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HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

Written by Marion Aufseesser

13 April 2020

HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

The 6 step program to make successful video recordings from working@home (and a pleasure for those watching you!): Do’s and Don’ts

Dear Readers,

Once again thanks for spending some of your precious time with me.

I originally wrote this article for my candidates going through remote interviewing for jobs some years ago!

COVID-19 has changed business practices, therefore I have adapted this short video training manual to the current working@home situation.

This information should be of value to many readers, even seasoned TV presenters and big-time celebrities could benefit from it when I see their home-made videos!!

Many people have an interesting message to share, but many don’t come across well. That’s a pity…

So, let’s dive in!

Any form of filming demands a lot of preparation. Virtual meetings and interviews need careful preparation as the interaction will be different given that you and the other parties won’t be in the same room (by definition). The “chemistry” or human bond that one might usually feel will be missing.

It is important to do the best to make up for this missing “human factor”.  We are all – and I mean practically all – telecommuting all over the world. Work practices have changed literally overnight for many of us. All meetings are taking place through the various video conferencing software. Many of us are using Teams®, Zoom®, Skype®, Meet®, etc. or secured inhouse systems.

Master rule for all meetings: Be on Time!!!

STEP 1:  SOFTWARE

What software are you using? Is it secured and encrypted? Are you familiar with it?

STEP 2: SET UP

Internet connection, make sure it is optimal from your work station

Back Drop: Think of it as an element that will enhance your appearance. It should be neutral and should not interfere with you. Avoid a messy background.

Video positioning: Keep an “arms’ length” from your camera. Avoid image distortions.

Height: check the height of your installation- often times one will see more of the ceiling of nostrils, than the face of the person! As a general rule, you always want the lens of your camera to shoot you slightly from above, not the opposite and your face and shoulders are what you want people to see in this type of situation.

Noise and interruptions: Choose a quiet place for your video, no phones, doorbells, children, work colleagues, etc.

Lighting: Take light conditions into consideration. Avoid reflections and glares.

Dress code: It is important to wear an outfit with solid colors. Not too flashy. Watch any good TV presenter and you will remark that they usually wear a top with solid colors, not too bright.

For ladies: I recommend a shirt or round collar and sleeves. The advantage of the round collar: it usually stays in place. Be careful with dangling earrings and choose any jewelry carefully. Understatement is preferred.

For men I recommend a solid colored shirt- stripes, squares, etc. are distracting – unless you want to make a statement. Either with or without a blazer or as many doctors (if you are one) with your white hospital blouse.

Branding: Unless you are an influencer and being paid for wearing a brand I suggest keeping away from branding on your shirt – true for ladies and gentlemen alike.

Step 3: IDENTIFY THE MEETING YOU’RE HAVING

What is the nature of the meeting? 

Regular weekly business; meeting with the usual participants; meeting with someone you know well and often work with; meeting with someone you have also had email/phone calls with but no visual contact; meeting with a person you have never had contact with…

Being interviewed by television, Youtube®, self-promotion…

Job interview…

Adapt your speech and message to every audience

Step 4: PRESENCE OPTIMIZATION   

Most people don’t speak loud enough. You want to convey an image of confidence and a stronger voice will help. Maintaining a clear and strong voice will allow your diction to be clearer as you want to avoid stuttering or munching your words. 

Test it with someone before, fine tune as you don’t want to shout either!

Along with a strong voice, looking directly at your camera is important. Don’t look at a particular person. This is important to understand when there are several people in the video meeting. 

During introduction of meeting attendees, think about acknowledging the entire audience, (Hi Mrs. Daniels, nice to see you again, Hello Mr. Osborne, etc.). This is when you can be personal when several people assist in the video conferencing.

When video recording always focus, look at your camera and not your screen.

Step 5:  WHO WILL YOU BE SEEING? BE PREPARED!

Know as much about the other parties participating as possible. This is especially important in job interviewing and/or negotiating through video conferencing.

Get names of people attending the meeting beforehand whenever possible. Most business people will be on LinkedIn® or Google® with a photo. 

When zooming for example, be aware that some people may appear with an  ID number and not their name. 

Step 6: Questions and Answers

Imagine the scenario of the video meeting you will shortly be having.

Write down at least 10 questions you expect to discuss.

Your answers: 

Write down in full the answers you would give if you are not used to live videoing.

For every question you should know exactly what the KEY MESSAGES are that you need to deliver in very brief and clear short sentences.

If English is not your mother tongue and the video recording is in English this is even more important.

Each question has a key message in its answer.  One question: one message in your answer! The more technical the question, the more this is important for the answer.

Practice makes perfect: REHEARSE!!

Read /talk your answers into your computer, tablet, smartphone …   The important thing is to record yourself – preferably with the image. Then listen to yourself. 

Do the same exercise for questions you would rather NOT be asked. These are the hard ones. Again, do the exercise in writing. Practice and record.

It is important to realize that most people think they know what they will answer. However, if they have not prepared the KEY messages they want to convey in a very brief answer, people have to think during the interview. 

The trick of the methodology of this interview training is that you prepare BEFORE the interview. In the interview you should not be “surprised” by the questions the interviewers are asking you. 

It is the interviewee’s job, your job to think beforehand WHAT will the interviewer ask, how will he ask it.

In the case of a video interview, where there may be a panel of interviewers, you will need to have done exercises with a panel team and see how you come across, how you focus on the interviewers, where to look in the camera.

INTERVIEWERS QUESTIONS

It is also extremely important to LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY to the interviewer’s questions.

In an interview we may be nervous. The better prepared we are, the less nervous we will be.

Listening carefully is like reading the questions of an exam.

If you are not sure you understood the interviewer’s question, repeat the question to the interviewer for example.
« If I understood correctly, you would like me to explain why I am so interested in this position »; “You would like to know how I managed to….” ; “You would like me to describe in detail…. “; “You would want me to evaluate…. “

Best Regards,

And do Keep in Touch with me. I value your likes, shares, recommendations and most of all your suggestions you would like to hear about.

Marion