- SellToCamera.com retired: A blog for software professionals on speaking to camera
SellToCamera.com was a blog about helping software professionals with presentation experience make the move to web video, addressing the concerns many feel when first asked to speak directly into a video camera’s unblinking eye.
For SellToCamera.com I bought a Full-HD camera and professional lights usable in a typical office environment. I recorded some introductory videos, edited those using Sony Vegas and then rendered to H.264 format with Sorenson Squeeze.
This blog was a great learning experience for working with video in WordPress.
- Sound matters: Testing, testing, one, two, three
If your audience can’t clearly hear what you have to say then your video is a waste of everyone’s time. Use a lapel microphone instead of your camera’s built-in microphone and get a massive boost in audio quality for a minimal investment.
- Dressing the stage: Suits you
Before you say a single word the background in your video is already speaking for you. A dark background that looked like a stage curtain didn’t set the business tone I wanted. Choosing a lighter, structured, background now sends the right message from the very first frame. It also turned out they are easier to work with.
- Eye contact: Somewhere out there
You know to look around your audience when presenting; web video demands you do the exact opposite. Put a large monitor at eye-level right behind your camera to get accustomed to looking directly at your camera. You also get to speak to a real person (yourself!) and not just the camera’s unblinking eye.
- External monitors: Seeing clearly
While Hollywood can afford a high ratio of footage shot to used, you cannot. Don’t waste time editing your web videos; know what you’ll get before pressing record. Save time and reduce frustrating wasted takes with a Full HD monitor that shows clearly (in real time) every pixel your camera sees.
- Office studio: Get up, stand up
Unless you have the luxury of a separate recording space, you will have to record in your existing office environment. Present standing up and you can shoot over the top of desks and other office furniture. Putting your tripod on a desk saves space and keeps your camera stable and safe from knocks.
- Teleprompter temptation: Not the nine o’clock news
Reading from a script is the very last thing you would consider doing when giving a presentation. Why is it then, that as soon as people start making web videos they think they are playing a newsreader on TV and want to read a script from a teleprompter? Just say no to teleprompters for your business videos!
- Hello world: Let’s get this show on the road
Here’s the first real video for SellToCamera.com. This is a simple example of a typical “Hello” video where I introduce my blog, identify my target audience and what you can expect to get out of it. In other words, to answer your question: “what’s in it for me?”
- Webcam quality: When good’s not good enough
This first video on SellToCamera.com is a short test I recorded to show you the difference in quality between a good webcam and a HD camcorder. This gives a first taste of the quality we can achieve with our business videos.
- Video clip art: Just say no
This is the first in a regular series on business video clichés, starting with something we have all been guilty of: needless clip art.
Creating slides by hand we had enough trouble writing legibly with marker pens; few had the skills for illustration. With the arrival of PCs in the early 1980s we could add simple line art and everything changed.