Videos are becoming more and more popular both as external and internal communications collateral. They provide a great opportunity to give a voice to team members and to take a look at the people within a company. Often people shy away from the camera or are nervous about being featured, so here are some things to think about if you've been asked to take part in the new company video and some top tips for performing your best in front of the camera.
First off, don't panic, be flattered! You've been asked for a reason, because of your point of view or your perspective on a particular issue. Career-wise, it's a very good sign, as it will increase your exposure within the organisation and get you noticed among your peers. Welcome to that bizarre world where people will recognise you in the canteen and think they know you!
Give yourself time to prepare for the shoot. Ask for a clear brief in advance so you understand what's required and are not caught unprepared or not knowing the answers. Make sure you know and understand the objective of the video so that your answers are relevant and add value.
If the video is an interview format, make sure that you listen to the questions and respond to the question asked. Don’t feel rushed or be afraid to take a moment to think before you respond. Short, concise answers are usually best, so don't fall into the trap of learning a speech. On the other hand, one-word answers are equally unhelpful. Personable, natural and engaging answers are usually what we're after. We'll often ask you to build the question into your answer too, which helps your answer stand alone and means that all the relevant information is framed within your answer, so don't let that throw you.
Being assertive is a must. Hesitation or repetition can make it difficult for editors to produce clear flowing dialogue. If you trip up, just go back to the beginning, take a breath and start your answer again. Editing is a magical thing so mistakes are no problem and you don’t have to be perfect every time. Take the pressure off yourself and try to speak naturally.
On the day, avoid wearing clothing with a very fine pattern, checks or stripes, as these often don't look good on video. Plain colours work best but remember if you are being filmed against a green or blue screen, not to wear the same colours, as those parts of you might disappear! The production company will tell you in advance if that’s the case.
Be prepared to remove bracelets, watches and large or noisy jewellery, as these can often be distracting to the viewer as well as affecting the sound with background noise. Also, bear in mind you will probably need to have a microphone attached to your clothing, so a jacket or something similar works well to avoid any 'wardrobe difficulties'.
Gentlemen, if you are being filmed later in the day, you may want to bring shaving kit to the office if you are prone to the haunted '5 o'clock shadow' look or a hair brush for a quick tidy-up so you know you are looking and feeling your best. This will help with your confidence.
Remember, it’s the videographer’s job to make you look as good as possible. This is not going to be a confrontational interview and no one is trying to trip you up. We will work with you to help you shape what you want to say and then deliver it in the most effective way possible. We will have built time into the day's agenda to allow you time to get it right and if you say something that you would rather not be aired, you can always ask to have it edited out.
Above all, enjoy it. The best interviewees come across as relaxed, clear thinkers, with a firm point of view, and that's how we want you to look.
Finally, remember the production team are on your side - if you don’t look good, they don’t look good.