4 Dec 2016

4 Ways To Use Video To Get Booked As A Speaker

Besides having a community of people who support you and your ideas and are demanding to hear you speak, showcasing your speaking talent via video is a fantastic way for the right person to decide if they want you to speak at their next event since video can represent your skills online in the most authentic way possible.

If you’re just getting started and you don’t yet have any footage of you speaking, then you have to strongly consider recording your next event – even if it’s a small workshop or presentation or if you have to talk to an empty room, you just need a footage of you speaking. The next step is to decide if you’ll record it on your own, or ask a friend to do it for you or hire a professional videographer. The risk of doing it on your own or asking a friend/family member who only knows how to “point and shoot” will often lead to: 1) Poor camera movement and placement and 2) Poor video and audio quality – all which can jeopardize your brand image.

Although marketing tools like Facebook Live is becoming more and more popular with speakers, the intention behind those videos is to educate the audience and not necessarily to get paid gigs as a speaker. The better your video production quality, the better your chances of speaking at popular events like TEDx. TEDx uses a set of guidelines that they want applicants to meet but if you don’t have a high budget, there’s still ways to achieving a great video.

Obviously, the first thing is to take care of your own preparation and planning. This involves ensuring that you’re offering something that your audience wants to hear and to have a clear, specific message. Plan your stage design, ensure that you will stand out from your backdrop and consider the visual elements that showcases your unique personality.

When it comes to the actual video production, we’ve outlined 4 tips below that you should consider to better your chances of getting booked as a speaker:

1. Light The Speaker Well

What you have to think about when it comes to lighting is that you’re doing it for the camera. Some cameras will not operate well under low lighting. The best approach is to use the 3-point lighting setup which includes 3 things:

  1. The Key Light which is your main source of lighting
  2. The Fill Light which is a bit softer than your Key Light and is designed to eliminate the shadows created by the Key Light
  3. The Backlight which is positioned behind the speaker to separate him/her from the background.

If you can’t afford 3-point lighting, ensure you have sufficient lighting in the room and try to avoid speaking under fluro lights which can cause flickering and undesirable lighting. The camera operator will need to be familiar with their camera settings to ensure the right amount of light is captured on video – such as the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings. In some situations, a smartphone with an HD camera might be okay to use under good lighting, although we strongly suggest using a DSLR as a starting base.

2. Capture Audio That Is Pleasant To Listen To

Audio is often the number one thing that gets neglected which is unfortunate because it’s actually more important than the video. After all, you’ll be speaking and people want to clearly hear what you’re saying to them, right? Recording your presentation using a smartphone from a distance will often result in poor audio quality – the volume will be considerably low and the noise in the room can easily drown out your speech. To overcome this issue, use a lapel microphone plus a wireless version will give you the freedom to walk around. If you are using a handheld microphone, you can also ask the sound guy if you can take the audio output from his desk into your recording gear.

A cheaper option is to purchase a cheap lapel mic from the electronic store (like JB Hi-Fi), attach it to a spare smartphone (you have to ensure that it has enough space to record your entire presentation) and then merge it with the video during post-production. You can also attach an external directional microphone to your camera which you can also buy from the electronic store.

3. Use At Least 2 Camera Angles

To make your speaker video look more professional, you should record with at least 2 cameras. Every space is different so it’s probably a good idea to acquire a stage floor plan so you can determine the best camera angles. You should aim to capture:

  1. A “long shot” that frames your entire body and establishes the space that includes your audience and
  2. A “medium” to “close-up” that captures you much closer. High level, stage and broadcast productions will have up to 5 or more multi-camera angles!

Ideally, you want to avoid profile shots that captures you on the side and of course, leave enough head room so you’re not decapitated on the video!

4. Edit Your Presentation

Great speaker videos usually starts off with the “establishing shot” that shows the space and the audience. Just like any good story-telling, you want to set the scene first.

If you’ve recorded using multiple camera angles, then keep in mind how you’re cutting between the angles and to ensure it appears seamless. If there’s a key moment in your presentation like a quote or an emotional story, you might like to slowly zoom to a close-up. If you’re engaging the audience, you can either zoom out to a wide shot or zoom in on the interaction taking place.

Style and rhythm is also very important. For example, if the mood is one of excitement and energy, then you can utilise fast cutting.

Using transitions like dissolves or cross-fades helps deliver a story with a visual and emotional impact.

Lower thirds make your videos look more professional. These are the text graphics that appears towards the bottom of your video. This is where you name should appear and below that could be your title. TEDx prefers you to use “month-year-place of filming” instead of your title (check with the latest TEDx Shooting Guidelines).

Don’t forget your all-important call-to-action at the end! This could be your website address, your contact details or any specific course of action you want your viewer to take towards the end of your video.

Image by MD Duran via Unsplash

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