Whether it’s an internal message from a senior leader to employees or a video for social media explaining your company’s response to the current situation, there’s lots of reasons why you might need to film someone in your company talking to camera over the next few weeks. But with all but essential travel banned for the foreseeable future, it’s no longer going to be possible to get the professionals in to film your subject face to face.

Usually putting a video out that was filmed on a laptop or a phone isn’t considered an option for businesses looking to deliver a professional message. However in light of the current global situation, broadcasters from the BBC to This Morning are conducting interviews with their guests over video call or pre-recorded Skypes. This means that the way video is produced is changing rapidly from the norm. If you’re looking to film thought leadership content during the lockdown, here’s our top tips to help you make your video look as professional as possible.

Film in landscape

If you’re using a phone to record a talking head video, always ensure your phone is set to landscape, rather than portrait. If you are editing the talking head into existing footage this will ensure the video is seamless, and will mean that you don’t end up with dead space on either side of your footage.

Position yourself carefully

There are two main options when filming a talking head piece, and filming on a phone or computer is no different. Ask your subject to place themselves slightly off centre to the left or the right of the screen and ask them to either look down into the camera, or off to the opposite side of the screen.

Choosing the right background and lighting for your thought leadership video is key

Consider your lighting

Try to pick a room that has lots of natural light – it will be a lot more flattering and appear much better on screen. However, don’t shoot yourself with your back to the window – the backlight will mean your face isn’t visible on camera.

Pick a professional background

A white wall as your background is preferable, but if this isn’t possible, ensure you consider your background carefully before you hit record. Avoid too much clutter in the background. Make sure there’s no dirty washing hanging up and consider the position of background objects carefully – you don’t want a plant sprouting from your head after all!

Think about sound

It goes without saying that you should try to ensure the room you’re in is as quiet as possible and you won’t be interrupted when doing a recording. But make sure that you consider the quality of your voice on camera too. Ideally, use a microphone, but if this isn’t possible – project your voice louder than you usually would to compensate. If you can, do a quick test run to ensure the sound is working okay.

Ensure you can be heard clearly on the video and reduce background noise where possible

Don’t forget your body language

Most of us wouldn’t dream of presenting to a room of people with our hands by our sides but it’s easy to forget the importance of body language when recording a video of yourself. Use big body language when you talk on camera as it will help make the piece much more interesting and dynamic.

Consider professional editing

Filming a talking head on a phone or laptop isn’t ideal, but there are ways you can take the content you have to another level. Professional video editing can help you edit your talking head content with existing archive footage. Or you can can add text or diagrams to make the video look more professional.

At Prohibition we work on a variety of video production briefs for a range of brands, helping to create engaging and dynamic thought leadership video content. Get in touch today to find out how we could help you: hello@prohibitionpr.co.uk.

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About Erin Jones