As marketers increasingly realise the power of video for brand communications it is inevitable that key staff will be expected to get in front of the camera and perform. At The Marketing Café, we have conducted hundreds of corporate video interviews over the years and we have seen our fair share of the ups and downs. Certainly, the most confident and eloquent speakers can find themselves truly daunted, like rabbits caught in the headlights. The site of multiple cameras pointing their way as well as lights glaring, clapperboards snapping shut and boom microphones hovering is understandably disconcerting. Then, whilst all this is going on we have the audacity to ask the interviewee to relax.
So, what is the secret to a good corporate video interview? There is no set formula, but there are some important guidelines that you should follow in order to ensure it goes well.
Before the interview discuss what needs to be communicated and establish what the questions should be. Think about your answers and be prepared to deliver them naturally. We often work with clients who like the words to be scripted, but the final result is always more powerful when the answer appears to be heartfelt rather than rehearsed brochure copy.
You will be coached on the day, but be prepared to always put the question into the answer. For example, “our marketing is successful because….”. This is because the interviewers voice will often be edited out of the final video and it needs to make sense to the viewer.
There is little value in lengthy answers. Make your point and make it short. Most brand videos are no more than 2 minutes long and only the best short soundbites make it to the final cut. 90% of interview footage is rarely used. We are looking for the small nuggets and these are hardly ever found in long sentences or heavy dialogue.
It seems obvious but this is the day to wear your best outfit. For the ladies additional make up is important under the lights, and for men the clean shaven look always works best. In terms of outfits, colours are good but avoid stripes.
Not easy, we know but you will come across so much better if you appear relaxed and in control of your subject. Don’t worry, you will look great on camera and with good editing your delivery will seem polished and professional even if it didn’t seem so on the day. This is a great opportunity for you to shine (not your forehead, we have powder for that).
As video production editors we love natural gaps in dialogue, so don’t be afraid of silence. In everyday conversation we are always looking to fill the gaps, but in video these gaps are vital tools of the edit. Make your point, stop and consider the next point before moving on.
We often find that interviewees are keen to run after an interview. They may have important business to catch up on or meetings to attend. Please keep an hour or so aside for the B-roll footage that will help to make your interview interesting. This might be you walking into the office, talking to colleagues, on the phone or checking emails.
Remember, you are in charge. There is no show without you. Don’t be afraid to stop for a 5 minute break. Ask the crew to cut filming whilst you check your make up or step outside for a breath of fresh air. You only get one hit at this, so it is important you come across well and that may mean taking 5 to compose yourself before carrying on with the interview. It’s not a live show, so make use of the opportunity to get yourself in the right place. The production crew will respect that.
We hope these tips will help you prepare for your corporate video interview. It is a challenge if you are not used to it, but like most challenges, you will feel hugely satisfied afterwards, particularly when you see the end result. For more information on developing your own brand video Email Us or call 01563 509005. To see some examples of corporate videos we have produced please visit the video page.
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