How to Create a Great Video
Video is an excellent feature to bring into your online learning events. Used well, video can offer a variety of content, introduce new voices and faces, and enhance engagement in your learning program.
Although some folks may be intimidated to take this step with today’s technology, it is incredibly simple to produce, edit, and post a video for your participants to enjoy.
However, as we know, simple does not always mean easy. Below you will find several tips and best practices for producing videos for your learning event or program that will certainly enliven the learning and engagement with the content.
- Shoot with your phone in the landscape (horizontal) position. This will show up better on your participant’s laptop and desktop. Even if using a mobile device, participants can rotate it to fit the screen.
- Use a tripod if possible. We’re all guilty of using cardboard boxes, books, coffee mugs, ledges, and other less-than-ideal substructures to prop up our phones. Investing in an inexpensive tripod will eliminate all that set up work and worry about the camera/phone slipping.
- Do a test run to check the audio. There is nothing worse than recording a full video – nailing it – only to discover that you have no audio. Run a few audio checks before you get started on your final cut.
- Turn on airplane mode and shut off notifications so that you aren’t interrupted. Constant pinging and buzzing throughout your video can cause distractions for both you and the learners.
- Look directly into the camera and speak clearly. Find where your camera is and look directly into it. If you are looking at yourself on the screen, it means you aren’t looking into the camera.It may take some practice but will impact the connection you have with the learners if you aren’t making good “eye contact.”
- Select a calm and tidy background. Folks have different styles when it comes to backgrounds. It really depends on your audience but be sure to put a bit of thought into how your backdrop will be received by the learners. Selecting a calm background cuts down on distraction.
- Make sure you are centered and not cut off or out of the frame. The rule of thirds can be a helpful guideline when positioning yourself in the frame. At the very least, work to keep your head and face fully in the frame when on camera.
- Double-check your lighting (e.g. shadows, not back-lit, etc.) and keep windows out of the frame. It might not seem like a big deal, but poor lighting makes it hard to see the subject and therefore focus on what’s being said. It might also be worth investing in a small light to help with the composition.
- Ensure your video is the correct length of time. We’ve found that short videos of 2-3 minutes are plenty to hold the learner’s attention. However, some content may require that you record a longer piece. It really depends on the situation, so be sure to check in with your learners to receive feedback.
- Stay organized.Whether or not you are producing one video or ten, have a place where they are saved and organized for future use. It will pay off down the road!
Consider how your learners or meeting participants can also use video. This can be a fun and engaging way to share learning, information, work, and even a personal introduction. Keep it short and have fun with it.
How have you seen video used in meaningful and innovative ways?
Tyler Phillips (email@example.com) is a Partner and Learning-Centered Organizations Leader for Global Learning Partners.
More writing from Tyler here.
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