Video creation commonly is perceived as being too hard and costly to incorporate into your daily workflows. In fact, I often meet trainers who want to create videos but don’t know where to begin.
Think of it this way: A common New Year’s resolution is for people to get in shape, right? However, if you don’t have an existing exercise regimen, the thought of starting something new can be daunting. But in reality, getting to the gym is the first step. Breaking down that first barrier makes the rest of the hurdles seem a lot easier. The same concept is true when it comes to creating compelling and effective video content; you just have to get started.
Here are four tips that will help you jumpstart your video creation journey:
1. Watch More Videos
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. While watching TV, film, or even YouTube videos, pay attention to details that go into the production. Note how people and objects are positioned in the frame. Play close attention to camera position and angles. Does the camera move? Analyze the shots and take notes. It’s a great way to get familiar with filming style. Remember, it’s okay to borrow ideas for inspiration!
2. Remember that Preproduction Preparations Save Time
Far too often I hear people say they just don’t have the time to create videos. Creating scripts and storyboards before shooting will significantly reduce the up-front filming time. Storyboards help with visualizing your project before you shoot. Additionally, storyboarding helps postproduction tremendously because it illustrates how the scenes fit together once you begin editing. This storyboarding guide has some great information and examples to help you get started. The illustrations in your storyboard don’t need to be elaborate—stick figures and rough sketches are all you need.
3. Just Start Shooting
It’s that simple. Just grab your camera (or your smartphone) and actually shoot. Get familiar with your camera. Play around with the settings. Try shooting the same thing one time close, and another time from a distance, or at a different angle. Pick a simple task you’ve been meaning to teach a co-worker, or answer a question you get asked repeatedly. This is a great exercise that will get you started filming. The point is to start shooting footage. Like every other skill you’ve learned, it takes practice. You’ll likely never use any of this footage, but it’s the best way to learn.
4. Get Feedback
Seek out honest feedback on your video from anyone who is willing to give it. Hearing how your audience perceives your video is the best way to learn if the concept and vision you had for the video is conveyed in a clear way. There’s incredible value in learning about how effectively your video resonates with the audience. Your video doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists to add value to your audience.
Your first video won’t be a masterpiece. In fact, it might never be shared with others, but that’s OK. Embrace it. You don’t have to make Training magazine’s Top 125 or earn the No. 1 Top Training Video after your first video. However, if you want to take the first steps to get there one day, don’t put it off any longer. Get started now! Although it’s easier to keep doing what you’ve always done, resist the ease of falling into old habits (like putting off that gym membership). You’ll be amazed at what you can create, and how effective your videos will be.
Matt Pierce is Learning & Video Ambassador at TechSmith Corp., a software company that provides practical business and academic products that can dramatically change how people communicate and collaborate. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Pierce has 10 years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assistance, video, and other teams for TechSmith. Teach him something @piercemr.