3 simple ways to make your business videos more interesting!
Can we please STOP making boring talking-head videos? We’ve all seen them: videos with just a person talking, and the viewer doesn’t actually get to SEE what the person is talking about.
After years of video workshops with all types of companies, I can tell you: your company video really doesn’t have to be boring. No matter what budget you have, what organization you work for, and all tiny rules you have to abide by: there are still ways to make your video visually interesting.
Let me show you 3 ways to become more creative in your filming. And these tips apply to all niches and all types of budgets (you can simply film with your phone)!
Babu 1. SHOW, don’t just tell
You’re creating a video, not a podcast. So the first question you should ask yourself is: what will my viewers SEE? There are a few ways to visually show what you’re talking about:
- Enjitsu Let the presenter hold/show something they’re talking about.
This could be a product, a picture, a newspaper, or something symbolic (such as a glass of water to symbolize “glass half full”). Whenever you bring something new in the shot, the viewer is visually triggered – and more likely to keep watching. Don’t forget to hold the product in the frame for quite some time, because this might be the first time your viewers see it. And, don’t just hold the product, but move it closer to the camera, show details and functionalities – you want the viewer to actually experience the product as if they were standing right next to you.
- Use movement & interaction.
This is such an important one! It’s more interesting to watch something/someone that is moving instead of standing still. So, always look around and see how you can interact or create movement in your shots. Say, you’re creating a video about certain statistics in your town. Instead of filming in front of a white wall (boring!), go to the town center, and film there. Perhaps you can film the presenter walking right by a famous landmark or sitting on a nice bench. It would be even more interesting to actually interact with people who are visiting the town center. Your (local) viewers will immediately recognize the background, and a moving person is often more interesting to watch than someone who is standing still.
- Add pictures and extra videos (B-roll). The third way to make your video visually interesting, is by adding extra visuals in the editing. Simply listen to what the person in your video is talking about, and see if you can find any extra visual material to add. This could be pictures, videos, screenshots, newspaper articles, a screencast, etc. In my course “Video Smart: create business videos with your phone” (also available in Dutch), I show you how to create dynamic shots by using different angles and distances. Adding extra shots to your video is crucial. Anytime a picture, graphic or video is added, the viewer is visually triggered and more likely to keep watching.
2. Surprise your viewer
If a viewer already knows what you’re going to say and do, they might as well not keep watching. SO… keep surprising your viewers. And that doesn’t have to be as difficult as it might sound!
You can add little things to your video to ‘surprise’ viewers so they don’t lean back, but become engaged with what’s happening:
- Walk or move in or out of a vehicle, a building or a room, towards something or someone (but don’t tell them what it is, so the viewers ‘experience’ the surprise). Walking into a building is often a lot more interesting to watch than simply standing in front of a building. Getting out of a vehicle is more interesting than simply standing in front of it. Putting on a backpack is more interesting than simply holding it. So: take a look around, and see how you can create movement!
- Insert a little teaser at the start of the video: “my favorite thing about this product, I’ll show you in a little bit.” Or, start with something visual to tease what you’re going to do or make. “In this video, we’re going to bake this delicious apple pie (show pie!) in 5 steps.”
- Anything that can be closed and opened can contain an element of surprise. Film closed elevator doors opening (who will be walking out?), or a box opening (what will be in the box?). Instead of doing a regular interview, put some questions in a box (or hat!) and pull the questions out. The situation, person and questions will be the same, but the box/hat with the questions will add a few elements of surprise, and make the video more dynamic.
3. Be Human
Want to create videos people not only watch, but will also remember? Don’t be afraid to make your videos human. Yes, especially corporate videos. I always say “stop making videos about your company, make videos about people.” That’s because viewers connect with humans, not with brands!
- Not what you say, but how. Instead of only listening to the words, take a closer look to how someone is coming across. Are they warm, welcome, smiling? What does their body language do? How is their expression? Non-verbal communication is usually way more important than speaking the exact right words! In our course “Camera Confidence in 5 steps” we give you practical tips, tools and daily challenges for a powerful camera presence on camera. The right presence should be the foundation for every business video.
- Two to tango. If the person in front of the camera has a difficult time getting their message across, it might be an idea to ask someone else to join. Perhaps that colleague they get along with very well. I often see people relax and open up when they have someone else to talk to.
- Dump perfection, embrace human mistakes. It’s human to misspeak and say “uh” sometimes. In fact, people often enjoy watching parts of my videos I messed up (and left it in the video on purpose). So, if you hear someone misspeak, or if a funny blooper happens: don’t immediately start over, or delete that sentence. Instead, make it part of the video. Embrace the human things that happen while recording!
Everything in this article is not a big surprise, it’s not overly complicated rocket science. At the same time, it can be very difficult to do! So, as with everything: start small. Simply start off by making your shots more visual, surprising, and human.
Stop making videos about companies, make videos about people.
Want to learn more? Definitely check out my courses on smartphone video creation and camera confidence (also in Dutch: filmen en editen met je telefoon, en camera confidence cursus).
I’m also very curious what tips or questions you might have on video creation, definitely leave a comment!