Clear Comm Consulting

Why Many Web Videos are Pretty Awful!

Jul 29, 2014

Most of the time I am focused on how you sound and look when you stand to speak – but this Monthly Memo takes advantage of my 20+ years in TV. These days EVERYONE is on TV in one way or another. Everyone has a camera. Everyone has the capability to get a video out to the waiting world. The question? What do we do to make the most of that opportunity? Let’s look at some quick ways to turn your web video into something actually worth watching!

What’s in your background? Most of us are so focused on what we look like and what we have to say we forget to check the background. Many an amateur video has been hijacked by a distracting light, a weird piece of art or a movement that takes the viewer’s eye away from the messenger. Make it bland and uninteresting or somehow have it help underline your message. Are you saying you are the expert? Make sure the background in the video backs up that message – or at the very least doesn’t distract!

Less is more! No need to explain everything you know about the topic in your web video. People are looking for nuggets. They want an engaging, short take on a topic so they can decide what their next step might be. That means your video should naturally lead them to investigate more thoroughly your other on-line resources! You are the expert, and you have the roadmap to help them. The video is a friendly introduction that gets them looking further at what you have to offer. Most of us don’t have the resources to put everything out there in video form, so the intro video is a great first step.

Audio, audio, audio! This may be my most surprising tip, but I think it is very important. Pay attention to the sound quality on your web video! When you think about it, many people are already looking at a pretty small screen, or their phone! Don’t compound the “small” nature of your message by giving them weak, distant, tinny sounding audio. It screams “this is an amateur operation!” The quickest way to make the leap to a better, more creditable presentation without spending loads of money is by providing good quality sound. If someone is speaking on camera, try to use a directional microphone or a lapel mic. Try to avoid the camera mounted microphones. You’ll get a hollow sound that does not serve you well and sounds just like one of those boring home movies you’ve had to watch at Aunt Martha’s house!

Editing can save the day! Take a tip from Hollywood. Many a lousy movie has been saved by a talented editor. Learn the basics of editing and cut out the bad stuff before anyone in the outside world ever sees it! A few “cover” shots of items you are talking about can be used to make it seem like you are effortlessly covering your topic all in one take.

If video is going to be used by just about everyone, then it is time the real professionals among us use it as a difference maker. Invest a little time and effort and stand out from the crowd!


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Cary Pfeffer is the founder of ClearComm Consulting,, a Scottsdale, AZ communications consulting firm that helps people tell their story. He works with clients to make the most of their media and live audience communication. Email him at: [email protected].

Cary Pfeffer is the founder of ClearComm Consulting,, a Phoenix, AZ-based communications consulting firm which is helping people tell their story. He works with clients to make the most of their media and live audience communication. Email him at: [email protected]

Follow along with Cary on Twitter @CaryPfeffer

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