Creating a quality webcam video

In the last year I’ve been increasing my use of webcam video. I use it for online training, recording recaps of my Slideshare content, and for posting video blog entries to YouTube and my website.

Along the way, I’ve learned a few things that I’ve organized into a class. Here’s a recap of my lessons learned, and as a result, the outline of the 1/2 day class.

Lighting is important

Fortunately, planning (and testing) is more important than investment. You can generally use things around your office to greatly improve your lighting conditions, and you can craft a solid lighting system for under $100 using portable lights easily found at a home improvement store.

Audio is equally important

Again, planning and testing is more important than investment. A solid acoustic environment is helpful, but there are plenty of ways around that, including a sound box for your microphone itself, or a quality recording headset.

Break clips into manageable chunks, with predictable order

TV shows do it, infomercials do it, and with inexpensive tools and services, you can too! Intentionally breaking up your video gives your viewer an expectation of order, rather than a cut that breaks the continuity. When done thoughtfully, and when accompanied by visuals, the entire project is more crisp than the most perfect one-take video can be.

People relate equally to your expertise and to your comfort level

I’ve sat through live presentations that have been difficult to watch, and in 20 years, given a few that were difficult to watch as well! There was one notable session around 2001 where I was asked to demo a product I wasn’t too familiar with, and asked to use “the opposite” OS than I was familiar with… the results were less than spectacular!

Give your video the exposure it deserves

Post it publicly, use social media to promote it, add a rockin’ thumbnail, and create content (blog, twitter, podcasts, other videos) to support it.

Remember… One great video is wonderful, but 5 pretty good videos in a theme that follow these tips are more impressive, and will each give you a better return on investment.


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