Filming a good testimonial video
We’ve lost count of the amount of testimonial videos we have filmed, it must be in the hundreds by now if not the thousands. If this is your first time doing one it can be a bit scary, whether you are the one being interviewed or the one arranging it all. Let us help clarify the process to bring your stress levels from a 10 down to a solid 9, maybe even 8 and a half.
Let us know who is going to be talking in this video.
It’s remarkable how little we can be told about who is going to be talking, and this would be the most important part of preparation for the video content. Have they ever been in front of a camera before? Have they had media training? Are they a native English speaker? All these questions are important to ensure that they are prepared properly.
Script or questions?
There’s a long-standing debate amongst media people about what’s best regarding scripting or questions. Fundamentally, scripting means you get a neater, shorter video that says exactly what you want it to say, but the speaker tends to look a little robotic. Just asking questions can result in a more natural video, but it’s often significantly longer and challenging to edit down to bite size. Fundamentally they both have benefits.
We tend to script the videos when the person speaking is not a native English speaker, or if they are likely to be nervous in front of the camera. It’s a great way to ensure they are fully prepared before they sit down with us, and they can feel much more comfortable knowing exactly what they are going to say. Asking questions we leave to native or very fluent English speakers who are media trained, as they tend to ensure their answers are short and succinct.
We have a little script development guide you can check out, which is very similar for testimonial videos, except usually a shorter process. It’s best to include the speaker in at this stage so they can practice, amend and be sure that they are going to be saying what they want to say. The less they are included now, the more difficult their lives are going to be during the actual filming.
If we are going to the question-and-answer route, the main thing to remember is that the questions must have a longer answer than ‘yes’, and the speaker needs to ensure that they can mention the question in the answer. So leading questions such as “What is the vision for the company in the next 5 years?” are better than “Do you think the company has done well this year?”.
Our filming guide is based on testimonial filming as it’s the bulk of our work – the edited highlights are to make sure you’re in a nice, quiet room, in a chair that doesn’t move, which is well-lit if possible. And relax, we won’t use anything where you look like an idiot.