Ah, the talking head video. It was all the rage in 2005, as the world thrilled to the sight of interview and direct address videos populating corporate websites around the globe. Twenty years later they don’t feel quite as novel, but they’re still incredibly useful.

These videos put a face to faceless executives, give voice to anonymous customers, and serve as an antidote to the tedious white paper. In an era of artificial intelligence, they can be a living presentation of human intelligence.

But there’s a wide gap between compelling talking head content and the blog-post-on-video that sometimes passes as a talking head.

So here’s five ways you can make better videos with customers, executives, and partners, while making the process easier for all involved:

Step 1: Decide the video format ahead of time.

Are you doing a scripted direct address? Is it tele-prompted? Or do you want an interview format? There’s advantages and disadvantages to each format, of course. Use of a teleprompter will ensure you land the right messaging points, but can produce a wooden, awkward recitation from the interview subject. An interview format often leads to more natural delivery, but important talking points could be forgotten. Preparation is key.

Step 2: Share a bulleted list of what you’re going to cover.

Unless you’ve decided on a teleprompter format (not ideal unless the subject is experienced with the direct address format) try not to script the video. Share bulleted talking points with the subject beforehand, but discourage them from writing rote responses. The key is to get them talking naturally.

And to that end…

Step 3: Throw in some warm-up questions.

Start with a few softball questions that have nothing to do with the interview subject. Ask them about their sweater, their boat, their cat, or how they started at their company. Start rolling the cameras and get them comfortable with chatting on camera. Sitting rigidly upright with lights shining in your face and a crew huddled behind the cameras can be unnerving. Give them a few minutes to warm up before getting to the meat of the interview.

Step 4: Remind them (and then remind them again) that they don’t have to be perfect.

Inexperienced interviewees will often want to land every word perfectly. Remind them (as many times as necessary) that much of the discussion will likely end up on the cutting room floor. That gives them permission to make mistakes.

Step 5: Go online and find work you really like.

Find some reference videos that look compelling. Check out our website and source some of our stuff. Over the years, we’ve developed some cool techniques to make the talking head video sing.

The thrill of 2005 is over, but the talking head video is here to stay. Take these few simple steps to make great human content, while looking like a pro in front of your boss.

Interested in booking us to produce your talking head video?

Contact us today!

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