8 tips for video interviews and live streaming

Online communication

I’m going live!

If you’ve been following my content or reading these blogs, you may be aware that I am running a workshop for the ladies of Female Fusion UAE on Thursday morning. As part of the build up for this session, I have been asked to take part in a Facebook Live session with the group’s founder.

Kellie and I work in similar fields and have known each other for a long time, so I had no hesitation in accepting her invitation to chat, knowing we would have no shortage of things to say! The familiarity also helped to ensure that it wasn’t a stressful experience – that being said, I think you have to be superhuman not to experience a few nerves when it comes to doing anything live!

In preparing for the session, I realised it might be useful to share some of the little tips that might be useful for anyone wanting to do live broadcasts or interviews, and who hasn’t had much experience and may therefore be a bit daunted by the task…

The right preparation can really help to ensure you feel more confident, and that the session will go smoothly, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to check the elements below:

1. Make sure the camera is at your eye line

Turn on the video and see where your eyes sit on the screen – you should be able to see your head and shoulders  and your eyes should be looking directly along the centre of the image. If necessary, adjust your chair height. Invest in a tripod if you are using a tripod if you are doing the session on a phone. If you are using a laptop, put it on a stand (or a stack of books!) until your eye line is in the centre of the shot and you are looking straight at the camera (not up or down).

(Also, worth noting, that you should try and keep focussed on the camera when you are talking – not on the video of yourself!)

2. Keep it steady!

Avoid any shaking or motion. Use a tripod to ensure stability if you’re streaming on your phone, and if you’ve stacked things under your laptop to elevate it, make sure it is stable.

3. Come into the light…

Think about what direction you are facing to look into the camera, you don’t want your face to be in shadow. Make sure you are facing a window square-on  for the natural light. Bear in mind this may not be enough – ideally have artificial lights on either side of your desk, lighting your face equally.

4. Look behind you!

Examine your backdrop. What have you got on show – books, pictures, plants, photos, ornaments – what do these say about you? Is it messy, neat, bare, cluttered? Are there any photos or personal items on show? Can people see any of your personal information? What are the titles of the books you can see? Do you have memorabilia or personal nicknacks that may mean something to you, but mean nothing to an outside observer? Try and keep the backdrop minimal so people cannot make assumptions about you, and are not distracting by trying to identify items. you want something of interest, such as a tidy bookcase or shelf, piece of artwork, or a plant, but something fairly generic.

5. Dress to impress

Think about what you wear. Make sure the colours of your outfit don’t clash with your backdrop. Webcams often struggle to pick up patterns, dots and stripes – they can come out as a blur, so think more about block colours. Ladies, you might want to apply your make up a little heavier than normal – I don’t normally wear lipstick, but when I know I’m on camera, I have to apply it, or I look washed out!

6. Check, 1, 2…

Go to your quiet space, close the door and sit at the desk ten minutes before your interview/filming is due to take place… Take the time to calm youself and check your settings… How is the positioning of the camera, the lighting, and the microphone levels, before you start? Think about getting someone to give you test call before you start, and if you’re live streaming, get online in advance of going live to test levels.

7. Cut the distractions

Turn off any notifications – email, WhatsApp, calendar, calls, etc, so that you are not distracted during the stream/interview. This also helps to try and keep your internet speed high and prevent any glitches during the filming.

8. Be prepared for the long haul

You probably don’t know how long this will take so make sure you have plenty of battery, and a solid wifi – and a comfortable seat so you’er not constantly fidgeting!

There are probably a lot more things you could worry about or stress over, but having recently prepared myself for this situation, I would say these are the key things you need to think about, and then you just need to take a deep breath and a sip of water, and not stress – let it flow naturally.

If you’ve got any more thoughts to add, or anything you wanted to ask about the above, please do drop me a comment or message – if not, I hope to catch you online (live) soon!






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