A friend of mine recently shared how she conducted a job interview with a candidate in a non-traditional way.
She and her team interviewed the candidate online . . . using video.
The candidate used the built-in camera on his laptop to connect visually, and my friend and her colleagues used video conferencing equipment at their workplace. As the interviewer, my friend shared how pleased and surprised she was with how well the interview went using video technology.
But then at the end of the interview, the unthinkable happened . . .
Apparently, both parties had said their “thank you’s” to close the interview. But instead of the interviewee turning off his video, he unintentionally kept the video live and used his hands to half close the laptop while remaining seated to do other work.
The laptop’s video camera was now directed solely at the candidate’s lap, and suddenly his job interviewers found themselves staring directly at a crotch onscreen.
ONLINE VIDEO MISTAKES
Not exactly how you want to end a professional interview, right? Let’s just say, it was . . . well, awkward.
Because video is being used more and more for video conferencing, job interviews, video tutorials, corporate messaging, e-learning, telepresence conferencing, there is plenty to learn as we move toward becoming a video literate society.
Below are some common mistakes people tend to make when on-camera. Knowing what these errors are can help you avoid them, so your onscreen time can leave audiences with a powerful impact, and not the opposite.
TOP 5 COMMON MISTAKES
5. Long Openings
Nothing says boring like a long introduction, a lengthy bio, a drawn out welcome, etc. Think about online video as brief snippets of information. Everything you say should be concise and relevant. Remember, viewers can always go back and view it again, if needed. Keep those first few seconds short and to the point, afterall, this is when you make a first impression.
4. Mellow Energy
Even normally energetic personalities sometimes lose their energy when placed in front of a cold, lonely camera lens. Remember, your energy as presenter is contagious to those watching. If you have come across with low energy and no passion for your content, we will feel the same way.
3. Deer in Headlights Expression
There’s nothing like a semi-coma look to energize viewers on the other end of the screen. Facial expression cannot be blank on-camera. Remember, video is all about movement. Natural facial expression and subtle movements keep us interested and attentive. We don’t want to watch a presenter who doesn’t look delighted to be there.
2. Irrelevant Tangents
Although you do want to come across with spontaneity, you want to curb the topical tangents. True, these can be cut in post-production but that requires more editing time and time is money. Prepare your video presentation ahead of time with a script or talking points, so you can keep yourself on topic. Think about talking in sound bites on topical chunks. Your viewers will thank you.
1. Camera Know-how
The most important part is realizing when your camera is on, when it’s off, how to turn it on, and how to turn it off. It’s also about knowing what’s visible to viewers and what’s out of frame. Where is the camera targeted and can viewers see you scratching your belly right now or is the camera really off?
Let’s keep all these common errors in mind, and allow them to inform the success of our future video presentations.
Please let me know in the comments below what memorable mistakes you’ve observed with video users?
What say you?