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5 min read

How to Prepare Talent for Your Videos

3/31/20 7:38 PM

Video director preparing onscreen talent for a shoot behind a camera

So, you’re all set to create a killer corporate video as part of your video marketing strategy. You have a professional crew, camera and sound equipment, a well-thought-out script with your brand messaging, and a call sheet ready for the day. 

How’s your talent feeling? As to be expected, the stars of your corporate video might be a little uncomfortable standing in front of the camera. This is especially true if your talent is one of your employees or clients as opposed to a paid actor. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll be referring to anyone who is in your company videos as “talent,” professional actor or not. 

People react differently under the scrutinizing eye of a camera lens. Even individuals who are comfortable speaking in front of large audiences all the time can act like a deer in headlights as soon as ‘action’ is called. With a little coaching, you can prep your on-camera talent to help them feel relaxed and confident before the cameras start rolling. 

Prepare a script for your talent

What are the most important key points your talent needs to drive home in your video? Create a script for what you want your talent to say in your corporate video. This saves time, energy and effort later on. You’ll get the sound bites you want that will fit right into the storyline you’re aiming to create. 

Doing just a little research in advance can go a long way. You’ll want to be well-informed on the topic at hand so that you can answer any questions your talent may have. 

Your talent can practice responses on their own, with you, or with someone else. Running through lines a few times can help them feel more comfortable. However, you should have a teleprompter ready for them to read off as opposed to memorizing. While an actor may be able to memorize your script if given enough time in advance, the same may not be said for non-professional talent. Moreover, you may not be able to get the script to the talent in advance making the teleprompter completely necessary. 

Give your talent coaching tips in advance

Having a script can help your talent know what to say, which is important, but sometimes nerves will still get in the way of communicating the message. Offer tips to your talent to help them relax and appear natural on-screen for your corporate video. 

The biggest hurdle is overcoming the daunting stare of the camera lens. Before stepping on set, suggest that your talent try filming practice videos with their mobile phones at home or in a place where they feel comfortable already. Practice makes perfect, after all. 

When shooting day for your corporate video arrives, if your talent is still especially nervous, suggest they try some breathing exercises. Deep breathing will help naturally put them at ease, helping them deliver their lines with more ease. 

You should also speak with your talent of your vision for the scene. Should they look happy? Stick to just the facts? This will help make sure the talent produces the delivery you’re looking for. 

Plan your talent’s makeup and wardrobe

Taking care of your talent’s makeup and wardrobe can help reduce stress for them. As the saying goes, when you feel your best, you perform your best.

You’ll also want wardrobe options on hand in case of a surprise need for an outfit change. Can you imagine if your talent accidentally spills coffee on a white shirt? Or if a certain color or pattern doesn’t display well on camera? A major crisis and a lot of stress are avoided when there’s extra clothing on hand. And if you don’t have the budget for a wardrobe department, advise your talent to bring two to three backup outfit options, just in case. 

Coordinate with your video production crew

Make sure everyone on set is on the same page. If your talent receives different directions from different people, it will only cause more anxiety and confusion. Ultimately, no matter how prepared your crew is, the quality of your corporate video is highly dependent on the talent who delivers the message. It’s crucial that the person in front of the camera is well-prepared and relaxed. 

Minimize the likelihood of distractions for your talent by coordinating with your crew before your talent walks in the door. Schedule to discuss shots, lighting, and arrangement in advance. Your CEO, actor or real-life customer who stars in your corporate video should have the freedom to focus on their performance only, instead of concerns about what’s happening around them. 

Have fun with it and accommodate for mistakes

Above all, let’s remember that making a corporate video should be a fun experience for everybody. If tensions get high, laugh it off. Laughter is the best way out of a stressful situation, especially if your talent makes an embarrassing mistake or forgets their lines.

Remember that sometimes when mistakes happen during video production, it can allow for even better, unplanned candid moments that appear natural on camera. When you plan time for mistakes, you’ll never be behind schedule. 

Lastly, get one more take than you think you need. Tell your talent that it’s “just for a backup” and more often than not, they might even deliver their best performance in the “backup” shot. A relaxed environment often produces the best quality content that your audience will love.

Go with the flow and allow your video content to shine, naturally. 

Want to know more about how to coach talent before shooting your corporate video? Contact us for expert insight and guidance on your next video project. 

Jennifer Pellerito
Written by Jennifer Pellerito

Jennifer, a content expert, collaborates with brands on copywriting, social media strategy, and blogging to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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