Mobile video learning ignites breakthrough sales performance. We’ve watched sales organizations evolve into quota-busting machines, powered by effective coaching, supported by libraries of tribal knowledge made available to reps right where and when they need it. Hundreds of thousands of videos and 40,000 reps later we’ve seen the emergence of a new type of user. Certain product specialists and sales trainers at many companies now create tons of videos to push out critical information to their organizations. Many of these folks have begun developing simple techniques that make their video recordings pop. We’ve distilled these into six easy ways that you can too if you find yourself in this group.
1. Dress Rehearsal
Look the part when you’re preparing a submission video by practicing in the clothes you’re actually going to wear for the final video. Don’t practice in your pajamas when you plan to wear a suit for the final video. Actors call this “dress rehearsal” for a reason: the more differences between practice and performance, the more likely these differences will pose a distraction and cause your performance to suffer. An easy way to tap into the power of this psychological phenomenon (called habituation) is to wear the same clothes for practice that you will for the performance.
2. Framing the Shot
Your position on the screen is one of the first things you’ll notice when you record with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The amount of distance from you to the camera impacts the experience of the viewer in ways you might not expect. Position the device so the top of your head is about one to two inches from the top of the screen to take advantage of an easy trick to ensure you look your best. Don’t situate the camera so close to your face that it looks like you’re on 60 Minutes, but don’t place it so far away that you’re only a small part of the screen either.
3. The Right Look
Use a stable stand for your mobile device or tablet and position the camera at eye level. We recommend this stand from Joby, but others by Lamicall or iKross also work well. If you’re in a pinch, just lean your device against your laptop. People often make the mistake of using a standard tablet or mobile phone stand which forces them to look down at the screen when they record – this is one of the least flattering angles for any of us! Look in the direction of the camera and avoid moving your eyes back and forth across the screen – and look at the camera, not yourself! This eliminates any awkwardness you might feel during recording.
4. Set Design
Straighten up the area around your “set” to remove any potential distractions for the audience. The viewer’s eyes drift away from the subject if the background is too busy, so be sure to avoid recording in front of open windows, busy wallpaper, or cluttered bookshelves. A few basic items on your desk are okay but it’s best to remove things like car keys, family photographs, or paperwork.
5. Cue the Lights
Lighting can make or break a video recording. Avoid light sources that focus a beam of light directly at your face by using a lamp shade or even a piece of paper to create an indirect light source. Position it so the light is shining on you from behind the recording device so it doesn’t produce dark shadows on your face and give you that “vampire look” (…so last year).
6. Quiet on the Set
Sound quality represents the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to making great videos. Built-in audio on devices today works great but it picks up everything, so you have to watch out for distracting background noise like people talking, dogs barking, etc. You’d be surprised how distracting this can be for a viewer so it’s best to shut the door before hitting the record button.
Training professionals, company thought leaders and others who record lots of videos for a wide audience can upgrade their audio quality with an external microphone like the MXL Tempo, or the RODE VideoMicro by iOgrapher. These range from $60-$80 and make a huge difference to the viewer’s experience.
Smile before you hit record and you’ll feel more at ease (not to mention your thumbnail photos will look better when you go to share the video). Then, it’s go time!
But remember: mobile video sales learning platforms are a practice tool for reps. They give reps a safe way to rehearse in private and share when they’re ready. Don’t aim for perfection when creating mass distributed product or training videos. If you need a break, pause the recording, relax for a bit, then resume later. And finally, don’t forget to think YouTube not Hollywood! You’re not out to become the next star. Use the tool to elevate your team’s sales performance by providing them with the most critical information they need in the format they prefer.
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