5 Tips for Creating Effective Videos

  1. Audio: Use a decent Microphone
  2. Lighting: Light You, not the Background 
  3. Camera: Make sure the camera angle is level or slightly above you (no doublechin shots) 
  4. Look at the camera and smile as much as you can
  5. Speak clearly but not slowly. Talk faster with more energy than you normally would

Read the full episode transcript below:

00:28 Tim Strifler: Hey everyone welcome to another episode of WP The Podcast, i’m Tim Strifler and today we are talking about five tips for creating effective videos. Two days ago episode 800 we talked about why every web designer needs a welcome video, it will help you get more clients because clients are able to see you and hear you and they’re able to feel like they know you a little better, like you a little better and trust you a little more. And therefore they’re more likely to hire you . So um so we talked about the why now today is a little more of the how and a couple of tips to help you create effective videos. Now you do not need to be a videographer you don’t need to have a ton of fancy equipment, you can probably in most cases use what you already have. Just to follow these five tips to help you get the most out of it. So it’s not going to be scary takes a little bit of prep but it can be overall a very simple process. So the first thing is more important than anything, you don’t need like i mentioned super fancy equipment like a fancy camera, however audio is a big deal so you’re going to want some sort of additional microphone. I love air pods, but i do not recommend using those in your video as your microphone. Apple makes great computers but i don’t recommend using the onboard microphone to record your video. Now i’m using a pretty fancy podcasting microphone, you don’t necessarily need to go for this setup this was a few hundred dollars with everything, but if you buy a 100 microphone you can buy the blue yeti it’s a great starter microphone. It’s a usb mic plugs right in your computer and once you get the you might have to play around a little bit with the settings. There’s a few different settings and uh the different the gain and tweaking that you can do different tests you want it to sound how I sound. Now right you don’t want to make it sound like you’re like in an echo chamber or in a bathroom and so that’s the only thing about the yeti is you have to play with the settings a little bit to get that perfectly. This is a dynamic mic and so the only option is what i have now i can adjust the gain a little bit um and that needs to be close to the microphone. So just make sure you you get that figured out with the yeti to tweak those settings a little bit. You can watch youtube videos to get the best settings out of it. Um so yeah that is really important audio is important so definitely recommend if you’re going to spend any money on this setup that’s where to spend the money is on a decent microphone. Now the next thing is lighting now you don’t need to get fancy lights by any means it’ll be better if you have some sort of like lights that are shining directly on you. Now i don’t know if you’re watching this on the youtube video or not but i have above lights but then i also have direct lights that are shining directly on me so when i turn them off it doesn’t look terrible, but you can see the difference. You know it makes a difference, so um i’m using they’re from amazon they’re not super expensive but they’re a mount director of the desk i can change the the settings on them with the remote to turn the brightness as well. As the temperature right so uh light temperatures measured in kelvin and so the higher the kelvin the more energy and the more white the light is um where if the the temperature is warmer it’s actually lower kelvin and it’s more of like an orange. And so you can kind of find that balance. So those are really nice i don’t think if this is the first time and this is the only video you’re gonna create don’t recommend doing that but if you just get some uh simple lights go to home depot and get like my first lighting kit was like these little canned lights uh that would clip on and i just clipped them onto a simple tripod, and got just a normal light bulb. Then i put with some some cheap diffusing paper like the whole lighting kit was like i don’t know 20 bucks. So you can do something like that um you can watch youtube videos for you know how to create a cheap lighting kit something like that, or you can just position your existing lamps that you have that’s probably that or not probably is definitely the cheapest thing any lamps that you have to make sure they’re shining on you. So what you don’t want is to have like i have a window over here it’s to the side and doesn’t have a lot of direct light but you don’t want to sit in front of a window and have the camera facing the window with light beaming in. Right if anything turn your desk around and have the natural light shining on you right and then have the camera pointing at you so that that would be a way to do it with natural light but you want to apply that same principle for any additional lighting that you’re using is you want it to shine on you. You don’t want to have light coming from behind you. Now i have some kind of lighting effects behind me so the room itself is pretty bright and so but i have my uh lights right here the directional light shining on my face to illuminate my face. So you want to illuminate you your face mainly not the camera not the background you want to eliminate you so that’s the main thing with lighting. You need to be aware of so if you have a decent microphone and you have like decent lighting whether you’re using a lighting pack together lighting kit actual like camera lights or natural light or anything and it’s just positioned correctly. So between the audio and the correct lighting that’s the main thing to have a decent video the camera you can actually use your smartphone if you have an uh halfway decent smartphone that takes good quality video. You can use that you can use a webcam but you have to make sure the lighting is really dialed in if you’re using a webcam, um and so as in regards to the camera the angle is also really important. So if you’re using like a laptop in the built-in webcam well you’re going to need to prop up your laptop put a couple books under it or something, so that the camera is eye level or a little above you almost angled down that’s going to be the most flattering and the most professional looking. You do not want an up angle shot that doesn’t make anyone look good even if you don’t have a double chin it’s going to make it look like you have a double chin uh you just yeah you don’t want the up angle you want level or slightly down. So my camera is above my monitor and so it’s slightly down ideally i’d like it right here at my eye level but i have a computer screen and that takes precedence. So um yeah so that’s camera um the next tip is to look at the camera and smile as much as you can. Right, you might feel like you’re being awkward, right but the thing is, is when you’re on camera and you’re talking you want to be as animated as possible and be as smiley and friendly as possible. Right you don’t want to overdo it but it’s going to feel like different than you normally would be talking to someone one on one. Right and and and that’s the thing and actually that leads directly into the next point which is speak. Clearly but not slowly you want to talk faster and with more energy than you normally would. Now i’m been doing tutorials and courses and podcasts for years and years now but there’s times where if i’m not like intentionally thinking about that i listen later i’m like oh my gosh i sound like i’m falling asleep and i’m telling people that hey you need to do this and install this and i sound really monotone and i might when i’m recording it i just feel like i’m talking normally, like i would to someone in the room but the thing is is on camera or on a microphone and recording you’re always going to sound more boring than you normally would. Right, less exciting so you need to crank it up a notch you need to be more animated talk louder talk faster with more energy smile more because it’s like the camera dials you back. Right so you have to you have to kick it up a notch in order to not put people to sleep, right if you think of how much content people watch on the internet on tvs and movies like people are used to seeing people that are really animated and exciting and stuff like that, where if you saw someone like in a tv show in real life one on one you’d be like that person is bonkers. Right but on the show that’s just normal we’re used to that so unfortunately when you’re creating a little welcome video for your website you’re in a way kind of competing with that level of energy that people are used to seeing and so you need to bring it up a notch with talking faster talking louder being more animated looking at the camera smiling more because that’s what people are used to and you don’t want to be this boring like hey everyone come hire me to build your website. Right, like people are not going to connect with that and so um you might feel a little fake you might feel a little awkward and that’s okay. Um every time i listen to my own podcast or watch a video i’m like oh man i need to crank it up a notch right like i sound like so dull right and you might be thinking i sound bold too and i i apologize so just keep that in mind you always want to talk faster louder more energetic smile more than you’re used to and comfortable with when you’re on camera. So that is it for this episode five tips for creating effective videos. Hopefully you found it helpful and useful um let me know if you’d like to hear more uh episodes like this because um yeah i’ve been doing a lot of video and stuff and by no means am i a videographer but i definitely have a lot more tips that if that this is something that you want to learn more about let me know until tomorrow take care bye.

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