It’s not a “one size fits all” answer. We’re going to look at scripting, memorizing chunks. I’ll explain that.
And also using a teleprompter, or using a combination of both.
We’ll explain about each of the areas, and the pros and cons.
And then at the end, I’ll give you my thoughts on what different methods are best with different types of videos.
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– Welcome to our blog on how to shoot longer videos. We’re going to look at scripting, memorizing chunks. I’ll explain that. And also using a teleprompter, or using a combination of both. We’ll explain about each of the areas, and the pros and cons. And then at the end, I’ll give you my thoughts on what different methods are best with different types of videos. Often, when I have new clients that have never spoken on camera before, they might be a bit nervous and ask me, “Are we going to use the teleprompter?” For new clients, I have a tried and trusted method, where we memorize the script, but we also do some training on how to be relaxed in front of camera. And then we shoot it in chunks, small parts of the script.
The answer to using a teleprompter is kind of a more complex question because it does work in some situations, but definitely you have to learn how to be natural on camera before learning the new skill of using a teleprompter. When I started off making my own videos, I scripted heavily because I wanted them to be on point. Once I had them scripted, I memorized them and then when I was standing in front of the camera, sometimes they changed a little. But more or less they were exactly what I’d written down. So then, instead of recording the whole video, I recorded it in chunks. And let’s say you have a minute video. So when you have a minute video, you cut it into maybe four, five different parts. You do each part until you’re happy with it and move on to the next one. And in the edit, you put them together. Slightly reframing them so the edit doesn’t seem disjointed.
So, what is a teleprompter? Well actually, a teleprompter is a device that we put on front of our camera, and it has a mirror and a platform. And you put maybe a phone or a iPad on the platform, and then the mirror reflects the text back to you. So when you’re looking straight down the lens, you can still get prompted on what you want to talk about. There are expensive versions, like the ones used on TV by newscasters. So these have the words playing along, and somebody’s actually monitoring it, and if the news-reader gets a bit faster or slower, they will pause it. So it very much mirrors what the speed, and what the newscaster is saying, and they can stop, and it will start again. So somebody is helping them with the pace of the words. There are cheaper ones as well. So pretty good, that you can use with an iPad and you can find a lot of them on Amazon. Then there are smaller ones still, that are just for use with the phone. I’m using one of those, I got it off eBay years ago, it’s really cheap version. And I use the Elegant Teleprompter Pro for the teleprompter app on my phone.
So here’s some tips on using a teleprompter. So, sit far enough away from the camera so that it’s not very obvious that your eyes are reading back and forth. Also, make the sentence lengths short, again for the same reason. So that we don’t have the eyes moving back and forth on your video. Use bullet points, like I’ve used today. So, what I mean by bullet points is instead of actually writing it word for word, what I’ve done is I’ve written down bullet points that bring in the areas that I want to talk about so I don’t leave anything out. And finally, and probably the most important thing is, learn how to be natural in front of camera and then learn how to use the teleprompter, and be natural using a teleprompter. Because you don’t want to come across like you’re reading, you want to actually engage with your audience.
In conclusion, first off, I think you need to learn how to be natural on camera first. And you can do this through training, and definitely repetition. For longer videos, you will write your script, you will memorize the different chunks, and you will shoot it in chunks and you will edit that together. Get used to doing off the cuff, in the moment, videos. This really helps your presentation style. As I mentioned, when I started making my own videos, I scripted heavily. And then, as I developed, I started using a bullet point system. So basically, I would write down the bullet points and then I would develop the points through each take, and then pick the best take at the end. Now, I’ve kind of brought this on with use of the teleprompter because I use the teleprompter for my bullets. So that, it’s less me reading but still I’m able to see the different points I want to talk about. I do think, however, for longer more technical videos, like the video I made on storytelling, I had a lot of facts and figures to talk about. So, in that one, I actually scripted it and actually used the teleprompter. With that, you have to learn how to use the teleprompter and how to appear natural and, most importantly, to engage and not to be seen to be reading.
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