When you think of being on camera and getting the word out about your mission, you may think initially of public relations and participating in a media interview. But don't limit yourself. In marketing and outreach today, there are many different ways video can be used in promotion. Preparing for media interviews and messaging can become a core part of your marketing and content strategy. And while preparing for a media interview and preparing for a testimonial video or promotional video are similar, there are a few slight differences. Let's look at both what's the same and what's different about the most common video interview types.
10 tips for success: How to conquer a video interview
1. Dress for success
Neat, clean, and be consistent with your company culture. Please make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled and your hair is neat. As for clothing color, it really depends on the background of the shot and the look the producer is going for. Stay away from dark colors (especially black), bright colors (especially white) and complex prints. You do not want your clothing to pull focus away from what you are saying. I recommend showing up to the shoot with a few choices. You can discuss them with the director and producer and the perfect choice can be made. Stay away from chunky and excessive jewelry. Bracelets can make noise and that might interfere with the audio. And also metal jewelry can reflect lights which causes lens flare.
2. Focus and Relax
If you aren’t used to being on camera, it can be a little overwhelming with the lights, the camera equipment, and the production people in the background. Remember everyone's job is to make you look good and feel comfortable. This is not a media interview where a reporter may ask difficult questions. These promotional or testimonial videos are produced so that your organization can get the word out and look good. There is nothing more engaging than seeing a person speaking honestly and authentically about what they are passionate about. My advice is to focus on the one person interviewing you and prompting you. This can sometimes be the director or the producer. Try to ignore everything beyond a 3-foot radius of where you are standing or sitting and stay in the moment. If you find yourself with a case of serious nerves, take a moment and ask for a break to collect yourself.
3. What’s your story?
Why do you like your job? You know why. Any question you get will be one that you know the answer to. Do not over prepare. You don’t want to seem rehearsed. The producer may want to have a pre-shoot discussion on what is expected and you may receive a list of questions that will be asked. You should review them but make sure you don’t over think what you are going to say. Your sound bites should appear natural and authentic. They should not feel practiced.
4. Make eye contact
Do not look around. Focus on a point in the distance and look straight ahead. Do not look down and do not look away. Darting eyes look panicky and are distracting. If you are not sure where your eyeline should be, ask the director. They’ll help give you a focal point.
5. Project and Engage
Viewers have come to expect a higher level of energy from people who are on camera. For your on-camera performance, bring your energy up a notch or two. You don’t need to overemphasize everything, but you need to project and ensure that viewers believe and engage with what you are saying. You may feel a little strange as if it is “too much,” but it won’t be.
Video Tips - The Final Five Lightning Round!
- Sit up straight! - Don’t slouch, Mom is always right.
- Have a glass of water ready - Speaking is thirsty work.
- Breathe - Holding your breathe is never a good idea.
- Don’t be afraid to make a mistake - That is what editing is for.
- Be yourself - Who else are you going to be?
The more experience you have speaking with people and the more time spent on camera, the better you will be. I always tell clients that they will be fine. Because I know they will be. It is just a matter of knowing yourself, focusing on the message you want to promote, and being truly authentic. But the most important thing to remember is to have fun!