If you don’t want to do a ‘talking to camera’ video – don’t worry; you don’t have to.
We have this idea that talking to camera helps us connect with an audience and looks professional, but we don’t have evidence that this method gets better results.
What’s going to get results is the ‘content’.
That said, you still want your video recording to be as good as you can possibly get it because your audience will associate a good video with a good product.
If you’re recording slides, make sure you’re using a good quality screen recorder, for a nice clear image.
Another thing that’ll really help is the quality of the sound recording. Audiences are far less forgiving of bad sound than they are of image quality. A good sound recording will really elevate your videos. I’ll make some recommendations for mics in a bit.
Filming a slideshow on your computer
This is the cheapest, easiest and the most popular option.
You create a slideshow in Keynote or PowerPoint with simple text and images to accompany what you’re saying in your script. Don’t just write your script out in a slideshow – that would be incredibly boring. Think of fun ways to illustrate, support and emphasise the points you’re making.
Although you can make slides in the above software options, you can also design slides in Canva. There’s a free and a ‘Pro’ option. The Pro version is only £8.99 a month and opens up a vast selection of images and elements (arrows, cartoon people, symbols etc). Once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to use – we absolutely love it. You can also use Canva to help in the design of your funnel pages, which we do all the time.
Once you have created your slide deck in Canva, you can export it to Powerpoint. Before you decide if you want to use Canva in this way, watch this tutorial to see how it works.
When your slideshow is ready and you have practiced your script whilst running through the slides, you’ll want to record it.
To do this, you’ll want to pop your slideshow into ‘full screen’, and record it with a decent screen recording software. Loom is very popular for this although there are lots of screen recording software options out there.
Don’t forget the mic. There are lots of USB voice recording mics available which are ideal for this job. We have just bought this Rode. There are lots of budget options out there, but I would stick to a good brand like Rode. And make sure you select the correct mic in the screen recording software settings when it’s time to record.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend any money on a mic and just want to test this out, you could try using your phone headphones. I’ve seen people doing this. I’ll leave that decision to you.
So, once you have all this sorted, you just make sure your mic is working, set your screen recording software to record the whole screen, open up your slides to full screen, and run through your presentation.
When you’ve finished, tap ‘stop’ on the screen recording software, and you’ll have your video.
If you need to cut the beginning and the end off, you can do this in QuickTime Player (Mac software – PC alternative will do the same). Just go to ‘edit’ and ‘trim’.
Note: With the screen recording software, you can record yourself with your webcam. Your face would then appear in the corner to accompany your slides. But do whatever you feel confident doing. It could be argued that this option gives a more personal connection between you and the viewer. But it’s more important that you sound confident and deliver a really good presentation. If having your face on there is going to distract you in some way, just go for the audio. You can always try the face another time.
If you do go for the webcam option, make sure you get your framing right – lift your computer up if you need to. Make sure there’s plenty of light in the room. And create a nice backdrop for yourself.
Filming yourself talking to camera
This option requires more technical ability and it’s harder to get that professional look. You’ll also need to edit the video.
Option one, with the screen recorded slideshow is certainly the best place to start.
But if you think the ‘talking to camera’ approach is right for your brand and you simply have to have it, here are some guidelines.
You can either pay someone to film you professionally or do it yourself on your iPhone. I do a mix. But then I have a filmmaker for a husband, so I’m in a privileged position in that respect.
Basically, though, the better the sound and image quality, the more people will trust you and your brand.
If you want to do it on your phone, I’d recommend you invest in the following equipment:
- A tripod. It’s £46.95 from Amazon and it’s called: Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK, Compact Action Aluminium Tripod with Hybrid Head, for Entry-Level, DSLR Camera, Mirrorless, Compact System Camera, Payload 1.5 kg, Black. (Extras: You’ll also need a phone clamp for the top. You can find these on Amazon if you don’t already have one.)
- A mic. The one we use is £35.37 from Amazon. It’s the IK Multimedia iRig Lavalier/Lapel/Clip-On Microphone for Mobile Devices. Another great feature with this mic is that if you need to mic two people up for an interview, you can buy a second iRig mic and connect it to your existing one. This isn’t something we’ve tried yet. (For the mic you also need: a thunderbolt to mini-jack connector thing. You can get one from the Apple website if you search for: Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. It’s only £9.)
- A light. All cameras love light. Not essential, like the mic and tripod, but a light could really enhance your video, especially if you don’t have much natural light. If you do have loads of natural light, then great. To find our light suggestion, go to Amazon and search: VILTROX VL-300T 7 Inch LED Edge Light Bi-Color 3300K-5600K Dimmable Soft Video Light Panel with Battery and Charger. Bigger ones are available (which will perform better) but ours was £42. (Extras: a stand for it which is sold separately – plenty of them on Amazon). And with this light, if you want to fit it to a standard light stand you’ll also need an adaptor. We found this one for £7.99 from Amazon: Type E Professional Universal Light Stand Swivel Hot Shoe Flash Holder Mount.)
You then want a good backdrop. This might be a plain background, or you might go for something more lifestyle-y.
Practice your script until you know it pretty well. Then you might need to do a few takes on the filming. Or you can get the app PromptSmart Pro – and it has auto-cues – so you upload the text, and it appears on the screen, then you can read as you film. So good.
You can record your ‘talking to camera’ bits in manageable sections and then join all those sections together with editing software. You can then import slides (we create ours in Canva) to cover up the cuts and illustrate the points you’re making.
For editing, we use Final Cut Pro. There’s an option to try it for free. But it’s £299.99 to buy. Unless video is going to be a big part of your business, you might not want to invest the time and money into this.
A budget editing option is LumaTouch. It’s about £30 and will do all you need for a video like this. I have it on my iPhone, which is fine for little videos but if you’re doing bigger jobs like the videos we’re talking about here. I wouldn’t get LumaTouch unless you have an iPad. You need that bigger screen for editing.
Or pay someone else around £300-£400 to do it for you. I can share contacts, if you’re interested.
Don’t chuck loads of money at your video the first time round. Concentrate on getting your script/content as good as it can be. And then create a video that looks as professional as possible within your budget and time restraints. The content is the most important thing – are people interested in what you’re saying? The look of your video is important, but comes second to content.