Production Tips

Talking heads videos

Talking heads videos. That phrase might not inspire you with confidence or excitement and it may not get you desperately clicking on the play button of the video below. That’s because talking heads can often be perceived as a simple and rather boring type of promotional video production. That’s not a great opinion to have on something that makes up a vast majority of all the corporate videos online right now.

Talking heads and interviews

I think people’s views on talking heads are based on the stereotypical dull man in a dull suit in a dull location speaking about a dull subject. But talking heads can be so much more and here at Echo Video we think that this type of video production is still one of the best ways to promote a product or service and communicate your message to an audience.

The personal touch

The biggest thing for me that talking heads give you is a chance to tell your story in your own words. No one knows your business better than you so who better to tell an audience about it? It also ties in to that old cliche that people buy from people. A talking head video is a great way for people to get to know you. This is important in a small business environment when you might be directly dealing with customers every day but I’d say it’s even more important in a large corporation. It gives colleagues as well as customers a chance to see the person behind the suit or desk and realise that the company isn’t just another faceless organisation.

Choose your location wisely

In most talking heads shots the person on screen will likely take up 30-40% of the total screen size. That leaves an awful lot of real estate to fill. In some cases it’s nice to have a plain background as it might compliment or enhance the video but often something that’s colourful and enticing will make the video so much more interesting to look at. Just make sure that it isn’t too busy or people could get distracted and not pay attention to what you’re saying.

To camera or not to camera

One thing to think about when deciding on whether to film a talking head video is whether you’re going to talk to the camera or whether you’re going to be interviewed by someone off screen. For me this is a matter of personal taste and you’ll see examples of both types in the video above. Generally, if you want to directly address an audience you will speak down the lens but some people find that uncomfortable and prefer the comfort of having someone just to the side of the camera to talk to.

Leave in your mistakes

Unless you’ve had years of media experience or you’re a trained actor, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to rock up to an interview and reel off exactly what you want to say perfectly – and that’s fine. Obviously you can do multiple takes to make sure you get it absolutely correct but in some cases (apart from in the most formal of videos) it’s nice to show off your mistakes. It further shows the audience that yes, you are human and you make mistakes. Some of our most successful talking heads videos have included outtakes, giggling and even the odd bleeped swear word.

Hopefully this short blog and video has given you something to think about when considering your next video and whether you want to include a talking head. Don’t forget that you can always spruce up a talking head video by including cutaway shots to demonstrate what you’re talking about or motion graphics to highlight specific words or facts.

Get in touch with Echo Video and we can chat through your options and see how we can help produce your next talking head video.

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