10 Tips to Avoid Video Narration Nightmares

Video script narration can be costly, time-consuming and stressful. However, most authors need to make videos at some point to most successfully implement a digital marketing plan. Here are 10 tips to minimize your recording/editing time, money and stress.

  1. Prepare. Read through each section before you start recording until you’re comfortable with the word flow. If something is hard to say, edit the script. Better yet, do the editing part before you go into the studio. But still read through the section out loud just before you record. It will reduce the number of takes and remind you to  stay even-paced and enunciating.
  2. Sweet dreams. Be sure you’re fresh and relaxed, having had good sleep and appropriate nourishment. Don’t try to start recording after a stressful day or incident. Give yourself the best possible starting point for energy.
  3. Do it again. If you screw up, don’t leave it for your editor to fix. It costs way less time for you to re-read a script sentence than for your editor (even a great one) to fix your mistake. And, you don’t know if it’s a mistake they even can fix, so don’t leave it to chance. If you make  a mistake, don’t repeat the entire section; just go back to the previous sentence. This will save you tons of recording time, as well as your editor’s when they have to go in and splice.
  4. Breathe. Just as if you’re singing, be sure you have a good inhale before you start speaking. Oxygen creates energy and ensures you can make it through a sentence. Leave a breath between sentences so that splicing and transitions are easier. Try this: every time you see a period, inhale before starting the next sentence.
  5. Say what? If you have trouble with enunciating, it might be because you subconsciously see words in groups or you’re reading the script too fast, or both. If you consistently ellide consonants or vowels, blending words or phrases together (some refer to this as slurred speech), you want to do some work on that before you record. Try reading word by word, ensuring especially that ending word sounds are articulated. For example, say “repeaT the” instead of “reapeathe.” It may sound a bit awkward and too slow this way, but for you, it won’t be. Or, take some of these great lessons and ideas and see that situation improve.
  6. Liquidate. Ensure you have a few bottles of room-temperature water handy. Sip water every few minutes to keep your throat hydrated. If your throat is sore when you have to record, add honey and lemon to the water. NOTE: make sure it’s room temp or warm if you’re throat isn’t 100%.
  7. Make a move. It’s quite ok (and even desirable) to make occasional hand gestures IF you can do so naturally. This helps keep you energized, and low energy is another issue that many talking head videos suffer from. Make sure you don’t move too far off your spot, or your editor may have trouble later. Shifting your hips occasionally might break up the monotony of standing in one spot, but be wary of subconscious swaying, which will distract and annoy your viewer.
  8. Break it up. Take 5-10 minute breaks between longer sections or videos if you’re recording multiple scripts. making sure you take 2 breaks minimum per hour. When you break, sit if you’ve been standing, walk or stretch.
  9. When you gotta go... If you have to use the facilities, take five and do so! Fidgeting while trying to record usually results in retakes.
  10. Get a buddy. If you’re a novice, have someone with you for support  and direction during the recording. A family member, friend or colleague will be able to give you great feedback as you go along. It’s often hard to know we’re not producing enough energy, enunciating well or speaking too quickly (these things often all go together!) when we’re in the process of recording, especially when you’re recording a lot of content at one time, and when you start to get tired.

Do you have more tips from your experience? Please share them in the comments!

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