Lots of people are pivoting to video.

I resisted, but now I’m doing it, too. (This LinkedIn course was helpful.) People say video is a great way to communicate who you are and how you feel about the world at large. The verdict is out. But I believe the more we show ourselves, the better we get at communicating big ideas and normalize our everyday appearance.

So I’m all in on video.

Here is what I’ve done to improve as I pivot to video.

  1. Don’t use your laptop camera. I bought a Logitech HD camera that is much better than my laptop. Do you need a new camera? Can you record on your mobile phone? Sure you can! But my external laptop camera kicks butt. I can’t recommend it enough.
  2. Audio matters. Use an external microphone to capture your voice. Try your wired headphones, AirPods, or a podcast microphone to capture your sounds.
  3. Look into the camera. The tendency on video is to watch ourselves, but that’s wrong. Look at the little green dot on your laptop — or stare at the camera on your phone like you’d look someone in the eye. (Plus I can’t see my screen, anyway, without reading glasses. Might as well look at you!)
  4. Go slow and give yourself space to edit. Don’t just start talking once the camera rolls, and don’t end abruptly and hit the stop button. Give people time to adjust to your face and voice, and then end the video with a half-second of airtime. You can do this on your own through an excellent tool called Movavi.
  5. Script the talk and practice it. Some people love the “first take” energy but practicing your speech means that you’re communicating clearly and effectively. With practice, you’ll also reduce your filler words.

My weekly newsletter is an opportunity to practice my storytelling skills.

Here’s my process for my weekly newsletter video.

I write the outline on Sunday, write the script on Monday, practice on Tuesday with the video rolling, and record the final video on Wednesday.

Is it smooth and perfect? No, of course not. But you need to practice to get good at the rough-but-polished look. That’s why I’m doing my LinkedIn Mid-Morning Pajama BriefingsĀ® to help with my performance in the weekly newsletter.

That’s my approach to video.

Just a side note: Video is hard for everybody. We all see our flaws. I have TMJ and wear a mouthguard. I do self-massage and botox in my jaw (and my face, tbh). But all of that is gone thanks to a missed appointment and quarantine. But if you don’t stare at yourself on screen, you don’t see the flaws on your face and nobody else sees them, either. Boom, problem solved.

Good luck on your video journey, and let me know if these tips and tools were helpful!