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Five Ways to Prepare for a Video Shoot

The first video I ever shot for my business involved a tripod, a Flip camera and what felt like about 1,000 re-takes. It was a time-consuming process that left me frustrated and exhausted, primarily because I was nervous, I was trying to memorize a pre-set script, and I made a lot of mistakes. I had never done this kind of thing before and I wanted it to be perfect.

Fast forward seven or eight years and I now consider video a friend and content marketing ally. I’ve learned to love the camera and I’m happy with most of the results of a video shoot, most of the time. That’s a big win! My business outsources our videography services and I know that video is an exceedingly powerful online support. I thought that today I would share some of the things I do to get ready for the camera:

  1. I prepare and rehearse as much as possible. I make sure I know the purpose of the video shoot before stepping in front of the camera, and I sit down and write out the key messages I want to share with my audience ahead of time. Then I stand in front of a mirror and practice my points repeatedly until I am confident that I know what I want to say.
  2. I make sure I look professional. I wear clothes I love (no black, white, red, or loud patterns), I make sure my hair is tidy, and I ensure that my makeup flatters me. (Some men I know borrow a little basic makeup foundation to even out their skin tone so the camera flatters them, too). This isn’t vanity—the camera catches everything and as my friend and ace videographer Mindy Tweedle says, if you’re going to all the trouble of being part of a video shoot, you want to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible.
  3. I remind myself that this is not about me. Any video I create for my business is about the members of my ideal audience and how I can support them. Period. In other words, it’s not about me. It’s about how I can serve people. If you take that approach, you’ll take a lot of pressure off yourself and feel less freaky when they shout “Action!”

I spend a few minutes getting to know the camera crew. It’s easier to stand in front of a camera behind which are some people with whom you’ve established a little rapport than it is to stand in front of a camera behind which lurk a bunch of strangers. A friendly face is a wonderful, steadying influence when you’re feeling the butterflies that might come with a video shoot.

I have a magic trick for impromptu video opportunities. I say yes to any video opportunity that comes my way, primarily because I have Dr. Bernice McCarthy’s 4Mat System in my back pocket. Dr. McCarthy studied how people pay attention and she determined that answering four questions, in the correct order (Why, What, How, Implications), would maximize one’s ability to engage an audience. Her system is also a brilliant and simple way to organize information. I was asked for a video testimonial for the organizers of a workshop I attended recently and the 4MAT allowed me to zip off a to-the-point response that explained why I had attended the event, what we had covered in the workshop, how well the presenters and organizers had satisfied my need for information and what I was going to do with what I had learned. Simple, quick easy.

Video is an incredibly powerful support for your business and you’d be amazed how well making it your friend can boost your online results. If you’d like to discuss how the team at Crossman Communications can help you with that, please contact us at


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