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How to Make a Great Video Quickly and Economically

by PowerSpeaking, Inc.     Aug 13, 2014 9:31:00 AM

Video has become essential for presentations, product demos, marketing, website SEO, instructional videos, process documentation, interviews, and testimonials.

Look at the stats.

  • Forty billion videos are streamed in the U.S. each month.1
  • Seventy-five million people watch videos online each month. 1
  • $6.3 billion will be spent on video ads in 2015. 1
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine company in the world (right behind Google, the parent company). 2
  • 93% of marketing professionals are implementing video in their strategies.2
  • 84% are using video for website marketing. 2
  • 82% have expressed the positive effect video has on their organization. 2

But how can I incorporate video on a shoestring budget?

Would you believe all you need is the subject, a smart phone, a microphone, and very basic editing software.

  1. Your Smart Phone: Your smart phone can produce amazingly high quality video with the push of a button.iPhone4S

In addition to the phone, here is some other basic equipment you will need
  1. A microphone
    • A mistake many people make is relying on the built-in microphone on their phones or cameras. If you are more than two feet from your subject, the audio gets awful—immediately.The solution is to plug a mic into the headphone jack.To do this, you will need an adapter that converts the “audio out jack” to “audio in.” The adaptor will have three rings on it. You can get these for both the consumer grade small 1/8" mics or a larger, more professional XLR mic. Cost is around $25. iPhone_Microphonemicrophone_adaptor
    • (http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-mic-ecm.htm).
    • Clip the mic onto the interviewee's collar about two inches below the mouth.
  2. Tripod / Stabilizer
    • I'd advise you to get a "Slingshot" to hold your phone. This helps to eliminate shaking. They are available on Amazon for $35.
    • Company web page: http://woxom.com

Location and Lighting

Control for noisy background and visual distractions. For interviews, indoor is generally better. Put your subject near a window or use an incandescent light. Another handy option is a portable handheld battery operated light such as the ePhoto VL 36 LED Portable Continuous Light. (on Amazon for $23) 


Interview Technique

Keep it short. Brevity makes it easier on the interviewee (and on you) because a short interview is easier to edit. There are three parts to the interview:

  1. Ask general background questions to relax the person.
  2. Once rapport is built, ease into the more substantive questions—the heart of the information you want. Use paraphrasing all along to let the person know you are understanding what they are saying and not judging them. This makes the person feel safer to go deeper.
  3. Begin to wrap up and ask if there is anything else they'd like to say. Thank them for their time.


Since your voice will be edited out of the final production, ask the person to answer in a way that reflects the question. For example, if the question is, "How long have you worked here?" they should not say, "Thirty years." Rather, have them say a complete sentence, "I've worked here for 30 years."



iMovie is a terrific editing tool for the Mac and Windows. Windows users can use a similar program: ArcSoft ShowBiz. You can cut, create transitions, and add text. It is easy to learn.


Case Study

Recently we were involved in an author’s round table at our publisher’s conference. I was asked to help novices create a video in only 30 minutes. Experience with video? Zero. We defined roles—interviewee, interviewer, the videographer holding the smart phone, and a lighting person. (In actuality, those roles can be done by two people: the interviewee and the interviewer.)


With a shoot time of a half hour and editing time of about two hours, what was the cost? Almost zero!


Berret Kohler Authors Speak:


So grab your smart phone and go out there and create some videos. As Reel SEO says: if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.1


How have you incorporated video in your work? Share an example. We’d love to see it. 


Reference #1:



Reference #2:


About the Author

PowerSpeaking, Inc.

Topics: Presentation Tips, Video Creation, Interview Techniques, Video Equipment

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