When shooting a small business marketing video, getting your subject comfortable in front of the camera is the top-most important key to producing a great video. When the narrator appears nervous it can be distracting from the video’s intended message to the customer. Getting narrators to be comfortable on camera is the responsibility of the videographer. Here are some ways leading video producers do it:

  1. Reassure them that it’s easy. If business owners already have experience communicating face to face at work, it will be a breeze to look good on camera.
  2. Go for Relaxed yet enthusiastic; Confident yet approachable; Eloquent. Coach your subject to avoid coming across as nervous, tense, subdued, wide-eyed, arrogant or struggling to find the words. If the narrator is nervous or shy, play back footage to show them that they look better on camera when smiling and relaxed.
  3. Show interest in what they are doing. Be genuine and engaging. For the subject, it would be more comfortable for the video shoot to be conducted by a friend instead of a stranger. So do your best to project friendliness. Be personable and courteous. By expressing a genuine interest in the subject and their business, you can help put them at ease and make the interview portion of the video seem more like a conversation with a friend.
  4. Have fun. During editing, you may quickly realize that people most often look their best when they are smiling or laughing. Let your sense of humor shine and rub off on your subjects, and consider warming up shy subjects with some ridiculous shots.
  5. Warm up with interview questions. If you’ve ever done any public speaking, you know that answering questions from the audience is far easier and more natural than making a one-way speech. Start your subject off with interview questions about their business even if you have a killer script. Encourage it to feel conversational. After running through a few questions, ask them to recite their script (often one sentence at a time) in that same conversational tone as they had in the interview. For a list of suggested interview questions by industry visit: https://biveo.com/step/narration
  6. Look off camera. People tend to behave more naturally when talking to a person rather than a camera. During the interview portion, have the subject look at you, not the camera. Always give a reassuring nod and smile. You can then have them try looking directly at the lens for the script portion if the video warrants a direct message to the customer.
  7. Stay Positive. Most personality types out there don’t embrace criticism. To be safe, always stay positive even after bad shots. For example, after a poor shot you might say, “Nice, but let’s try another shoot with a bit more energy.”
  8. Move the camera back. The farther away the camera is, the more comfortable the subject feels. Being several feet back as opposed to being close up will come across better in your finished video as well.
  9. Only the best. Reassure your subject that it is your job to make them look your best and that they will always have final say on what footage makes the final cut.
  10. It’s just audio. Let them know that it’s mainly the audio that will be used in the video as background to B-roll, and that they will only appear on camera briefly in the final edit.

For script templates and interview questions specific to industry, visit https://biveo.com/step/narration

The process for producing a small business marketing video is being improved and streamlined by a startup of 500 business videographers called Biveo. What might take over 20 hours for an amateur can be done in about 12 your first time, or by a pro in about 5 hours, and be of better, more professional quality.

Run a search on Biveo.com for local business videographers in your area

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