Don’t want to forget your lines on video? Then don’t have any lines to forget.
Seriously. If you’re thinking of video from the perspective of forgetting lines, from going blank and not knowing what to say, you’re coming at it backwards. Maybe all the way back to elementary school when you were all sweaty palms, darting eyes, and knocking knees, stumbling through some hideously long poem whose words you barely understood, let alone remembered. Maybe you spent so many hours practicing that you fell asleep with the book on your face—and your presentation still bombed!
Now you’re an accomplished professional, but you may feel like that kid when it comes to doing videos for your business—which would be a shame because you know your material.
Offload the overwhelm
That’s often the problem: you know so much that it’s hard to know what to talk about. Maybe you’re imagining all the content you could share and worrying that you’ll forget all your key points, or the order you need to deliver them in.
Fortunately, your video isn’t the twenty-first century business equivalent of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Less is more. You’ve got to be able to remember your video content in order to deliver it—and, your audience has to be able to retain it. That way they’ll see you as the expert they can’t do without.
Here’s your (no lines) video game plan
1) Simplify. Write down each area of your expertise that you have created products or services for, that you train or coach on, or that you speak about. These are broad categories. Imagine you have several colourful buckets on the floor and you’re putting one category in each bucket.
For example, my categories include how to be confident and charismatic on video; how to interview someone for your online TV show, etc.
2) Brainstorm a bunch of smaller, sub-topics under each of these broad categories. These are the challenges and experiences your clients have had when dealing with those issues. Write down every idea you can think of for each category. Don’t edit, just spill it out.
NOTE: Think from your client’s perspective, feel from their perspective. What kinds of challenging experiences have they had with each of these categories? These are issues they’re aware of and probably frustrated by.
Some of my clients’ challenges (or sub-topics) for how to interview someone for your online show could include how to interrupt a guest who won’t stop talking; how to redirect a conversation that gets off topic; or, should you look at the camera or at your guest while interviewing them on Zoom?
Each of these is just one aspect of the broader topic of interviewing people on video, but each one is small enough for me to talk about in a short video tip.
Be concise and go deep
3) Choose one of your sub-topics and think of one nugget of advice or insight you could give in your video to help your clients and potential clients with that challenge.
What unique perspective could you bring to it? You need to give your audience content they can’t find in a Google or YouTube search. Share a relevant personal story and the lesson in it. Show some personality! This is part of your brand presence. You’ve got to be comfortable enough to be yourself on video—even if some people don’t agree with you. If you’re not repelling someone, you’re doin’ it wrong.
NOTE: If you come up with a couple of tips for some of your sub-topics, then create a series of videos on that topic, each video with one tip. It may be tempting, but don’t put all your advice in one video or you’ll be all at sea, just like the ancient mariner.
Short, sweet and popular
When you’re worried about forgetting your lines, a short tip video like this—up to two minutes long—is a great way to become more confident delivering content on camera. And tips, how-to’s, and explainer videos are typically the most watched video formats for B2B or B2C audiences.
Your video sandwich
4) It’s time to build your video sandwich – one tasty piece of bread to start (your strong opening); some unique and delectable content in the middle (talk briefly about your viewer’s challenge and share your tip); and, one tasty piece of bread to finish (your strong close). Garnish with at least one call to action (CTA): What do you want them to do after they eat the sandwich? Should they call you? Download something? What makes the most sense?
Jot down these three parts of your video sandwich as bullet points, not word for word, so you keep the structure of your video in mind: strong opening, meaty middle, and the close that leaves them craving another sandwich. Add a fourth bullet point for your CTA.
5) Practice, practice, practice! Preferably in front of a mirror so you get used to speaking to your viewer. Do your best to entertain and inform the face that’s staring back at you (even if, at the moment, it’s your own).
Professional and perfect are not the same thing
6) Talk, record, upload! Don’t practice for too long. The more you strive for perfection on video, the less relatable you’ll be. Professional and perfect are not the same thing. Your clients and potential clients would rather work with a delightfully flawed human being.
If it feels like too much work to create a tip video on your own, I teach online workshops on it. Contact me to find out when the next workshop is, or to book one just for your group of entrepreneurs. Creating videos is much more fun when you do it with friends!