Connect with Your Audience in Conversational Videos
We’re all familiar with the traditional “talking head” video, which typically entails someone advancing through a slide deck in a linear way. Audience participation is usually limited, or non-existent, until the end of the presentation. This traditional video delivery has its place, and is especially suited to formal presentations, formal settings, and when delivering a lot of information to a large audience.
A conversational video, on the other hand, is notably less formal and tends to be considerably more engaging than a traditional talking-head video. In a conversational video, the speaker strives to connect with the audience in an authentic way. Here are a few guidelines for conversational videos that can help you make this connection.
Scrap the Script
When you read from a script or teleprompter, you’re talking to your audience or at them. You’re not talking with them or talking from the heart, which is the essence of a conversational video.
Memorizing your presentation isn’t recommended either. It’s hard to be engaging on camera when your mind is continuously searching for the next words you memorized. Your delivery will be more robotic than natural.
It’s OK to write down the main points you want to cover and consult them during the video recording, as long as you keep your talking points concise and easy to read at a glance. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, practice chatting about your topic with someone beforehand. Get comfortable with everything you want to say, and make sure to say everything aloud. Don’t rehearse only in your head.
A conversational video can also involve two colleagues talking. This approach is a good way to help calm nerves on camera and can also be more engaging for the viewers.
Stay with What You Know
You want to speak from a position of knowledge. If you’re passionate about the topic and know it well, you can be naturally engaging. Your enthusiasm will burst through to the audience.
So, don’t cram on a topic the night before the video recording or pretend that you’re an expert on something that you’re not. You’ll end up compromising your ability to be engaging, authentic, and conversational. Your credibility could also take a hit when the audience starts asking questions.
Talk the Talk
Be your authentic self. Don’t sound like a press release, with strings of jargon and no contractions. Include the viewers in your conversation. Use personal pronouns such as “you,” “we, “me,” and “us.” Use contractions like you do in regular, daily conversations.
Don’t forget to blink and remember that it’s OK to consult your notes and be animated. No one expects you to be perfect.
Make your conversational video more of a two-way exchange than a traditional linear presentation. Break your topic into chunks and engage with your audience in between main points. This is an excellent way to learn more about who they are and what they care about and to gauge their interest in what you’re saying.