As video continues to be one of the content kings online, publications are continuing to look for ways to incorporate video into online coverage. It attracts additional viewers, and stories can sometimes be told easier through a video than just by writing alone. According to a study by HP, people retain only about 10 percent of what they hear. However, when combined with visuals, retention rates skyrocket to about 80 percent, making it clear that video adds value.
Surely you’ve encountered some tips and tricks for nailing video interviews here and there, but as a Seattle and DC-based PR firm, we’re well versed in what works well on camera (and what doesn’t). Here are a few helpful tips for making the most of your time on camera to make sure you’re not only delivering your message effectively, but also helping it stick with your audience.
- Dress the part – We usually advise our spokespeople to dress nicely, and at an appropriate level of dressiness. A tech expert doing a video interview with a tech outlet? A nice, solid-color button down shirt is great. A client who works with the public sector participating in a video for a government audience? A suit will do the trick. Remember, solid, darker colors look best on camera – no patterns or neon colors.
- Act accordingly – Spokespeople are the face of their company when on camera, so it is important to be poised, confident and pleasant. It is the spokesperson’s job to speak with authority and land messages, but it is almost equally important to be likeable on camera. Being overly stern or robotic in a video will turn viewers off, while being overly lax will hurt credibility. There’s a delicate balance of authenticity and professionalism that spokespeople need to master in order to be successful in the limelight.
- Be pithy – Part of being likeable on camera is talking in a way that the audience will understand and remember what you say. Our PR team likes to work on sound bites with clients – catchy, memorable phrases that will stick with viewers.
- Articulate your points – While on camera, it is important to make an extra effort to explain your points. Using analogies can help the audience grasp a complex topic, and framing answers will help viewers follow a multi-part answer. By making it easy for viewers to keep up with the flow of the discussion, your points will make a bigger impression.
- Practice makes perfect – By preparing prior to the interview you’ll be able to better communicate your points. Doing a dry run of your interview or talking points can be a huge help in making sure messages are crisp and proof points are at the tip of your tongue. Even practicing alone in front of a mirror before your interview, even if it feels a little goofy, makes a big difference.
- Mix it up – As much as the audience might like looking at a spokesperson’s face, they might like to look at other things, too. Think through any data points, screen shots, graphs, or other visual assets you might be able to offer to the outlet to overlay on the video. If you are talking about a product or demo, make sure you are prepared to show it off on camera. Adding some other visual aids can help the video better illustrate important points.
Even though video is a popular format, these types of opportunities don’t come around every day. That is why it is important to keep these tips in mind and make sure you are making the most of your time on camera. If you or your spokespeople want some additional training and preparation for video opportunities, please feel free to reach out to us – we would love to help!