You would have guessed I was going to send my very first video blog to the President of the United States of America if you spent the day at my house when I was making it. The video was only one minute long, but it turned into a colossal affair. Four hours. At least. My final take ended with my brother holding a lamp up in the air Hollywood style because the sun had set and I needed more light. I was worried about lighting, my appearance, and how my facial expressions and sign language appeared. I don’t sign full ASL (American Sign Language) because I also grew up with some Signed English so I thought I’d get judged – but just like everyone has a voice unique to them, I realized I do too. I should have focused on personality.
Regardless of our confidence level (I’m far from bashful) the first time feels….raw. I was exposing myself beyond words and still images. It really can be daunting the first time and that’s OK.
Tip 1: Don’t plan it out too much
The first video I did? I practiced repeatedly, took notes and….basically I over thought. How was I going to remember everything I wanted to say? Would I have enough facial expression? I was a bit stiff and would do a repeat if I didn’t do an exact word or sentence I had planned on. It’s not like writing where we can delete and replace it in a flash. But as long as you absolutely know what topic you’re talking about, the few main points and you’re excited about it, you will find a flow. If you have an abrupt idea, take advantage of it, and just do it. Wherever you are! Spontaneity is a good ingredient for video.
Tip 2: Clear lens & good light
Every good video needs a clear lens and lighting. I haven’t invested in a good lamp so I always try to do it in daylight. Luckily, our technological devices are improving camera quality but I recommend using the best you can afford. I use my iPhone, my computer (though I’ve learned the hard way it’s only better outside) and I just bought a mini iPad with 720P. You want to show that beautiful face of yours and it’s no fun watching something blurry.
Tip 3: Brevity
Just like with blogs, people skim. My rule of thumb is a minute or two unless it’s a very particular step by step video. But look at the Vine app (love Jason’s tips). People really dig short. Movement and interaction. Entertaining and personable. The more chill you feel, the easier it is to be quicker and yourself.
Tip 4: Don’t fret over getting judged or negative comments
Once you let go of this worry, it’s very liberating. Let loose! I’ve done a video after getting rained on or put on a fedora because I didn’t have time to do hair. After all, if you DO get a little hatin’ – it’s because you did something right. There are going to be many supporters…don’t quit after the first few tries! It gets exciting figuring out what I’m going to reveal to my viewers every time. Different facial expression? Hairstyle? Attitude? It’s raw. Real.
Need a little more before you become a believer? Check out the difference a year does. I cringe a little every time I watch my very first video but it’s also nostalgic. I’m not using my voice but it’s the same with speaking and body language. Your composure, confidence, speed and vibe improves the more you do it. I hope this convinces you!
We are living in a visual revolution – getting yourself on video is a killer opportunity to expose yourself to your audience – and bond.
Video #1: Social Media Levels the Playing Field (done super fast)
My latest video reviewing Hailo Taxi App, done spontaneously and *relaxed* (totally fun, promise)
Vlogging comes in many forms, there isn’t a single perfect formula! Do you have any tips for vlogging??