Always wanted to be a blogger, but aren’t a wordsmith? Have you been charged with preparing a how-to demonstration for your company and the thought of writing a boring manual is putting you to sleep? Great news: More and more people want videos instead of dull, dry written content. It’s one of the easiest ways to convey information, and you don’t need to be a professional director to create a fantastic video.
However, you do need to keep some how-to video best practices in mind. Skimping on even one of these tricks can take your video from awesome to awful. Just because a video seems simpler than writing doesn’t mean it is. There are a lot more variables at play, so you need to multi-task.
Here’s how to pull off your first how-to video like a pro.
1. Keep it timely
The length of the video will obviously be dictated by the subject matter, but for the most part under four minutes is ideal. If you need much longer, break the videos down into separate segments. Nobody is going to be excited about a how-to with a run time of 20 minutes. Brevity is key.
2. Use lighting
More important than high quality equipment is quality lighting. You can create a stellar video with an average webcam. However, use natural light whenever possible, adjust lighting to get rid of shadows and don’t depend on fluorescent lights to do the trick.
4. Pick the right presenter
Even the dullest subjects can be exciting if the person in the video is charismatic. They should be knowledgeable about the subject, warm and inviting, and have a knack for being a TV host (though no experience is necessary). It sounds easy, but don’t let vanity get in the way. Choose the right person, not the person who wants to do it the most.
5. Get inspired
One of the best ways to prepare is by checking out high quality videos that you can mimic. Maybe it’s the editing, the sound quality or how the presenter talks to the audience. However, be wary when it comes to YouTube for inspiration. Just because a video is trending doesn’t mean it’s of good quality.
Most importantly, don’t overspend. You should be able to make a high quality video with a camera you likely already have and perhaps a new, moderately priced microphone. Spend any more and you may as well hire a pro.