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We all want our greatest contributions to be remembered and revered. Unfortunately, just a few minor mistakes can ruin our chances at being taken seriously. Below is a list of eight common mistakes that can ruin your audience’s perception of you and your message.

1. Turtle Time

If your video rambles on for 4 minutes before getting to the point, you are not valuing you audience’s time and they will stop watching.

Tip: Keep your video durations to three minutes or less. Practice getting a great tip across in 60 seconds or less. Keep it tight and eliminate opportunities for boredom.

2. Dazed and Confused

Keep focused on the one thing you want your audience to take away from watching your video. When you introduce multiple messages or objectives, it will confuse your audience, which will only lead to inaction. If you’re not getting your audience to take action, then there is no point to your video.

TIP: Break long videos into a series of single-focused chunks to make them more consumable. Include variety in your videos so your audience can’t always predict what’s going to happen.

3. Designed for the blind

If you are sitting in front of the camera and reciting a memorized script to your audience, chances are you will not hold their attention. You’re competing with funny, exciting, and emotionally charged videos, you need to use visual stimulation to keep viewers from clicking on the next, more interesting video.

TIP: Include pictures, graphics, props, etc. to keep the audience interested in “what comes next.”

4. Lackluster Performance

You’re sweaty, short of breath, fidgeting, you sound like you’re reading from a cue-card, and you keep saying “um…” Audiences won’t be able to take you seriously. You don’t appear to be an authority or have a high level of interest in your own message, why should they trust you?

TIP: Practice, practice, practice! It may not make the delivery perfect, but it will certainly give you more confidence which will smooth out your delivery and put your audience at ease.

5. Annoying Audio

There is nothing that will make your audience turn off your video faster than bad audio. Whether it’s static, poor volume, distracting background noise, etc., your audience will likely refuse to put up with it.

TIP: Don’t rely on the built-in mics of smart-phones or standard consumer video cameras. Buy an external mic (lavaliere microphone’s work very well), to get the best quality audio. Silence fans and appliances. Make sure you can’t hear children playing or dogs barking in the background. Play back your video with headphones so you can listen closely for distracting background noise.

6. Witness Protection Lighting

Lighting can make you look spooky, tired, more or less attractive, etc. Poor lighting may not be a deal-breaker with your audience, but it can certainly deter them from making a connection with you.

TIP: Make sure there is more light on your face than in the rest of the background so that your audience can see the sparkle in your eyes – that’s where the human connection is made. Avoid direct overhead lighting and lighting from below which cause unflattering shadows. Also avoid shooting in front of windows during the day, the light will cause a witness protection-like silhouette.

7. Distracting Background

Empty beer cans, dirty laundry, or crude posters are not professional and likely have nothing to do with your message. Your audience will associate you and your message with what you present on your video, both in the foreground and background.

TIP: Clean up. Only items with a purpose should appear on your video.

8. Nauseating Camera Movement

It takes a lot of practice to shoot good video with a handheld camera. Video novices are more likely to distract or make viewers sick with the erratic movements of the camera.

TIP: If you do not have a lot of practice with this, do your audience a favor and get a tripod.

[callout]Download your full-sized On-Camera 10 Step Video Production Checklist Infographic here.[/callout]


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