Guest Post by Mitch Mitchell:
I started one of my YouTube channels back in 2009. My first few were horrific, which surprised me because I thought that, as a professional speaker, I’d transition to video easily. Actually, my topics were fine and I got through them without fear, but my thought process while doing them was flawed to a great extent.
I’ve progressed a lot since then, and with over 500 videos via two YouTube channels I’ve learned a lot that I’d love to share with you if you’re looking to get started and create some magic.
1. Video isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a professional speaker for a number of years. When I created my first video, I forgot all the things that made me a live presenter.
The first thing I forgot is that I should have some personality. For some reason I thought the thing I should do was talk without any emotion or vocal inflection. That got old fast because I knew I sounded bad, regardless of the content, and I asked an actor friend of mine what he thought, though I already knew. That was the first change I made and everyone was thankful for it.
The second thing I messed up on was trying to sit too still. When speaking in front of an audience it’s fun to walk around, trying to make eye contact with the audience. Doing a video, you’re probably going to be sitting or standing still, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make gestures, look around, or do whatever comes natural. The idea is to be the “real” you; it’ll make you more comfortable and your presentation will be received better.
2. Get used to the sound of your voice
As a former singer, I was over this obstacle by the time I started doing videos. Yet, it’s the first thing people who aren’t used to it have problems with (even more than seeing themselves on video).
Unless you’re used to it, when you record your first couple of videos, you’ll hear your voice sounding higher than you expect it to me. The thing to remember is that everyone else hears the voice you’re hearing now.
I used to conduct interviews via Google Hangouts. The overwhelming majority of people I interviewed didn’t have a video presence before I interviewed them. This means we sometimes had problems signing them on because they weren’t sure how to use their equipment, and when the interview started, they were too caught up in what they looked like and how they sounded to be able to immediately focus on what we were going to talk about.
Rehearsing is all-encompassing. It’s about testing your equipment; getting used to your voice; getting used to seeing yourself on camera; being comfortable with your background. If it’s something you’re not used to, you’re going to have a problem the first few times because you’re unsure of what you’re doing. That’s going to make you uncomfortable and your potential viewers will notice it. That could play on your confidence and convince you that video isn’t for you.
Video is for everyone who has something to say or share. Taking time to rehearse is more for you than your audience, although they need to be considered. Learning where to look at the camera so it make it seem like you’re talking directly to your audience is key, and knowing your body movements or how many times you say “ummm” when you talk might be something you want to control, which you won’t know unless you rehearse and get used to doing it.
4. Don’t talk too fast
When most people get nervous or excited they start talking faster. When you talk faster, a lot of your message gets missed unless the person you’re talking to is used to certain rappers I won’t mention. There are times when picking up speed helps you push through an emotion but those times should be infrequent, especially since you’re hoping to be understood.
You don’t have to be perfect on video, which is a good thing. This means slowing down and taking a breath won’t penalize you; actually, it’ll make you seem more human. With that said, it’s not something you want to do on a regular basis, since you’re hoping your viewers believe you have self control over what you’re doing.
5. Speak like you’re telling a story, not like you’re talking to your friends
Everyone loves stories, but not everyone can tell a story properly. How you talk to your friends might be much different than talking to your audience because your friends know you and possibly speak like you.
The major property of telling a good story to an unknown audience consist of telling the story as a “real time” event, not jumping around so often that no one can keep up with it. That works with your friends because they know you, but your audience will get confused and you’ll look like an amateur. If you need to, beforehand write down the elements of your story so you remember to tell it without having to do flashbacks, jumping ahead or throwing out references that have nothing to do with your story.
These 5 concepts might sound hard but they’re really pretty simple. You can probably master 4 of them within 30 minutes; the last one might take a little longer if you tend to jump around. Give it your best shot; the best thing about doing video is that your reputation isn’t married to your first video.
About Mitch Mitchell:
Mitch has been creating YouTube videos since 2009. In addition, he is a professional speaker and presenter on multiple topics that include health care, leadership, diversity, social media, blogging and motivation. He’s written two books on leadership and has over 5,000 published articles.