Media Training For Great Corporate Videos – Part 1: Preparation

Written by Michael Axinn

At One to One Box, we love making videos with real people. That's because we know there's no one better suited to deliver your company's core message than your leadership and the people who work there.

Although our approach is simple and cost-effective, getting credible and persuasive performances from non-professionals requires planning, consideration, and strong powers of observation. Below are some tips for how to get the most from your in-house talent. We present this as a series, covering preparation, filming, and post-production.

babyWorking with company spokespersons, thought-leaders, and executives offers tremendous advantages. Most importantly, these people know what they’re talking about and can speak with tremendous authority and expertise about the products and services they create and sell. However, while they may do this every day, they are not always accustomed to or comfortable doing it on camera.

Thought Leaders & Engineers

In planning a shoot with a non-professional presenter, make sure you are indeed choosing someone who knows how to speak about the product or service, either because they created it, sell it, or are deeply invested in its success. Otherwise, you cannot hope to ensure a persuasive performance.

The degree of camera-savvy or media training is bound to vary among non-professional presenters, and an executive who is used to being successful in other arenas may still be very self-conscious about their performance on camera. However, you can begin with the assumption that they’ve had success in presenting to groups or individuals, or even just talking to colleagues, and have found a way of presenting that works for them. It’s important to think in terms of this comfort zone, rather than come with a set idea of how their on-camera performance needs to be.

Tap into Their Authentic Voice

They themselves may also bring a notion of how their on-camera performance needs to be, and not appreciate the value and authenticity of how they present in less formal circumstances. But unless they are truly blessed with ability to present the way a professional does, and still appear authentic, they, and you, will do much better to get them speaking in the way they do when they are, say, talking about the product to their best friend or spouse. In our next post, we’ll share some tips about how to out them at their best during filming.

In the meantime, if you have occasion to speak to your non-professional presenter before the shoot, tell them there is no need to do much preparation and that the filming will be conducted like a conversation. Given that the person knows and is used to speaking about the product every day, they should not have a problem knowing what to say. However, you yourself should gather as much information as you possibly can about the product or service and print up a thorough list of questions so that you can query intelligently during the shoot and allow your presenter to relax in the knowledge that the video is covering all of the crucial selling points.

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