How to Make a Presentation Video

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Video presentations can be successfully carried out without a great deal of expense. From rehearsal right through to the final edit, putting them together can get your creative juices flowing as you experience solidarity with your collaborators and create an effective final product.

  • Video camera (preferably high definition)
  • Tripod
  • Lighting equipment
  • Extension cables
  • Videotape
  • Editing software
  • Blank DVDs

1 Coordinate rehearsal time

Coordinate rehearsal time with your presenter prior to the shoot, making sure he is comfortable with the presentation and with being in front of the camera. Consider first before filming how long the finished video presentation should be. Then create a shot list of all close-up/medium/long shots needed, placing them in order of continuity (as they will be seen in the final presentation video). Then categorize them into their specific groups so you can shoot all close-ups first, then medium shots, etc.

2 Frame an establishing shot of the general area where presenter and product are to be filmed -LRB- medium long shot -RRB- allowing the viewer a spatial reference before moving to closer shots of the subject

Frame an establishing shot of the general area where presenter and product are to be filmed (medium long shot), allowing the viewer a spatial reference, before moving to closer shots of the subject. Then shoot the presenter in a medium shot (from waist up) keeping the camera static (not moving) on a tripod. Make sure the person filmed never moves partially out of frame, by marking the floor where she will be standing prior to shooting.

3 Shoot all medium shots

Shoot all medium shots required before moving on to other types of shot. Then frame the close-up shots (shoulders and head) of the presenter, moving through the desired shot list.

4 Zoom in

Zoom in on the product/item/chart that the presenter may be holding or is pointing to (close-up shot), mostly filling the camera frame. Again, work through the desired shot list. Record multiple takes of each shot to cover possible sound problems, eyes closed, etc. Check and recheck that all shots on the shot list have been covered before finishing the shoot.

5 Alternate between medium and close-up shots in the editing sequence

Alternate between medium and close-up shots in the editing sequence to create the most interesting visual presentation. You can mostly use medium shots, moving to a close-up of the presenter talking, or perhaps cutting to a close-up of the product/item when the the presenter refers to it. Remember that good pacing is king in the editing room: video presentations should be interesting and never be longer than absolutely required.

6 Once the video is edited

Once the video is edited, don't be afraid to request feedback from others; consider re-editing if the general consensus points to a problem you didn't see.

  • Presentations take time to film; make sure you don't underestimate the time needed to complete filming.
  • Understand the camera's functions before you shoot. Check the external mike to see that the feedback level is acceptable before filming. Once lighting has been set, make double-sure there are no shadows on the object/face of presenter. Make sure the presenter has the right vocal inflection throughout the shoot (businesslike, happy, etc.) to mesh with the presentation.

Steve Sloane started working as a freelance writer in 2007. He has written articles for various websites, using more than a decade of DIY experience to cover mostly construction-related topics. He also writes movie reviews for Inland SoCal. Sloane holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and film theory from the University of California, Riverside.