10 Tips to Improve your Live Video

The live video ‘fad’ is here to stay. Making the most of live video is not actually as easy as hitting record on your cellphone or webcam. Here’s a few tips to help you keep things professional:

Tip #1: Avoid Autofocus

If your device has manual focus, take advantage! Even though the selfie-stick style may seem “all the rage” lately, it can cause your autofocus to take a while to adjust from blurred to focused. Grab a friend, go manual and keep the focus tight on you.

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Tip #2: Get the Right Light

Shooting outdoors from time to time is a great way to switch things up for your viewers; however, the lighting can be tricky. Always try and keep the sun behind you for the best possible lighting. If the sun is shining directly in your face, it will make for squinty eyes and needless lens flare shots. Trust me, we already get quite enough of those from J.J. Abrams as it is!

Tip #3: Image Stabilization is Key

Camera tremors are a real issue, especially with selfie sticks, so remember: tripods are your friend! They come in every shape and size from flexible table top versions, to full-on 6ft, floor rigs. Pick out what suits your needs and use it religiously. Nobody likes sitting through some Blair Witch madness.

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Tip #4: Hold your Cup of Tea

Achieving good handheld stability is possible if you remember the golden rule --picture your recording device as a very full cup of piping hot tea. If you don’t spill a drop, you’ll find your golden shot . . . and also avoid damaging your expensive hardware.

Tip #5: Zoom Sparingly

In most cases your live videos will be one continuous shot. Before your start recording, remember that the  camera’s zoom feature is meant to compose and frame our shots. Do NOT zoom while the tape is rolling for a professional video. If it’s for humorous purposes, now that’s a different story.

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Tip #6: Only Move when Necessary

Everybody loves a great walk and talk but they are not easy to achieve without the right kind of rig. Since this isn’t Hollywood, we like to keep things simple. Still shots will keep everything looking clean and professional. Just don’t be afraid to throw out the occasional hand gesture if you can manage it without jerking the camera around.

Tip #7: Film with Editing in Mind

Just because you are doing a live recording does not mean you can’t edit it after the fact. Live videos can be repurposed into quality marketing videos later on down the line. If you mess up, it can even be helpful for yourself (or your editor) as cues in the filming process for where you want to cut/edit particular segments.

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Tip #8: Keep your Videos Short

Live or not, videos should be kept short and to the point. Live streams may go on longer due to questions, but when editing try and keep your average segment no more than 1-2 minutes in length unless you really have something important to say.

Tip #9: Always Plan Ahead

Even if you’re just going live for a quick 30 seconds, have a plan ready. Keep your talking points in mind, figure out what time of day is best to go on air, address potential questions, etc.

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Tip #10: You Should be the Only One Seen or Heard

The focus of your video should be you and you alone. Any unintentional background noises or movements can be distracting to your message.

Try and keep these few, simple tips in mind next time you find yourself recording for your business. Happy shooting!