Performing a Video Read (for Liz)

Friend Liz Tuckwell asked me for some pointers on reading her work on video for an audience.

Wanting to be helpful, I made a video for her.

She said I should share it on my blog.

Here it is.

For those not wanting to sit through the video, some important things everyone seems to miss their first several times out:

  • Make sure your microphone and camera are on and aimed at you.
  • Make sure you’re recording.
  • Make sure your background image (if used) shows up on the recording.
  • Make sure you save the video somewhere you can retrieve it for review/editing (local disc preferred).

One thing I forgot to suggest in the video is how to format what you’re reading so you can follow it easily. My suggestion is based on how teleprompters format text so the reader seems to be speaking naturally (their head isn’t moving right to left as they read a line of text, nor are their eyes darting back and forth):

Format the text your reading so it’s about 1/4 page wide rather than a full page wide. Let’s say a normal line of text is 40 words long. Format your text so each line is 10 words long. What happens is you can see a complete line of text in your peripheral vision and your eyes don’t keep looking down to figure out where you left off. You still have to scroll up and down, but that can be done with the PgUp and PgDn keys rather than the mouse (less chance you’ll get lost in the text).

What the above trick does is let you stare at the camera more often than you read the text. Your eyes will still move down and not as often.

FWIW, I learned this from a Master, Sabine Rossbach, the EU actress who did the video trailers on my website.

And now, the video…

Susan also had an excellent suggestion based on doing lots of video training; Read your piece as if reading to a child or dog or toddler, someone who goes by a piece’s emotional energy than the words themselves.