Video podcasting is currently on the rise, and with so many set-top boxes coming out that take advantage of RSS, now is a great time to jump on board and start your own Internet TV show. In many cases, a few simple improvements can make all the difference in the world to a show. Here are five tips to improve your video podcast:
Nothing says amateur video more than a poor lighting on the subject. This means more than turning on a lamp or making sure a bright window isn’t behind you. If you want to have a dramatic improvement on the way your subject looks, keep your light source soft. A hard light is any direct light source that causes sharp shadows to appear around creases in your face or neck and behind you. These shadows can be distracting and enhance flaws. A soft light, which is diffused gives less definition to shadows and should light a subject evenly. This can be achieved on the cheap using white tissue paper commonly used in gift bags placed between yourself and your light source. Be careful not to place them too close to each other as this can become a fire hazard.
As a general rule of thumb, the most important component of a successful show is the audio. No matter what someone sees, if they can’t hear you or if you sound terrible their immediate impression of your content will be negative. Pops, clicks, sounding like you’re in another room, loud echo, and generally poor audio can ruin a viewer’s experience. When planning your audio setup, consider that your entire audience is incapable of seeing any of your video. Many of them will have it on in the background and listen to it rather than watch.
On a budget level setup, you should consider investing as much on your microphone as you do your camera. For example, Chris Pirillo uses an AT2020 USB condenser mic for his live stream and videos which delivers an even, clean sound.
To Script, or Not to Script
there are essentially two types of on-air personalities in general. There’s the host that smoothly reads teleprompters and does a very good job of flowing with the words as they read them, and there’s the type that does very well ad-lib with little more than an outline. While there is certainly a percentage out there that can handle both tasks, most tend to do better one way or the other.
Many of the most popular video shows on the web today use teleprompters to keep the message clear and on time. It’s a complete myth that reading a teleprompter means you’re any less talented. There are ad-lib speakers out there that absolutely can’t read a teleprompter at all. They lose their natural body language, emotional queues, and even their sense of timing when reading.