A simple, talking head video is not only cheap to produce but can be highly effective in marketing your brand, service or product.

Most talking head videos use an interview process where the individual being filmed answers set questions. It’s a lot less rigid than working from a set ‘to-camera’ speech. It also gives the impression of one person conversing with another, which immediately seems more interesting to the audience.

The technical term for this is a prompted interview. It has some structure but is not so constrictive that it stilts the conversation and seems pre-prepared.

If you are about to undertake one of these interviews, it can be a little daunting. Here are our top tips for getting it right:

Resist the Script

It can be tempting, especially if this is your first time, to work to a carefully produced script. Unless you’re a talented actor, going down this route generally means your video will seem rehearsed and inauthentic.

The best advice is to understand what you want to say but don’t rehearse it in any way. Audiences can perceive quite quickly if you are reading off a script and they’ll think the worse of you for it. Don’t forget, you can always do a retake if you fluff your lines or get it wrong. Plus, everything gets edited. Until you post that video online, it’s still a work in progress.

Brainstorming Helps

You may want to do at least some preparation for the talking head video but avoid writing anything concrete. Instead, try brainstorming key ideas and keywords that you want to use. Doing this prior to the video can be a little like doing a warm up before an athletic event, giving your braincells a boost.

Trust Your Interviewer

Production companies are usually masters at handling talking head interviews and will be able to put a list of questions together for you. This is about trusting your relationship with them. You could, of course, dictate what’s asked, but if the company has done it’s homework, they should be able to come up with a set of questions that really reveal your business in its best light.

Clothing is Important

You probably won’t even think about the clothes you are wearing for the video. There’s so much else to worry about. But clothing is important.

Try to avoid anything that is likely to distract your viewer such as slogans or brightly colour shirts. Anything busy can look odd on video so try to keep your style as plain as possible. Also avoid:

  • Noisy jewellery. Microphones nowadays are really sensitive.
  • Too much makeup or moisturiser. It can look bright and glistening under studio lights.
  • Smudged glasses – it’s amazing what HD can pick up, make sure you clean them before you sit down.

Answer the Questions

If you are asked a question make sure you answer it, even if you embellish around the subject. Again, viewers are more savvy today when it comes to people skirting the issue and not giving a concrete answer.

One important thing to note: The question might not even be included in the final video so make sure you refer to it immediately when you answer. Otherwise people won’t know what you are talking about.

Relax and Smile

It’s often easier said than done but the final tip is to relax as much as possible. Take your time and don’t try to rush through the questions. Also smile where it’s appropriate.

Don’t worry too much about what you’re saying, this isn’t live after all. The more you are at ease the more likely you are to interest your viewer. You’re also likely to reveal interesting aspects about your business that you may not have considered before.

And, of course: The video will be edited and you don’t have to worry that a faux pas or two will get out there and be viewed by the unsuspecting public.