yourself Design For Print – Affordably and Effectively

I’ve been in the printing industry for 20+ years. In the old days (when I started) only specialized applications were used for “Desktop Publishing” – remember that term? Printers, ad agencies, and brokers were the primary designers in those days. They had all the cool tools to design and produce your job.

Well things have changed as computer hardware became more affordable. Many of our clients today design their own literature and business promotional items such as business cards, flyers and menus.

But before you start your design, always consider your end product and how it will be produced. Your printer should be able to assist you with any questions prior to setup. I’ll have more on this in another post.

I like to empower, not enslave.  If you’re going to design your own stuff, it’s good to use an advanced application to get the design look you’re aiming for. The application needs to be precise, yet flexible enough to permit your creativity to flow nicely. But most importantly, a quality digital print-ready file needs to be generated.

Here’s an affordable application suite I do recommend taking a look at if you’re planning on designing your own masterpiece… and it won’t break your tight budget. The Serif products are also easy to learn.

Great Desktop Publishing AppsSerif offers some really awesome design programs that will help you get that look you’re aiming for. Give them a try. I’m confident you’ll be pleased with the end result. Serif offers demo versions you can download for free.

Business Reviews

I’m always looking for ways to help local businesses market their services in the Cleveland, Ohio area. One way is with reviews.

I try to encourage business owners to make the reviewing process easy for their customers. Many business owners are leery when I mention the fact that reviews can help their business. But let’s face it, unless you really do a bad job consistently with your clients or customers, you probably won’t have much to worry about. Most reviewers are sincere in wanting to make a honest assessment of your product or service, and many will be positive.

However, there is always going to be some unhappy heckler that has nothing better to do with his or her time than to write a bad review about your business. Take a look below at the review I found for a local restaurant.

Funny Business Review

When I visited the restaurant, I brought this review to the owner’s attention. The owner and I had a good laugh while reading these ridiculous accusations.

I found this review to be hilarious for several reasons. One, I eat at this local place at least once a week… their food is really good!! Secondly, I have never had bad service (and don’t know anyone who has) at this restaurant. In fact this restaurant has some of the best service compared to other places I’ve eaten. But the most entertaining point this reviewer made was comparing the restaurant’s food to “pig feces”??? I want, so badly, to ask this reviewer, “When was the last time you had pig feces, and do you eat pig feces often enough to make such a comparison??

Seriously.. When a person like this one writes a review like the one shown in this post, it’s really hard to take them seriously. So business owners, make the review process easy and do what you do the best you can. These severely negative reviews will never be taken seriously.