Here are five tips to keep the production values as high as possible:
Give the technology every possible advantage
Ask employees to choose a location with a strong Wi-Fi connection. This will minimize video glitches and audio issues. Be sure to lock the video on their camera, rather than having it switch back and forth between speakers. When you’re finished giving them direction, and each time you ask a question or give them a prompt, mute your mic. And, of course, don’t forget to hit the record button.
Work with them to style their background
We discourage employees from using digital backgrounds, in favor of being able to see them in their actual environment. Instead of a blank wall, try for a background that includes a bookcase, interesting art, a plant or two, or even some strong architectural detail. If they’re not too soft-spoken, ask them to sit back several feet from their laptop to avoid an extreme close-up on their face.
Help them set up more flattering lighting
One of the easiest ways to improve the lighting is to turn off any overhead light that’s casting harsh shadows on their face. A window directly in front of them can mean direct light that’s unflattering, and a window behind them can make them disappear in shadow. Table lamps, floor lamps or a ring light create soft fill. If they’re wearing glasses, counteract glare with a lamp positioned above and behind their laptop.
Ask them to hide their notes
Preparing notes or their responses to the planned questions can help many employees feel more confident when it’s time to record their video. But ask them not to read from those notes, or to have them anywhere the camera can see them. If someone is reading rather than just talking, it’s very apparent on video. The goal is for it to feel like an organic conversation, not a performance.
Use this hack to shoot a second angle
One of the drawbacks of Zoom videos is that there aren’t many options in the edit. You can cut from one employee’s face to another employee’s face, but you don’t usually have B-roll or other camera angles, and sometimes you end up with jump cuts. One possible hack is to have the employee answer all the questions twice — once looking into the webcam and once into the monitor for a different angle.