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DOs and DON’Ts of Video Production
DO: Know exactly what you’re going to say before you begin recording (unless you’re doing an interview-style video, in which case you should not over-prepare).
DO: Smile. It makes a huge difference.
DO: Record plenty of takes. To quote Animal House’s Bluto, “Don’t cost nuthin’.”
DO: Keep it short. Aim for 1 minute or less; 2 minutes is probably too long.
DO: Make sure you are well-lighted.
DO: Use a teleprompter—after you have practiced with it (a lot).
DO: Speak in a natural, conversational voice.
DO: Say “you” much more often than you say “me” or “I.”
DO: Keep in mind that you are speaking to one single person.
DO: Stick to a single—brief—topic.
DO: Use plain language. The goal is to communicate, not show off your vocabulary.
DO: Present your message energetically (but not frantically).
DO: Use on-screen labels, titles, or charts to reinforce your message (but don’t get carried away).
DO: Use stories (preferably personal) to illustrate your point.
DO: Make sure your video is well-edited. If you’re not a good editor, outsource it.
DO: Recognize that every little detail in your video says something about you.
DO: Include disclaimer language at the end of your video if appropriate.
DO: Promote your video through email and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
DO: Create new videos regularly. Stick with it!
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DON’T: Ad lib or wing it.
DON’T: Try to be anything or anybody other than who you naturally are.
DON’T: Make a commercial. Your audience is 100% voluntary — nobody voluntarily watches a commercial.
DON’T: Allow your background to be much brighter than you (the subject) are. Either you’ll be overexposed or the background will be underexposed.
DON’T: Say, “Hi, I’m ______. Welcome to my YouTube channel.” Lame.
DON’T: Wear anything with tight stripes. On video, it creates that weird, distracting shimmery look known as moiré.
DON’T: Express political or religious opinions (unless you’re specifically targeting a particular political or religious group and don’t mind alienating everyone else).
DON’T: Promote yourself. The viewer will brand you as a braggart. Let the message act as your endorsement.
DON’T: Cover more than one very limited topic per video.
DON’T: Talk in industry jargon.
DON’T: Use old-school technology such as a TV or projector screen behind you for visual aids. (But simple props can work great to illustrate a concept.)
DON’T: Use your camcorder’s built-in microphone for the sound track. (However, many newer smartphones have surprisingly good sound processors; experiment!)
DON’T: Speak as if you’re talking to a large audience. Your audience is just one person.
DON’T: Give in to the temptation to use lots of fancy graphics. Less is more.
DON’T: Try to save money by using cheap equipment or do-it-yourself editing if you’re not good at it.
DON’T: Stress over the fact that your video isn’t perfect. I haven’t made a perfect one yet. Remember: Done is better than perfect.
DON’T: Get discouraged and stop creating content. This takes time!
Where to learn editing:
Teleprompter apps for iPad (find these in the App Store):
Where to set up your online channel: