Let's talk about talking head videos for your next video production.
Well, first off, what are talking head videos? How do you make one? And how do you make one that's better than average?
In this article, I'll take you through the process of making a winning video, with over 5 simple steps.
Before we jump in let's first clarity one thing...
What's a talking head video?
A talking head video is an image of a person, usually with only the head and upper chest visible, talking to the camera. If the video is recorded in front of a backdrop or other wall, it may be referred to as a green screen.
Talking head videos are used for many different types of content. They're common in documentaries and news broadcasts, where they can make it easier for the audience to take in information by creating a direct connection with the speaker. They're also often used in interviews and other situations where one person is sharing their experience or opinion with an audience.
It’s fair to say there is a slight stigma against talking heads which are deemed a bit too corporate and boring. But we firmly believe that the stigma stems from poorly executed videos, muddying the waters. Here are some pointers to avoid muddying those waters.
Tip 1: Know Your Message and Script
First of all, make sure you have a good script. Make sure your script has been written by a professional and is engaging, concise, and well-structured.
Make sure your presenter is confident, clear and engaging. A good presenter can make up for any other flaws in the video — but only if they are willing to rehearse over and over again!
Tip 2: Use Quality Audio
When you're trying to produce high-quality video content, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the resolution of your camera? What about your lighting setup?
If you're like most people, audio quality isn't anywhere near the top of your list. But if you want to create a product that will truly engage and inspire your audience, it should be.
Audio quality is just as important as visual quality in determining how much people *love* your product. You see, researchers have found that the human brain can only process and retain so many things at once—and when you combine too many different types of media (like visuals and audio), it becomes distracting and difficult for people to focus on what they're watching. In fact, some research has even shown that viewers will disengage entirely from a video if they experience poor audio quality.
So while resolution is important, don't forget about audio! The best way to ensure good audio is to keep things simple: use a microphone attached to your camera (if possible) rather than relying on built-in sound recordings. This will keep your sound clear, cohesive, and free of distracting background noise—allowing viewers to enjoy your content fully.
Tip 3: Invest In The Right Camera
When you're shooting a talking head video, the type of camera you use will affect what the video looks like.
There are two main types of cameras that are used for video production. They are cinema cameras and DSLRs. And there's really a third one too... your webcam/phone camera.
The first thing you need to think about is what kind of image quality you want in your video. This will help inform whether you should use a cinema camera or a DSLR.
Cinema cameras have a much higher quality image than DSLRs. This means that they have more detail, less noise, and better low light performance. These are all important qualities for professional-looking videos, so this is why we recommend using a cinema camera if possible.
However, there's also more to it than that. If you want your video to be shown on television or in theaters, then you'll need to make sure the camera can produce images that meet certain standards set by these venues. If not, then there's no point in using anything other than a DSLR (which is cheaper). A cinema camera may help get the job done but it won't produce better images than what's necessary for most viewers.
Tip 4: Light Videos Like A Pro
Lighting is one of the most difficult and important aspects of video production. For professional quality video, you need to light yourself, or your talking head talent, properly.
Luckily, it's not too hard once you understand a few basic principles and are willing to invest in some good equipment. Lighting can make or break a good video. It can make an amateur look like a pro, or a pro look like an amateur.
There's the standard 3-point lighting setup but what's most important is the focus on shining light on the face of the person on camera, presenting the message, especially if it's you!
Make the face and eyes the brightest part of the video image to direct all attention to the face and eyes to establish a real, powerful connection.
Tip 5: Frame Your Shot
Most people who are new to shooting video don't think about how they're framing their shots, but it's one of the most important aspects of getting great looking footage!
Your audience will appreciate the effort you put into your framing. Great shots make your work look professional, and that's what we're going for. Let's start by talking about rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is one of the most basic rules in photography and filmmaking. You can picture it as a tic-tac-toe board overlaid on top of your video frame. What you want to do is place the subject or subjects you're focusing on at the intersections or along the lines of this imaginary grid. The human eye naturally gravitates to these points, so it makes for a visually pleasing composition when you follow this rule.
How Can I Produce a Talking Head Video like a Pro
Making a talking head video of professional caliber can significantly improve your capacity to interact and connect with your audience. Here are some crucial things to take to make sure your video stands out and draws people in.
- Purchase a high-quality camera and microphone first and foremost. A professional talking head video must have clear, sharp graphics and excellent audio. To keep attention on the speaker, pick a space with adequate lighting and few background distractions.
- Next, carefully plan your script and substance. Outline the main points you wish to cover and define your message. Make sure your delivery is confident and genuine by keeping it succinct and organized. To achieve a fluid and natural delivery during the actual recording, practice your lines.
- Take into account how your shot looks. The speaker should be well-framed with ample headroom and a nice balance. Your video might look more professional by using a background that is neutral or visually appealing.
- Keep an eye out for subtle aspects when recording, such as tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. To connect with your audience, keep your gaze fixed on the camera. Use cue cards or teleprompters, if necessary, to help you deliver your speech.
- Improve the video's audio and visual quality during editing. Eliminate any pointless pauses or errors, and to increase engagement, include pertinent graphics or visuals. To reach a larger audience, think about adding captions or subtitles to your video.
These are the fundamental steps of a professional talking head video production service. You can make adjustments to any of these steps to fit your needs.
That's A Wrap!
When it comes to communicating effectively, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of content work better in different situations, and what works best for you will depend on the message you need to convey, the length of your message, and the audience you’re trying to reach.
We believe that talking head videos are a great option for almost all types of videos, from YouTube to internal communications. They’re short, engaging, and easy to distribute, so they can be particularly effective for reaching a large number of people who are spread out geographically.
Talking head videos don’t have to be long or complicated to be effective. They can be filmed simply, using a phone or other device with a camera, and they can be edited quickly without adding special effects or graphics. While these videos do require some planning and preparation, they’re also very easy to create once you know how.
Create your first or next talking head video today — schedule a free call with our team here.