by Stephen Newton (MC2003)
You Tube is the second most widely used search medium on the Internet after Google. Placing short videos on You Tube allows you to be visible to potential coaching clients. It also allows those clients to “get to know you” in advance of an initial meeting. Many coaches feel that making videos for You Tube is simply “too difficult”. This article outlines how to make such videos relatively easily.
Three factors largely determine the success of your You Tube video:
- Sound quality and
The content can of course be pre-prepared. In terms of length it should be between three and five minutes. Anything longer than that will tend to lose the attention of viewers who will tend to come to You Tube for short, sharp, relevant bites of information. The content will need to be of immediate relevance to your chosen audience and it should allow you to make an interesting, memorable and perhaps controversial comment or offer an insight. The aim is to provide information and at the same time give potential clients a sense of what it will feel like to be in a session with you. A friend of mine describes this as “seriousness of purpose but levity of approach”.
Whilst you will need to have a clear idea of what you want to say, it is in my view a mistake to script it too heavily. A conversational delivery style tends to be more authentic and allows you to be seen to “be yourself”.
Sound quality is improved hugely by using an external microphone with your video camera rather than the in-built mic. This means that the camera will need to offer a microphone socket. Look for a “lavaliere” or “tie-clip” microphone. One that is wired – i.e. has a wire connecting it to the camera – is simpler to set up and will be cheaper to buy. A perfectly satisfactory wired lavaliere mic can be bought on Amazon or from Maplin for around £20 or less. However, the sound quality produced by mics from well-known firms such as Sennheiser will be better although the cost will be well in excess of £100.
There is no need for a complex, professional camera to capture video in this type of situation. A Kodak PlayTouch costing around £90 on Amazon will do a perfectly adequate job. It has an external mic socket and is able to capture video in HD format. It also allows editing on camera and instant uploading to You Tube via an in-built USB connector that plugs straight into your computer.
You will need to mount the camera on a tripod in order to ensure wobble-free video. Any basic camera tripod will work.
Effective lighting is reasonably easy to achieve. If you sit with a window to one side of you, it will tend to throw the other side of your face into shadow. It will be better to sit facing a window or beneath a Velux-type roof light. Avoid direct sunlight as this casts shadows and tends to cause you to squint into the strong light.
If you want to use electric light, you can get good results with a pair of ordinary Anglepoise-type lamps, one positioned to each side of your table and pointing towards you at about a 45 degree angle. Tape a sheet of paper in front of each lamp so that the light shines through it, acting as a diffuser.
Use “daylight” bulbs in the lamps. This means that the colour of the light is akin to daylight rather than the “warm white” of an ordinary incandescent bulb. Avoid ordinary fluorescent bulbs; they cast a green tint on your face. However daylight fluorescent bulbs are fine. If possible place a further light above you (known as a “hair light” in the film industry) which will create natural shadows on your face and avoid a two-dimensional look.
Rather than simply sitting in front of a blank wall, you can stretch a black sheet behind you. Position two lamps on the floor or on a low table behind you, shining upwards onto the cloth in such a way that the beams form an “X”. In one, use a red “reflector” type bulb and in the other a blue one. This creates an interesting background that looks highly professional. It avoids the need for complex editing techniques such as “green screen”.
This type of “studio” takes less than ten minutes to set up and allows you to produce very good results. Rehearse your content once or twice so that you minimise the likelihood of fumbling but can remain conversational. Set the camera going, sit down at the table and talk through the content in a conversational manner. Stop the camera and edit out the sections at the start and finish that you don’t want, using the in-built software. Connect the camera to your computer and upload the video to You Tube.
Since 2001, Stephen has worked as a coach and consultant focusing on the implementation of corporate strategy (or its adaptation so that it can be implemented). His work often entails leadership and operational management development. Stephen also has expertise in business development and marketing and has written two books on the subject. Find out more at www.dloassociates.com.