When it comes to B2B video marketing, having an executive or expert talk to the camera – also known as a "talking head" – can be a daunting experience. Most people feel uncomfortable and out of their element when asked to be on camera. At c|change, we understand this discomfort and have developed strategies to help people feel more at ease in front of the camera. In this transcript, our president, Hugh Schulze, shares some of our proven techniques for making on-camera interviews feel more natural and conversational, leading to shorter, crisper soundbites and honest reactions between participants.
Hi, I’m Hugh Schulze, president of c|change. And like many of the clients that we interview for video, I hate being on camera.
For most of us, the discomfort or downright dislike of being on camera is because it’s not our day job. Like most people, we’re busy doing other things – things we’re probably better at.
In general, we try to help people avoid memorizing lines – a bad idea usually left to paid actors who do that for a living. We also generally try to avoid teleprompters with clients – these can make people look stiff and often betray a little eye travel when they’re reading. We like to leave teleprompters to politicians and the media-trained.
One strategy we rely upon is having an executive in dialogue with a co-worker, a peer, or perhaps even a customer. This approach lends itself to a more relaxed conversation which can lead to A – shorter, crisper soundbites and B – honest reactions between participants.
For these conversations we’ll usually have a three camera set-up – for the wide two-shot and two for the individuals. In fact, we’ve even configured shoots with seven to ten cameras.
The second approach we recommend for on camera interviews is having an interviewer slightly off-camera asking questions and working to make a more conversational style. So the executive or expert is not staring into the camera.
Of course, if the video requires speaking directly to the audience as in, say, a motivational internal video, we’ll bring in the teleprompter or work with the executive to memorize his or her lines. Sometimes recording in shorter bits so that they can be edited together.
In this video, we worked with a professional actor who memorized all the lines. No matter what type of video, no matter what the on-camera presence, c|change has more than twenty years of experience. Whether that’s with 2-D and 3-D animations or motion graphics for the metaverse.
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