Have you ever tried to make a video, but felt incredibly embarrassed? Did you feel the camera “judging you” and “laughing at you”? Recording a video with you as the speaker or main talent can be quite difficult and sometimes frightening. We will help you fight your fears by giving you a couple of tips to ease your anxiety around making videos. So get ready and let’s begin!

Two types of videos to start with

Scripted with B-Roll

For this type of video, you are going to use a teleprompter to read all the dialogue from a script. Then, you’ll record some B-Roll or supplemental graphics to complement the voice over. For example, in the video “The Art of Composition,” Chris Monlux is reading from a teleprompter and the video cuts between Chris’s camera shot, supplemental graphics, and shots from movies. Notice how supplemental graphics or films scenes are presented as the dialogue continues in the background. By using this technique, the audience can better understand the concepts presented in the video.  

Take some time to prepare before hitting record. A script, or a least a good outline, is something you’ll want to have on hand as you record your video.

Jumpcut style

A jumpcut is when you cut between two shots with a similar composition. Normally considered an error, many YouTubers now use this style because it is simpler to edit. Simply record a talking head video of yourself using a static shot then cut between the best takes or sections — no transitions or B-roll needed to cover up the transition. These types of videos don’t usually rely on reading from a script word for word. You can improvise or use a bullet point outline and talk about whatever comes to mind. Jumpcut videos are the best type of video to start with if you don’t have too much experience editing. They are not as difficult to do, compared to the scripted B-roll approach.

Preproduction

Pick a topic you cannot shut up about

When you go out with a close friend or colleague, and you start talking, there is always at least one topic that gets you truly excited — that topic that you keep talking on and on about until even you are surprised that you know so much. That will be the very best topic for you to talk about in your videos. Take a couple of minutes to think about the topic you just can’t shut up about. Since you like it anyway, ideas of things to talk should flow more easily.

Don’t skip the script

Some people suggest avoiding the use of a script because reading from it could come off as robotic and unnatural. However, it is always recommended to use a script so you can have full control of everything in the video. A good script describes everything the viewer will see and hear in the correct order. The script will be particularly useful in the post-production phase because you or your editor will know what media is needed and how the video should turn out. More importantly, a script will help you save time in post.

Production

Use a tripod

A tripod is an essential tool for every video production. It is mandatory to use when you are starting out. Just set up your camera on a tripod and start recording. It is much easier for you to only worry about what you’re going to say and not about fancy camera angles and shots. You can master your camera later on.  

Armed with a camera and a tripod, you’re ready to start recording your video. A tripod is essential for providing proper stabilization for your camera, leaving you free to think about your performance.

Audio is more important than video

Don’t worry too much about the quality of the picture. Having clear and excellent audio quality is way more important. If your audience can’t hear you, because you’re using an awful microphone, or because of too much background noise, your audience may never come back to watch another video. As long as the audio is clear, you can get around the picture quality. If your camera allows, consider using an external microphone.

The lens of the camera is your audience

When you are recording a video, always try to look directly at the camera lens because that translates to seeing your audience eye-to-eye. One thing that can help is to pretend the camera is a close friend that you feel comfortable and relaxed talking to. Look conversational to make your audience feel at ease.

Laugh at your monumental bloopers

You will make many mistakes when recording videos, to the point that you may think you are a complete fool. You may wonder time and time again why you keep making so many mistakes. The only thing you can do is laugh at your bloopers and keep recording. Don’t stress yourself out about being perfect in every shot. Just have fun and later on, make sure you have a good laugh at your many hilarious bloopers.

Don’t stress yourself out about being perfect in every shot

Post-production

Review and organize the footage you just recorded and make sure to pick the shots you feel are the best. Use your favorite editing technique until you achieve your desired results. You can hide your mistakes using B-roll. Just combine two shots from the same scene and add some B-roll on top of it to serve as a cutaway. As for editing jump-cut style, cut between shots without worrying about the covering up the transition. However, take special care so the audio doesn’t sound uneven between shots. For more information about editing videos, check out the “Basic Video Editing” course.

Create as many videos as you can

The only way to get better at making videos is to keep making them. The more videos you make, the better, and faster you will be able to produce them. For your next step, check out Videomaker Plus Membership and take “A Beginner’s Guide to Professional Results” course. This course will help you learn some of the fundamental rules and techniques to help you increase your production skills, while avoiding common pitfalls.

1 COMMENT

  1. Luis – This post is spot on. For the past 10 years, we have been developing a DIY online toolkit front-end workflow to YouTube, including a script library, teleprompter and integration with the YouTube studio/editor and for upload, and sharing on Facebook and all of the major social media outlets.

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