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Archive for the ‘Video Recording’ Category

The Importance of Audio for Video Production

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

audio-mixer-console-1315787We’ve discussed how important professional video quality can be when creating a video that represents your company. It often determines a possible client’s first impression of your business. When you’re watching another company’s video, or even your own video, what are you paying attention to most? Probably the quality of the picture, how professional the talent looks and how the overall production is. People are much more visually inclined; it’s the sense we rely on the most. That being said, there are some other parts of professional videos we often take for granted.

The most overlooked? Good sound. When sound is good, it usually goes unnoticed because it matches what we expect to hear. But when the sound quality is bad, it is obvious. Not only is it distracting, but it cheapens the quality of what could have been a great promotional video. Also think about how you get your message across. You may look great on the screen, but you still need your words to get across what your company is about and why clients should hire you.

We’ve worked with some clients who knew their fair share about making videos, but didn’t think about recording really high quality audio. When they came to us with what they had shot, you could barely understand what they were saying! Even if the video quality looks pristine, people can’t get the full message without you explaining it. People often go by the old “fix it in post” standard. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that it only works if the original recording was done well enough in the first place.

The best way to get clear and high quality audio is by using a standalone microphone instead of the camera’s built in mic. The quality is almost guaranteed to be better, and you can move the mic around to find the best spot to pick up sound. Microphones are a lot more sensitive than a lot of people think. Even aiming some microphones in different directions can drastically change the amount of sound you are picking up. Usually having a microphone, like a lavalier mic, right on your person will pick up the most direct and clear sound.

Even with a good microphone, great sound isn’t guaranteed. As I mentioned above, microphones can be extremely sensitive to small level changes. While we might not think much of someone getting really loud and then really quiet while talking, that can usually be too much for a microphone to handle. Sudden loud sounds might cause distortion, while some very quiet sounds might not even be picked up. Speaking at a balanced and uniform level can be difficult, but the end result always sounds better.

Our sound perception also often makes us unaware of background noise. Imagine sitting in a room with an air conditioner on. After a little while, you don’t even notice it anymore. All of a sudden it turns off, and now the room seems extra quiet! This is because our brain and hearing adjust to our environment pretty quickly, but they do notice sudden changes. Unfortunately, microphones don’t act the same way. A microphone will pick up all that extra noise the whole time, and when you listen back it will be very obvious. It can be easy to overlook background noises because of our perception, which is why it is always important to check your audio before shooting a whole day’s worth of footage.

To sum it all up, audio is a crucial part of making a professional video. It can be tricky, but with the right equipment and the right knowledge, it can be done. At Primeau Productions, we always make our videos with a designated ‘sound guy’ to make sure that every time we get great video, we get great audio. If you need help getting your company’s videos to the next level, give us a call. We would be happy to help!

Primeau Productions begins restoring Napoleon Hill Film Episodes

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Primeau Productions has begun the transfer and restoration of three Napoleon Hill 16MM film episodes from the Master Key to Success video series. What does it take to restore historical film? What are the best tools to use to restore the films to high definition quality? I will explain our process and the care involved with these processes in the following blog post.

Over the last 30 years Primeau Productions has built their reputation on integrity and expertise. Our integrity shows when our clients work with our excellent team of producers, directors and editors. Our expertise comes across in our finished product, ask our clients like the Napoleon Hill Foundation who has trusted Primeau Productions with these rare historical film transfers and restoration.6784917118_ace10d38a1

Below is an image of the metal container that has helped preserve the film for over 50 years!

Film Reel Napoleon Hill 1

The first step in restoration is to inspect the film and determine the type of matter that has accumulated over the years and then clean the film accordingly. The second step is to look at the sprocket wear. Once the transfer process begins, the sprocket wear causes the film to play back with a shaky picture. We use Adobe After Effects to stabilize the image as part of the restoration process.

This particular series of films were recorded with an optic sound track. In other words, the audio portion of this film is not on a magnetic strip, it is a visually displayed sound configuration that is reproduced or played by using an optic sound reading projector.

16MM film projectors that have optic audio track capability have a single sprocket on the right side of the film and the optic audio track on the left side of the film as seen in the photograph below.

The audio portion is stored on the film as seen in the photograph below.

Napoleon hill film roll

The optic audio reader uses light to project the audio track to the optic reader built into the 16MM film projector.

Optical Sound ReaderWe use a Cannon XF 300 High Definition digital video camera to record the film and convert into digital form. The recording is then loaded into our computer for color correction, image restoration and HD formatting so it looks its best when played back. We use the Adobe CS6 suite of software for film restoration because of the quality of the tools in After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.

Extensive care is extremely important throughout this process because the film is fragile and easily scratched.

Once the film has been restored, a full quality Quicktime file is created, as well as subsequent digital video files for DVD authoring and other ‘to-be-determined’ Internet use.

Primeau Productions believes that the Napoleon Hill video collection will serve a huge purpose for future generations because the lessons taught by Dr. Hill are timeless. Plus, it is wonderful to see Napoleon Hill speaking in person about his studies and lessons learned.

photo credit: I shoot film! via photopin (license)

How to Find an Audio/Video Professional

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Relationships: Creating a successful product is rarely a solo act.

14561581102_472fb7425cWhen producing a multimedia product, the single most important thing you can do to ensure your success is to establish a relationship with an audio/video professional. He or she will be your partner from the beginning to end of this project, and perhaps, become a lifelong partner for all of your multimedia endeavors. This person might be a producer, a director, a writer, an audio engineer or a video editor. Finding this one person is probably the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the production process.

Why? Because as you sift through the Yellow Pages or Internet directory, or read brochures and resumes, you have to invest a great deal of time in finding the right person: the one you will connect with on a creative and personal level. This is a relationship in every sense of the word. You either hit it off, or you don’t.

 

Look For a High “Get it” Factor
It takes time to find a like-minded professional who “gets you” and what you want to do. They must be able to realize the unique value of your message or music to do it justice. And you don’t want to settle for less. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate your expertise or talent. You want to work with someone who you like, admire and respect, and who feels the same way about you. When you start meeting with people, pay attention to vocal tone and body language. You’re looking for someone with a positive, enthusiastic attitude who is excited about what you do.

Ask the Right Questions
When you’re selecting a recording studio or production facility, be sure the people who are assigned to your project understand your industry. Do they have the experience to understand what you are trying to accomplish? Can they bring something of value to the table? If you are making a hit record (old term, I know) has this engineer or producer ever recorded or produced a hit record? What credentials do they have? Are they interested in what you are producing?

When you find someone that has interest in your work, they will contribute more to your production. Now you’re getting added value! Watch out for hard sells. Multimedia professionals know how costly the production business is, and the respectable ones won’t rush you into creating a product before you’re ready. If you meet anyone who launches into a hard-sales, reduced-to-the-ridiculous-estimate closing technique, run for the door.

Match Their Strengths with Your Needs
When it feels right, you’ll know it. It’s tremendously rewarding when you finally meet someone you feel you can trust. Beyond his or her expertise, this person will show you the support and encouragement you need as well as provide you with honest feedback and criticism that can save you time and money, not to mention, the embarrassment of putting out an inferior product.

For example, I worked with professional speaker Floyd Wickman to create an audio training program. The relationship that grew as a result of this project shows you what to look for. Floyd came to the music-recording studio where I was employed at the time. This was a big mistake because a music studio cost him a great deal more than a conventional voice over studio. I was assigned as his account person and engineer, which proved to be fortuitous, turning a potentially bad decision into something good for both of us. Not only did this experience shape the course of my career, but it also gave him an excellent product. The most important factor in our success is that we truly enjoyed working with each other.

Keep in mind that each person you interview for a possible relationship is an expert at something, regardless of where they are in their career. They have their niche. As you evaluate the candidates, look for strengths that match your needs. If you are producing a narrative CD, don’t hire somebody who has never produced a narrative recording.

Interested in learning more about professional audio/video services? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon here!

photo credit: handshake via photopin (license)

Death of a Video Format

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Ed Primeau and Brandon Keilman

5455622177_71917bf3a7I was standing in line at the Secretary of State last week to renew a license plate and saw a video playing on a flat screen in the lobby. The quality was brilliant; very high quality, rich and robust in every area of sight and sound. The source was produced using high definition video tape and digitally edited and formatted onto Blu-Ray DVD.

For a few years now, I have been preaching about the importance of Internet marketing with digital video distribution (which is still very important) while discounting DVD as a worth while marketing tool. The Internet aspect to video still holds true, except we now have to re-look at DVD from a fresh perspective.

There is an ongoing debate over DVD format that is worth understanding so you can apply this medium to your business.

In a knock-out, fall-out battle, Blu-Ray DVD is the official champion and High Definition DVD has gone by the wayside, in a similar fashion to consumer grade laser disk and beta. In this article, we hope to clear some of the confusion and explain the impact to you personally as well as on your business.

Let us clarify an important point before we move on. High Definition digital video is a format video cameras record and High Definition DVD is a format of delivery or medium to deliver the video on. High Definition video recording is still the best way to video record. It is High Definition DVD that no longer exists and what this article is about.

Here is how the war was lost:

The Toshiba Company was the main developer and backer (with the support of Microsoft) of what could have been the next ”big thing” in video delivery, High Definition DVD. While Microsoft favored the ”High Definition DVD” format, Sony favored the Blu-Ray DVD format.

Blu-Ray was and is supported by many different companies including Sony as the next ”big thing” in video formatting. High Definition was the choice of Microsoft and Toshiba until recently.

So, now that the war is over, I guess the demise of the HD DVD video format should not come as a surprise when the two formats are compared and closely examined. First, the quality of both in terms of picture and sound are a huge step up from a regular DVD in resolution. However, when further investigating Blu-Ray, the storage capacity is four times greater than that of High Definition DVD. In our opinion, this is perhaps the largest deal breaker for High Definition DVD.

The Blu-ray storage advantage means less need for multiple DVD disk box sets. Companies such as Fox who are always looking for a way to minimize cost and increase profit love the storage advantage Blu-Ray offers.

To the consumer it means we can go out and buy a Season of our favorite show in a much smaller package, instead of a big clunky box full of DVDs. As for the sound and picture quality, there is a noticeable difference between Blu-Ray and High Definition DVD. Even on the best of televisions the HD DVD still remains a bit grainy where as the Blu-ray has very crisp rich looking images.

Another influence in the decision to kill HD DVD was the backing of the Sony Corporation. Sony is the leading edge developer and implementer of Blu-Ray players into devices their consumers use on a daily basis. Their PlayStation 3 models are considered one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market. Price-wise, not only do you get a Blu-Ray player; you get a video game console and audiovisual storage unit all rolled into one.

Microsoft put their money behind the HD DVD format by offering an external player for their Xbox line of products. However, upon hearing the news that Toshiba was canceling its HD DVD line, Microsoft discontinued their HD DVD external player; they’ve yet to release an external Blu-Ray player. Maybe this will be a perk of the highly anticipated Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the adult film industry also had a great influence over these decisions. Whether we chose to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, the adult film industry still has a large influence over the Blu-Ray decision. Even with its apparent loss of revenue to online video, the industry still has some sway in regards to the format its line of adult videos will be on.

Since 2007, and early 2008, the adult film industry put its backing behind the Blu-Ray DVD format. This, combined with the other reasons mentioned above, seems to be the straw that broke the camels back for HD DVD.

What does this mean for you and your business of DVD products? We are entering a time that future video products should be recorded on High Definition video tape and released on Blu-Ray DVD.

So, now that you know Blu-ray DVD is the future of DVD video delivery, what type of product can you develop on Blu-ray DVD? Consider that Blu-Ray will deliver graphics and still images that look more brilliant and video images of much higher quality because they are recorded on High Definition video. In addition, the length of programming time is greater on Blu-Ray than standard DVD.

We highly recommend Duplicating your Blu-Ray inventory in low quantities as just-in-time delivery:because it will not be long before the next ”greatest advancement” in digital video comes out to further confuse us and, once again, change everybody’s thinking, including ours.

photo credit: Day 48: Recursive Technology via photopin (license)

How to Dress and Act for High Definition Video

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

9944082524_4456f8628cNot only have I experienced being recorded on high def video, I have consoled many clients who were shocked after the experience. They were shocked because they did not realize how BIG and magnified high definition video is until they saw a playback of their performance.

Everything is Magnified

Not only will your beautiful blue (or brown or green… or bloodshot!!) eyes be large and magnified on the high definition video, so will your imperfections. Rather than list them all, I’ll be polite and let you use your imagination. Think of wrinkles in your clothes, as well as on your face.

Consider having a wardrobe rehearsal and hiring a professional makeup artist and wardrobe consultant (often the same person) who specializes in preparing clients to be recorded in high definition. Yes, there is a process to high def makeup, and yes, it has become a specialty.

Men, if your shirt collar is a bit tight and you run the risk of the top button taking out an audience member’s eye, better get a larger shirt. That stretched collar will look ten times worse in high definition video than it does in person. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if not me, who will tell you? Nobody. You will see for yourself after it’s too late.

Ladies, carefully check your hair before going on stage. A few ‘flyaway’ strands that are barely noticeable in the mirror will look like tree branches on high def video.

I always encourage our clients to have a rehearsal before going on stage. Record some video of your rehearsal and watch it before your formal performance. As painful as this sounds, it’s less painful than missing a perfectly good opportunity to get new demo video footage.

During your rehearsal get used to the stage and how you move about during your presentation. Spy where the cameras are located and remember to periodically make eye contact with the cameras. Remember, these cameras represent the viewers at home.

The bottom line is high definition video is here to stay. This process is like any other process. You either adapt and embrace it or you will miss out and regret your mistakes. Evolve your performance into the new era of high definition video and business growth will follow.

photo credit: Dança via photopin (license)

Are You Losing Business Because of Your Demo Video?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

6355318323_4c41d3ef76It’s no secret – professional speaker demo videos that are not updated and competitive based on current market conditions will help eliminate you as a candidate for a speaking engagement almost as often – if not more often – than your demo video will qualify you for a speaking engagement.

When a meeting planner watches your demo video they have three choices. They can continue to watch it; they can stop it and move on; or they can use it to qualify you. If they stop it and move on you have been eliminated from consideration for that speaking engagement. And you have to ask yourself, why did they watch it in the first place? Not always do we know that we’ve been eliminated from a speaking engagement, but let’s assume, in this case, we do.

Why did they watch it in the first place? Well, probably because you were referred to them, or something in their search criteria brought your website up on the Internet. But when they watched your demo video it turned them off, or it was old footage or the editing appeared out of date. In this highly competitive professional speaking industry it’s crucial to update your demo video on an annual basis.

When you think about it, the cost of a demo video is, more often than not, less than you will earn on one speaking engagement. Why would you not invest money in the number one marketing tool that you have on an annual basis, in order to keep your content fresh, keep the look of your production current and keep you in the running more often to be considered for keynote speeches?

The process of updating and revising your demo video is very simple. First, you get good footage. More meetings, conferences and conventions are recording their keynote speakers today than ever. And that footage that is being recorded is most often high definition digital footage. It’s recorded onto a digital video recorder, right there on the spot at the conference. When the production company brings that digital video recorder back to their studio it’s very easy for your production company to ship an external hard drive to the conference or convention production company to get a copy of that original full quality digital video recording. This has become one of our main practices at Primeau Productions – to ship these hard drives to production companies in order to retrieve the highest quality digital video recording for our clients so that we can use that footage to update their demo videos.

I have seen firsthand how the number of speaking engagements goes up for our clients when their demo video has been revised. And a revised demo video is useless if it isn’t distributed properly. That’s the publishing part of the produce, publish and promote that Primeau Productions follows for our clients. You get the new footage – high def, high quality – revise the demo video. That’s the ‘produce’.

When you complete the editing and revision of the demo video you distribute the demo video to the appropriate places, such as:  your website; your YouTube channel (which is the second largest search engine in the world, and where a lot of meeting planners look for professional speakers for their events); your Vimeo channel, which we encourage our clients to use for embedding their demo video on their website, because many organizations are blocking social media networks, so if a meeting planner works for an organization and they want to hire you and they go to your website and your video is embedded from YouTube there’s a couple of problems. Number one, they may not be able to watch it because it’s been blocked from their server. Number two, there are going to be competitor ads or other videos that come up at the end of your video that could take them away from you as a consideration, to somebody else that has a catchier title or a more interesting thumbnail. So we recommend to our clients to use Vimeo as another publishing opportunity for you.

Other publishing opportunities that are available for you are to distribute your revised demo video to the speaker’s bureaus and ask them to update your demo video that they have on their website or Internet channel with the current revised one. Then, once that video has been revised, it’s necessary to do some promotion.

Promotions could be in the form of social media; newsletters sent out to your database; notifying speaker’s bureaus and past clients that you’ve updated your demo video. You could even explain to them that you have created a follow-up program to the one that you previously delivered to clients that will help their people take your message to the next level.

All of this marketing and promotion can be built up around this revised demo. So not only have you made your demo video more current and improved because of the fact that your message and your performance has gotten better since the last time you created a demo video, you also now have a reason to contact people – past clients, meeting planners, speaker’s bureaus – to let them know that you have a new video that demonstrates your more in-depth message, the follow-up portion to your message, or any other elements that you’d like to use from that new demo as a reason for contacting them.

Professional speakers who don’t update their demo video start to see their number of speaking engagements decline. I see it happen all the time. Speakers that revise their demo video on a regular basis have an increasing number of keynote speaking engagements because of the activity that’s involved in the produce, publish, promote process of revising that demo video.

But it’s very important to wait until you have good footage, that was recorded in a good environment in front of an audience, that has fed energy to you, and that you are at the top of your game delivering that message.

photo credit: Dollars via photopin (license)

Why Do Some People Look Better On Camera Than Others

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

5465484586_8705733289Have you ever noticed that some people are very photogenic? No matter what they do they look great on camera. This includes photography as well as video cameras. I think there are several reasons why some people look better than others on camera.

Watching a recent news show where a group of people were entering the studio, a video camera was at the entrance recording them as they came into the studio. Some people looked into the camera and waved, and other people looked away from the camera and looked apprehensive.

I believe that when people embrace having their photograph taken, or being in a video, and smile, and have a positive attitude and they let their pleasing personality show they have a successful recording. When people are nervous and they don’t want to be photographed or video recorded that comes across.

It’s like anything else that you put your mind to. When you believe you’re going to do a good job, you do a good job. When you’re nervous about not doing a good job and that’s what you think about more, then, more likely than not, you’re not going to do a good job.

The same holds true when being video recorded or photographed. Some things I recommend that you can do in order to have a better result with being photographed or video recorded are, first, think positively about the experience and do the best that you can to look good on camera. Wear something that compliments you. Your dress is just as important as the ‘psychological’ state that you’re in when being photographed or video recorded.

Second, before the experience of being photographed or video recorded look into the mirror and determine if you feel confident in your appearance that day. This includes the way that your hair is done, the outfit that you’re wearing. And practice your smile – practice looking right into the mirror as if it were the camera lens. And get comfortable with a pose. As odd as that sounds people who don’t prepare their poses have a lower chance of being successfully recorded than those that do prepare.

There’s a room backstage in almost all performance arenas – this includes television studios, concert halls, theaters – it’s called the ‘green room’, and in the green room you’ll find several things, one is a mirror. That’s so the actors and professional talent can look at themselves before they go on stage or in front of the camera.

Getting comfortable with the way that you look is half the battle with successfully being video recorded or photographed.

It’s not considered vanity to practice how you’re going to look on camera. Rather, it’s important. And I believe that people who are comfortable with their appearance, know how to dress professionally and practice being photographed and video recorded have far greater chance at success in life than those that don’t.

One of the first steps I recommend taking is to change your attitude about being photographed and video recorded. Look at some people on line – Facebook is a great place to look at photographs – and see the people who are photogenic. What makes them photogenic? Is it the fact that they believe they look good? That’s not considered arrogance … that’s just confidence. Practice becoming more confident and you’ll have a better chance of having a good photograph taken, or video recorded, and those photographs and video recordings will contribute to your success far more effectively than bad photographs or non-confident video recordings.

photo credit: 27 via photopin (license)

How to Apply the Rule of Thirds

Friday, January 18th, 2013

4620433766_146683196e_bThe rule of thirds is a compositional guideline which suggests that you take an image and divide it into nine equal parts with two equally spaced vertical lines and two equally space horizontal lines.  By placing your subject on one of these intersecting lines, it’s thought to create a more pleasing visual than simply centering the shot.

Placing points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your subject becomes more balanced and allows the viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that, when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. 

For more examples like these, go to:

https://www.google.com/search?q=rule+of+thirds&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS506US506&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ENL2UIm-BsikqQGPz4CAAw&ved=0CE4QsAQ&biw=1683&bih=1292

The same principle can be applied when shooting video.  For instance, when shooting an interview with a stationary subject, be sure your subject is standing (or sitting) in a ‘Rule of Thirds’ position. And be sure to compose your shot applying the Rule of Thirds, creating space in front of your subject.  Make sure your background isn’t so busy that it’s distracting from the subject.  Find a simple background, or a background that doesn’t have a lot of activity behind it. For instance, if you’ve got someone in the background picking their nose or drinking a bottle of water, it doesn’t matter how great an interview you record, the audience is going to be looking at that instead of your subject matter.

So when you’re in the field and you have a camera and a tripod and you’re getting ready to set up your shot, what is one of the first things that you should do in order to apply the rule of thirds?

Look through the lens of your camera, place your subject matter off center so that it has some space around it, to the left and to the right – if you center it as in our first example of the rock, you see that it’s just not as interesting of a shot as the off center composition.

Bottom line, if you begin your video production with excellent digital video recordings you will save time and money in post and create a more pleasant video production.

Professional Speaking Trends for 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

3973783991_55b9207f54As 2012 comes to a close Primeau Productions has seen the beginning of many trends that we believe will be expanded on in 2013.

The first trend is the widening gap between the amateur or beginning professional speaker and the experienced veteran professional speaker. It usually takes up to three years for an aspiring professional speaker to have perfected their craft. This includes performing pro bono on just about any stage that will allow the opportunity to polish your craft. Professional speakers and professional orators know that they must have a rock solid message to communicate to a captive audience that’s interested in hearing that message. Amateur and beginning professional speakers must learn how to polish their craft in order to become sought after and memorable in order to get referrals because word of mouth is the most important tool in transition from an amateur to a professional. When people start talking about you and your message to other people in the industry, like meeting planners and speakers bureaus, that’s when your business will hit ‘critical mass’ and you will make the transition from amateur to professional.

Another trend that we see is the role of the speaker’s bureau. Speakers Bureaus must evolve with the times with the help of the professional speaker. We envision professional speakers having a more active role in helping bureaus market themselves to meeting planners and corporate clients, more so in 2013 than ever before.

Let’s face it, the Internet serves as a source of information about hiring professional speakers for corporate meetings and events. If I’m a meeting planner or corporation looking for a professional speaker I can get on the Internet and search website after website until I find exactly what I’m looking for. Shopping for a professional speaker has become easier because of the Internet and the speakers bureau role is changing from supplier of professional speaker to helping facilitate the professional speaking process within the meeting. In other words, we see speaker’s bureaus working closer with their professional speaker clients and the meeting planners in forming relationships that help coordinate the success of the professional speaker/meeting planner relationship and that being the solid backbone to help the speaker bureau to evolve.

We also see professional speakers referring leads that they receive to speaker bureaus, more often than before. Because if the speakers bureau helps the professional speaker develop their relationship with the client that they referred to the bureau, the percentage of the speaking fee the bureau will receive is well deserved because of the activity the bureau takes in coordinating this relationship.

Another trend that we see at Primeau Productions is for professional speakers to record themselves while presenting their message from the stage. First of all, the recording helps the professional speaker polish new material. Second, the recording helps avant-garde and spontaneous portions of the presentation to be reviewed and remembered, because a lot of times the professional speaker will react based on what the audience responds to during their presentation. However, that can easily be forgotten after the presentation when the professional speaker leaves the stage. And by ‘recording’ we mean audio or video – an amateur recording, something that could be referred to later on by the speaker in order to hone and polish their message.

Another trend we see is professional speakers utilizing video marketing to help build their visibility on the Internet. The more places and the more video content that the veteran professional speaker distributes across the Internet, the more likely they are to be found by the meeting planner or corporation that is looking for a professional speaker to bring in to their meeting or event. Plus, video marketing shows the depth and breadth of the speaker’s knowledge, skill and ability.

The last important trend that we see for 2013 is the professional speaker – especially the veteran – writing more content and printed material; creating books; writing blogs, and being a guest blogger on a purposeful blog to help themselves market and show the depth of their expertise. There is no better way than writing and creating printed content to help develop your message as well as prove your expertise to your demographic.

We’ve encountered many amateur ‘professional speakers’ who have not written any books or written very little blog content. Their excuse is they don’t have time. Well, that’s because they’re spending all their time trying to figure out where their next job is going to come from so they can pay the bills. It’s very important, in our opinion, to have published written content on your expertise in order to not only be found on the Internet because books and written content are another category for Internet marketing, but they also help support you, the veteran professional speaker, as the expert. And experts who speak professionally are the most sought after professional speakers.

Look at your competition in professional speaking. Who are the ones who are getting the ‘big bucks’ and all the speaking engagements? What are they, as a veteran professional speaker, doing different than what you are doing as an amateur, or an aspiring professional speaker? Do they have sponsorship opportunities with major corporations who they help reveal their brand in the professional speaker’s marketing efforts? What have they published to help position them as an expert in their category? What can you do in 2013 to follow some of these trends to help boost your professional speaking business?

These are trends that we’ve noticed in 2012 and before that have become more prominent and grown during 2012 that we see as very solid business pillars in 2013. Don’t be distracted by living in your own world and doing the same things that you’ve always done and expecting to get more business. Take a chance, try to identify some trends that you believe in, and change your business activity just enough to help your business grow in 2013.

photo credit: Speech prep 4 via photopin (license)

How To: Get Great Video Footage with Image Magnification

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

139159238_b05ddb2acb_nTake Advantage of Image Magnification Screens.

One way to avoid the expense of hiring a crew to record video footage is to tap into image magnification screens. If you perform live at an event and there are more than 500 attendees, there is usually a large screen image magnification system so the people in the back of the room can see you. The image magnification is accomplished by hooking up a video camera to a projector. IMAG systems appear in many performance situations, including rock concerts, conventions and conferences, sporting events and illusionist performances, to name a few. If these systems are present, many times there are video recorders in the system, too. Ask the producer if you can have a gratis copy of your performance, or negotiate it into your fee.

Keep some blank tape up your sleeve.

It’s a good idea to carry an external hard drive with you when you speak or perform, just in case the venue you perform at doesn’t have any spare hard drives. It would be a bummer to have a killer opportunity to be video recorded in front of a great audience and the only thing stopping you is the lack of something as simple as video storage.

 

photo credit: DSC_0010.JPG via photopin (license)

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