Essential Video Skills
You need essential video skills in order to create an online course with a high standard. These essential video skills will enable you to create a quality video that is critical online course success. Appearance is key. You won’t impress people looking like a riff-raff. You also have to act and be confident in what you’re talking about. If you’re using video, having a great background is crucial.
Essential Video Skills – Key to Creating Online Course that Sells
Color choices, font styles, the quality of the image, and your appearance have a lot to do with how your course is perceived. Most people say that a nice, clean, white background is the best route to take for online courses. I believe that the background depends on the type, of course, you’re trying to create. I don’t mind being in my living room, for instance.
In fact, I have a friend whom people have given positive reviews about using his bedroom as a background. It makes you seem more real. Only make sure to make the bed! In case you feel like giving that a try too. If you have a white background, every video for every course is going to look the same. The monotony can turn people away. Nevertheless, the most important aspect of video shooting is video quality. High Definition (HD) is necessary.
Essential Video Skill 1: Choice of Hardware
Most new computers have webcams that can shoot at a quality of 1920 x 1080. This is HD quality. You can still shoot your video at 1280 x 720, but this is a lower level of HD. So, it is safer for you to record in the highest possible quality so that if you can use the video across all platforms and devices, including mobile phones and tablets. You don’t need to get a very expensive camera. I have the Logitech C920e, which currently is $75 on Amazon. It is a great camera that has decent audio.
A cheaper option that still does HD quality video is the C310. It sells for $25 on Amazon. That’s quite a steal! So, if you’re using an older laptop that doesn’t have an HD camera, purchasing one of these cameras will greatly assist you in the initial stages.
Another option for higher quality video is something like the Canon T3i DSLR camera. You can purchase a refurbished model for under $500. This camera does, however, require some extra effort. The point is though that you’ll get good quality. An image of this camera is shown below. My advice is if you’re not going to be shooting on location, all you need is a webcam. Shooting on location means creating videos of you actually doing something – playing piano, throwing a baseball, etc.
Essential Video Skill 2: Speaking on Camera
Let’s discuss speaking on camera. I am not a perfect presenter on camera.
There are times when I mess up and use filler words. I don’t mind the occasional filler words when I’m listening to podcasts or watching videos. In fact, I prefer to hear them rather than someone who sounds like a robot with no personality. So, do you want to sound like a robot or someone people can relate to? Show your personality even if it means messing up a few times.
A good way to practice is to set up free YouTube tutorials. You can view people’s responses to determine how well you’re doing. Don’t let mean comments discourage you. There are a lot of trolls on the Internet.
When I just started, I was scared to speak on camera. I would have giggle fits and nervous pauses. I’ve come a far way since. The truth is that it takes a while to get used to the camera. Lighting is another critical component for creating high-quality video. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it could be as simple as using a window or desk lamp.
More light culminates into a better image. That’s if properly positioned and used appropriately. Ensure your face is well lit. You can either use one key light that’s behind the camera or to the side of the camera to get the right lighting for your face. Put diffusion on the light to decrease the brightness on your face. This can be done by putting a cloth in front of the light. However, you have to be vigilant to ensure that the cloth doesn’t burst into flames. It is best to go into your local camera store to get first-hand advice and training on professional lighting. I use paper lantern lights because the light emitted is very soft and pleasing in the video. You can pick a setup from Ikea for under $20.
Essential Video Skill 3: Visibility on Screen
Another point that I must highlight is the importance of you being visible on screen while teaching your course. You don’t have to be on the screen all the time, but it’s important for your audience to make a connection between you and your course.
Companies such as Fizzle understand the importance of this concept. They ensure that their introductory videos are superb and engaging. Check out their website to see an awesome intro video.
On the other hand, I don’t recommend always using your webcam especially if you’re teaching something like programming or another type of computer application. It can be awkward to watch a lesson where the teacher isn’t interacting with the camera at all and is just looking at the computer screen. So, make sure you’re on camera only for moments when you are interacting with the audience.
Purchasing the equipment mentioned in this chapter doesn’t guarantee greater sales or a wider audience. However, taking the time to learn how to use whatever equipment you own properly can offer great benefits in the long term. Therefore, your action item for this chapter is to practice using whatever type of camera you currently have. If you don’t have a camera at all, purchase a decent webcam that fits your budget. Learn the ins and outs of it and make sure you can record in HD quality.