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Making a Speaker Video

Making a Speaker VideoI just made three videos of myself speaking to an audience. And I want to share with you what I learned from the experience.

Okay, so let’s start with the finished product in mind.

What do you want to end up with? How long should it be?

Something that showcases who you are and what you offer the people in your target market … in around three minutes or less.

I’d thought we’d edited our first script down to around three minutes. The actual video came in at over six minutes!

Luckily, I could divide the clip and come away with two stand-alone videos, so it worked out. But it also impacted the cost of production and editing.

Edit your script ruthlessly. Time it. And practice it over and over and over. Don’t wait till you get in front of the camera to work things out.

Meeting planners have a longer attention span than the casual web browser. Research suggests they’ll stay with a clip featuring examples of you speaking for somewhere between 3 to 10 minutes. Mine is five minutes. See that video here.

Who do you speak to?

Key consideration: Audience reaction shots are critical to meeting planners.

So, do you want to capture a live performance or appear in front of a studio audience where you can do multiple takes?

If you’re in front of a live audience, the sponsoring group has to allow you to set up the room, lighting, sound, etc. just so … to ensure you come away with a high quality product.

Believe me, we’ve tried to get candid clips of a presentation using an iPad without being able to control these factors. It just doesn’t work.

And if it’s a live audience, there are no retakes. You have to nail it. That’s a LOT of pressure.

So, unless your goal is to be a highly paid speaker in front of large rooms, I’d suggest you invite people to be in the audience as you shoot your video.

People will be more willing to help than you’d think. Offer some kind of incentive. For my friends and associates, I offered a catered dinner at the venue right after the filming. The “extras” … people I didn’t have an actual relationship with … got their choice of an Amazon or grocery store gift card.

Plan for about a 40% no-show rate, even if you’ve confirmed and re-confirmed folks.

Where should you shoot it?

You need a room that’s the right size with the right ambiance and the ability to control noise outside of the room … that doesn’t cost a fortune. We used a hotel meeting room.

It was a hoot. The folks at the front desk would ask people as they arrived, “Are you here for the movie?”

Have your videographer view the room in person if at all possible. Photos aren’t enough. When my filmmaker got to the venue, he actually reduced the number of seats in the room significantly. So, all the time my staff and I spent trying to secure a larger audience was wasted.

How long do you need?

Give yourself plenty of time. It takes a whole lot longer to get a video in the can than you’d think. We ended up with three videos totaling about 12 minutes. Took 11 hours. Not because anything was “wrong.” It just takes time. The audience was there for around three hours.

The biggest thing is to have fun! I experienced most of my stress BEFORE the actual event, making sure all the details were taken care of.

During filming, I decided to just have fun with it. If I messed up, I’d just laugh at myself and move on. I was calm and relaxed and so was my audience!

The really cool thing is that everybody who attended the filming loved being there and still keep telling me what a great time they had. Like they were at a party!

You can do this! Just be smart about it.

Good luck!


Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!