If you have been tasked with producing a video for your business and aren’t really sure how to go about it, here are a few simple rules you might consider. Whether you are planning on placing it on your intranet – or in a more public environment like your foyer – there are a number of considerations to keep in mind:
Always have a plan. Understand your goal. Think about what you want to accomplish with the video. What are the key messages? A good start is to write a treatment (an overview of content and style) and an indicative script. This will help to ensure you stick to the key messages and avoid unnecessary waffle.
2. Story is everything
At all points of the process, remember that you are telling a story. Keep it simple and direct. Keep it authentic and compelling. And don’t use your story to try and cram in reams of information. Don’t overcomplicate things, and always stick to the story. (And if you are wondering what the ideal duration for your story is, its simple – it is exactly how long it takes to tell the story you are trying to tell).
3. Understand your audience
Know that your audience are all video literate. They regularly watch television, movies and DVDs, and they are used to – and expect – good quality video. Never speak down to your audience and don’t beat around the bush – get straight to the point. Remember – once you lose your audience’s attention, they stay lost.
4. Use a good camera
Shaky cam might work well on a music video but it will be a real distraction if you are trying to interview the CEO of your company. It is critical that the pictures are clean and that the subjects are well lit. And though using a camcorder might seem like a cost-effective option, it will invariably produce compromised communication.
5. Use a good microphone
Without wishing to state the obvious you must be able to hear the audio clearly and without extraneous noise interference. You MUST have clean and clear audio. Nothing says “amateur production” more loudly than bad audio. Never rely on the camera microphone to record interviews. It will pick up every other sound within range and become a distraction for the viewer.
Of course there are many more considerations when making a video than these. You might also consider the use of graphics, intro titles, music and sound effects to enhance the production values of your video. But the most important thing is to keep it compelling. And have fun.