First it was the boring “About Us” website page—all text and no personality. Then some of us, kicking and screaming, were dragged into the still photo stage. The advice: Smile, but don’t look too goofy. Be yourself. Above all, don’t look frozen.
It can be difficult—and a little scary— showing out real selves to our customers. What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t even see the real me? (Does anyone really think that their photo looks like them?)
And just when we think we’ve figured out the photo thing (be friendly, think about what you most love about your job when the camera clicks, look the lens straight in the eye, now don’t forget to be authentic), along comes the newest form of connecting with your customers: the online video.
A friend of mine, Pamela Ziemann, has written an article that helped me understand what a good video needs to do. Pamela, an incredibly talented presentation skills trainer and coach, thinks it’s key in a video to show three traits: your authenticity (there’s that “real you” thing again!), your expertise and your passion.
How to make a video that will make your listener stand up and take notice? Pamela’s advice:
1. Organize and get crystal clear with your message. If you have three points to share, tell them. The more organized and focused you are, the easier it will be for them to connect with your message.
2. Use short sentences. Each sentence should be able to be said in one breath. Think of each sentence as a complete thought and avoid pesky filler words like “um” and “ya know.”
3. When you say your name, make the pitch go down at the end. If it goes up at the end, it sounds like a question and makes the listener wonder if you know who you are.
4. Avoid distracting gestures. Maintain eye contact and keep your feet on the floor, even if your viewer will only see your face. Make your facial expressions show your passion about what you do, rather than making distracting, repetitive gestures with your hands.
5. Use descriptive words. Give your listeners sensual stimulation by using strong verbs and adjectives. It makes your story so much more interesting.
6. Wear solid colors. Cameras don’t respond well to small patterns or vivid colors. Try dark blue or one of the pastels.
7. Before you go on camera, warm up with deep breathing exercises. Shake your body and let it move however it wants to. Think about the passion you have for your product or service, why you started your business in the first place. Speak from the core of your values and don’t be shy about it.
I am preparing to make my first online video and Pamela’s tips were perfectly timed. Hope you can use them, too.