Tips for recording video messages at home
Follow these tips to make your videos more professional when recording from home.
Preparing to Record
- Choose a recording device you’re comfortable with. For most people, that will be a smartphone, but a laptop will work just as well.
- Set the camera at eye level or a little higher. A slight downward angle is more flattering than looking up at one’s neck and nose. It’s the same principle as taking better selfies.
- Make sure your face is well lit and your background is not. If possible, stand by a window so the natural light falls on your face, but the window itself is not in the camera frame. Do not position yourself with a window or other bright light source behind your head because it will cause your face to be silhouetted. If you’re recording after sundown, position yourself so a lamp is casting flattering light on your face from above, but make sure it’s not creating harsh shadows.
- Inspect your surroundings. Notice what’s visible behind and around you in the camera frame. Pick up any clutter and other distracting items. Make sure your setting fits the tone of your message to the extent you can.
- Record in a quiet place. Listen for ambient sounds. Anything you can hear — the TV on in the other room, people’s conversations, car horns or landing airplanes outside — will likely be audible on the recording.
If you’re using a smartphone
- Position it on its side to produce a horizontal video. Vertical videos often don’t translate very well to different platforms. Make sure the phone is already on its side when you press record. And make sure your face is roughly centered in the frame.
- Put your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode to silence notifications. That way you won’t be interrupted during your recording.
If you’re using a computer
- Close other programs on your computer. This keeps your computer running as fast as possible and prevents notifications from popping up while you’re recording.
- Plan out what you want to say and practice it a few times on camera. Record as many takes as you need until you feel comfortable with the end product.
- Look into the camera and not at the screen. The camera is the little dot at the top of your laptop monitor which might have a light. Also, maintain eye contact and don’t let your gaze wander.
- Mind your body language. Don’t touch your face. Sit up. Keep your chin up and your shoulders down.
- Keep it brief. Most people won’t watch a video for longer than a couple minutes. Say the most important thing(s) at the beginning of the video.
- Pause at the beginning and end of your message. When you start recording, count to 5 in your head before you begin speaking and then count to 5 silently again when you’re done speaking before you stop the recording.