How to Video Yourself with Confidence | Catherine Pope | Skillshare

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How to Video Yourself with Confidence

teacher avatar Catherine Pope, Coach & Trainer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

35 Lessons (1h 38m)
    • 1. INTRODUCTION: Hello and Welcome

    • 2. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

    • 3. How to Use This Course

    • 4. Activity 1

    • 5. MODULE 1: PURPOSE - What's Your Goal?

    • 6. What's the Tone?

    • 7. What's the Platform?

    • 8. Activity 2

    • 9. MODULE 2: PLANNING - Keeping it Short

    • 10. Start with Why

    • 11. Finding Your Storyline

    • 12. Drafting Your Script

    • 13. Generating Prompts

    • 14. Activity 3

    • 15. MODULE 3: PREPARING - Finding a Suitable Location

    • 16. Getting the Right Kit

    • 17. Choosing and Using a Camera

    • 18. Stabilizing Your Camera

    • 19. Selecting a Microphone

    • 20. Setting up the Lighting

    • 21. Activity 4

    • 22. MODULE 4: PERFORMANCE - Optimizing Your Voice

    • 23. Managing Your Appearance

    • 24. The 10-Video Challenge

    • 25. Activity 6

    • 26. MODULE 5: PRODUCING - Editing Your Recording

    • 27. Feedback

    • 28. Adding Captions

    • 29. Distributing Your Video

    • 30. Uploading Your Video to YouTube

    • 31. Uploading Your Video to Vimeo

    • 32. Activity 7

    • 33. CONCLUSION: Taking Your Next Steps

    • 34. Thankyou and Goodbye

    • 35. BONUS: Resizing Videos for Social Media

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About This Class

Although the pandemic has given business owners like you a lot of headaches, it's also provided opportunities. You no longer have to pursue clients at niche networking events - you can talk to anyone online.

But talking to everyone individually is exhausting and you don't have the time. The solution is to either clone yourself or to start making videos. I suspect cloning yourself feels like the easier option. By creating a video, though, potential clients can meet you any time of day, wherever they're located.

Video is vital to your business. The longer you leave it, the more clients you could be losing. Also, it's annoying when you see other people who've got the hang of video - you're asking yourself, why can't I be more like them?

You've got a vague idea of what's involved, but you lack the time and the headspace to get cracking. And the thought of speaking to camera is making you quite queasy. You could outsource this stuff, but that's expensive and you end up dependent on someone else to make every little change.

Wouldn't it be great if you could record a powerful video in the time it takes to make a cup of tea?

In this course, I give you clear step-by-step advice on how you can create videos with confidence. I'll break everything down so it's completely within your grasp. You'll create videos with ease using a simple repeatable process. Other people will look at you and think, "Blimey, I wish I could do that."

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Establishing Your Purpose
  2. Creating a Plan
  3. Preparing to Record
  4. Boosting Your Performance
  5. Producing and Uploading Your Video

You'll get a PDF workbook to help you track your progress and record all those ideas. There's no need to scribble on random sticky notes and forget where you put them. As it's a PDF, you can create a new version for your next project, too. I've also created a resource pack. You can download both of them under Project and Resources.

Meet Your Teacher

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Catherine Pope

Coach & Trainer


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1. INTRODUCTION: Hello and Welcome: Hello and a very warm welcome to how to video yourself with confidence. You're probably here because you recognize that video is vital to your business. It can help you communicate with clients, create additional revenue streams, and build your authority. In his book, Oversubscribed, Daniel Priestly explains that potential customers need to see around seven hours of content before they decide to trust you. This could be a video, blog posts or books. Video is the most powerful content type though, as they get to see and hear you. The only problem is that videos are horrendous to record. You have to watch yourself on the screen, wrestle with technology and spend hours getting to grips with it all. Every time you decide to get going, there or at least a dozen compelling reasons to do it next week, when of course it will be much easier. I'm here to help. My name is Catherine Pope and I finally overcame my absolute horror of video at the age of 45. And I certainly didn't prove to be a natural. Here's a screenshot of my first video to prove it. I also bought the wrong equipment and spent a lot of time despairing and swearing. However, as a coach and trainer, I knew this was something I could work on. Over the last couple of years, I've been experimenting on myself and creating effective processes to share with you. I now make videos all the time and don't worry about it. I still don't enjoy looking at myself, but I don't spend hours staring at my ears and thinking they look odd. I'm not a video expert, although I'll be guiding you through all the technical stuff, the emphasis here is on building your confidence. Once you get used to being on camera, then you can hone your skills and build on these foundations. If you've tried videoing yourself before, I suspect you tried to do too much at once. Getting the content, performance and technicalities right. A one-man band doesn't start by playing all his instruments simultaneously. He starts with one and adds another one once he's ready. You can't leap straight into playing the cymbals with your knees while you're still trying to get the hang of the Kazoo. We're going to build up gradually and we're not looking for an Oscar-worthy performance here - it's about getting that first video done. Then you can do the next one, which I promise will be a 100 times easier and better. We're starting with a simple talking head video, you're not attempting any fancy animation or atmospheric shots of you galloping along the beach on horseback. That can come later. For now we're building your knowledge, skills, and confidence in telling your story, speaking with confidence and mastering that technology. These are all skills that will help you in many other areas of your business too. By the end of the course, you'll have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to record a two-minute talking head video for your business. I'll guide you through everything you need to do, including planning the content, getting the right equipment, improving your performance, and finally producing that video. Maybe you're already getting cold feet about making a video. When I got started, I came up with, lots of good excuses for why it couldn't possibly happen today. We need a reminder of why we're doing this to ourselves. And like you to spend a couple of minutes reflecting on how you'll feel when you get the hang of video. What will it mean for your confidence and what difference will it make to your business? What will this enable you to do differently, more powerfully. What important message are you going to share? You can use the space in your workbook every time you want to avoid that camera, then look back at what you wrote. And I suspect you're awash with impostor syndrome or a general horror of being on camera. If that's the case, join me in the next video. 2. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: The biggest obstacle we face with video is getting used to seeing ourselves on camera. You might not believe me at the moment, but it does get easier. The more you see yourself, the less self-conscious you'll be. It's important to practise self-acceptance. You can't do anything about the way you look, well, not without spending a lot of money. And there's absolutely no need: you look fine, just as you are. Nobody else will notice what you see. They're interested in themselves and want to find out if your product or service could help them, not whether one of your ears is slightly higher than the other. We never sound quite as we'd hoped, either. But that also doesn't matter. It's just your voice. Maybe some people will be put off by how you look or sound. That's OK - you can't serve everyone. Other people will instantly warm to you. That's who you want to reach. A book that helped me enormously is Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Although it's aimed at women, the advice applies to anyone who feels as though they should stay small, whether that's down to race, gender identity, sexuality, or disability. We hide away, hoping that we won't get noticed and we're terrified of self-promotion. We don't belong in that arena and we'll be quickly exposed as an imposter or outsider. Tara Mohr encourages us to pursue visibility, rather than self-promotion. Unless we put ourselves out there, nothing changes, it becomes self-perpetuating. The consequences are huge. Not only does it hold you back, but younger people see the arena and think they don't belong there, either. You need to be seen and heard. One of the best lessons I learned was from Monica Lewinsky, who knows a thing or two about being in the public arena. Although overwhelmed by nerves when giving a TED Talk, she decided to focus on the message, not the messenger. Her need to speak out was greater than those fears. Focus on getting your message out there. People need to hear it from you. Most of us start out with good intentions to make a video. Then we hear the unwelcome voice of our Inner Critic: “You shouldn't be doing this” … “Who on earth are you, anyway?” … “Have you seen the state of the kitchen floor?” Sometimes this adversary can be silenced with a chocolate biscuit, but often we need some hard evidence. Here's a technique called ABCDE that can help defeat your Inner Critic A is for ADVERSITY – Consider the situation you’re in right now and describe it in as much detail as possible. But here’s the thing: you have to do so using only facts. So, it’s OK to say, “I didn’t make a video today,” or “I missed my deadline,” but not “I’m a disgrace.” B is for BELIEFS – What did the situation say to you? Did it confirm any long-held beliefs, such as “I can't make videos,” “I simply don’t have time”? Look out for any absolutes, e.g. “I *never* get anything done,” or “This *always* happens”. C is for CONSEQUENCES – How did that make you feel? And what were the consequences? Did you abandon all hope of getting anything done and eat a giant bun instead? Note, these are the consequences of your *beliefs* and not of the situation. If you’re familiar with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), you’ll know that our thoughts cause feelings that then determine our actions. Once we’re aware of what’s going on up there, we can intervene. **D is for DISPUTE** – We’re not going to sit back and take this nonsense – it’s time to deploy some data. I don’t know you, but I’m willing to bet you’ve achieved a great deal in your life. This is unlikely to be the first time you’ve attempted to do something difficult. What’s your track record? Did you successfully complete your professional qualifications, learn a language, or start a business? If not, there will be other comparable achievements that seemed impossible at the time, yet you conquered them. It shouldn’t take you long to establish that those Beliefs above just aren’t true. E is for ENERGISE – Next, reflect on how you’re feeling now. What’s happened to your mood? Can you see any solutions that were invisible in that pit of despair? Are you ready to get going again in the knowledge that this video challenge is entirely within your capabilities? The Inner Critic won’t necessarily go away, but you’ll be able to vanquish it in moments by reminding yourself of previous achievements. This exercise is especially useful if you write down your responses in your workbook. It’s then easy for you to whip out the document in difficult times. Although it can take a matter of moments for our mood to slump, it can just as quickly move in the opposite direction. In short, trust the evidence, not your emotions. 3. How to Use This Course: I've designed this course so you can build up gradually to that 2-minute video. Often, courses start simple, then suddenly get more complicated - like this famous internet meme. Here, though, I'll guide you through each stage, with the help of activities to apply what you've learned. In Module 1, you'll establish the purpose for your video. You'll consider your audience, the goal, and where your video will live. This helps shape the storyline, which you'll develop in Module 2. Using a simple structure, you'll draft a compelling outline to get your message across succinctly. With a clear plan in place, you'll start recording in Module 3. You'll find a suitable location, get the right kit, and create right conditions to record your videos consistently. In Module 4, you'll focus on your performance, optimising your voice and thinking about how you'll appear on camera. Then you'll put it all together to make that video. With your recording done, in Module 5, you'll edit that video, get some constructive feedback, add captions, then unleash it upon the world - or, at least, a little corner of the internet. In the Conclusion, I'll help you decide on your next steps so you can make video a part of your business. You can follow the course entirely at your own pace and revisit the content at any time. All the videos include captions, so you can watch with the sound off, if necessary. If you haven't done so already, please download the course workbook. Here you can complete activities and make notes. The workbook includes a weekly planner. I'd like you to use this to plan when you'll work through the course content and activities - then it's much more likely that you'll produce that video. I've included time estimates for each module below. For activities where you're filming yourself, it might be easier to do those early in the morning when everyone else is still in bed. Have a think about how it might all fit into your routine. We're all great at sabotaging ourselves by setting unrealistic goals. None of this course is prescriptive, so please use it as a basis to start from. You will know what'll work best for your business. If you get stuck at any point, please add a comment under the video, or you're welcome to email me. OK, let's get started! 4. Activity 1: All you need to do now is hold your phone up in front of you. Press record and then explain who you are and what your business does. Sounds easy, doesn't it? You know who you are. You know what your business does. You created it. But this is really hard, isn't it? Our brain has a spasm and the words get in the wrong place. This video is important, though. Firstly, it gets you making videos - which is what this course is all about. Secondly, you'll be able to see how far you've come by the end of the course. So, please make the video. You don't need to share it with anybody. It's just for you. And you can delete it at the end of course, if you want to, or store it in a secure vault. Your mission is simply to make a shit video. You're not worrying about the position of the camera, what you're wearing, or what's coming out of your mouth. You're making a shit video. When we're feeling nervous, the best solution is to take action. Action precedes motivation. Once you're doing something, your synapses start firing and you'll gain momentum. Watch it back (possibly through your fingers). Yes, it's ghastly, but I promise it'll get easier. And your videos will be a hundred times better if you follow the rest of the course. Go on, make that shit video. In the next module, we'll create a sense of purpose for your video. I'll see you there. 5. MODULE 1: PURPOSE - What's Your Goal?: Most of us have the attention span of a flea these days. That's why you're going to keep this first video to two minutes. If you're browsing LinkedIn, you probably wouldn't watch a rambling 40-minute video. You're looking for content that grabs your attention and delivers the information you need. You might watch a longer video by someone you already like and trust - that's a good investment of your time. For prospective clients, though, you need to pique their curiosity first. One way to keep it short is by deciding on a specific purpose for your video. What's the aim or goal? Is it: - Brand awareness? Building on other types of promotion to boost your visibility. - Selling a specific product or service? - Getting more people to your website so they sign up for your mailing list? - Educating viewers and establishing yourself as an authority - for example, explaining the impact of changes in your industry. - Keeping people on your website - as I mentioned in the introduction, Daniel Priestley says that potential customers need around 7 hours' content to help them make a purchasing decision. - Reducing the number of routine emails or phonecalls. People might be more inclined to watch a two-minute video than wade through a long text-based FAQ. If you have more than one goal, you need more than one video. Each video should be short and focused. Your head might now be fizzing with ideas for all sorts of videos. That's great! Capture them all in your workbook. Seeing the possibilities will help motivate you. For the course project, though, you're going to focus on a 2-minute introductory video. Decide on the ultimate goal - whether that's subscribers, awareness, or sales - and make a note in your workbook. Now you have your goal, we can work on the tone. 6. What's the Tone?: You've established the purpose or goal of your video. Now we're going to think more closely about who will be watching it: your audience. How do you want them to *feel* when they watch your video? You already know what action they should take, but what will be their emotional response? What feelings are you trying to evoke? And are they appropriate? Here are some typical approaches: - Amused - humour is a powerful tactic, but has to be used carefully. It can be especially helpful if your industry is perceived as stuffy, such as accountancy. Finding something funny to say about VAT might lighten the tone and encourage people to watch. However, you need to also emphasise your expertise. Clients would rather you were thorough than a complete hoot. - Informed - if you establish a knowledge gap at the beginning of a video, then fill it by the end, your audience will go away with a sense of satisfaction. They'll also peg you as someone who is helpful and authoritative. - Entertained - for businesses that are supposed to be fun, such as adventure holidays, you need to keep the tone lively. Nobody will get excited if your video sounds like the 10 O'clock news. - Reassured - in stressful industries like tax or health, we don't necessarily want someone to be entertaining. Obviously, there are edge cases, but you need to tread carefully. Most people will want reassurance. If they're entrusting their bodies or finances to you, they'll want to get a strong sense of you as a person. This is why video can be so powerful - they'll hear your voice, see your body language, and assess your manner. - Anxious - in a few situations, you'll actually want your audience to feel anxious. If you need them to act quickly, for example to submit their tax return, ramping up the drama helps. Obviously, this isn't a good tactic if you're a therapist. - Inspired - Coaches want potential clients to take action, to feel as though they're capable of taking that next step. Your video can incorporate a mix of tones, but don't go overboard. Aim for a maximum of two feelings at any time - which is good advice for life. In the sales videos for this course, I was aiming for reassured and entertained. I wanted to you to feel as though you were capable of making videos (which you are) and also to provide some entertainment, as this is a good way of reducing tension. If I start barking at you like a motivational speaker, you might hide under the table. Think about your audience. What do you want them to feel? How do they want to feel? Choose your two feelings and add them to your workbook. 7. What's the Platform?: Finally, you need to think about where you're going to put your video. We'll go into the technicalities later, but for now you just need to decide on the destination. This influences the content of your video. - YouTube - if your video is publicly available on YouTube, anyone can see it. You might just pop up in search results or in the queue, even if this person has never heard of you before. Consequently, you'll need to provide more context. At the same time, though, you'll need to keep it succinct - on YouTube, you're competing with squillions of other videos. - Social media - depending on the channel, your audience is likely to be slightly more focussed. Your viewers might already be following you, or your content has been validated by a mutual connection. If it's a Facebook group you've created, then those members already know who you are. As with YouTube, though, you're competing with a lot of other content. - Your website - if someone has found your website, they're already seeking a solution to a specific problem. They'll have a quick poke around, then look for more content that helps them make a decision - those magic 7 hours of content I mentioned earlier. On your own turf, you're not competing as much and you've already got somebody's attention. If the video is on your homepage, though, you still need to hold that visitor's attention. Once they realise you have what they need, they'll dig deeper into your website, where hopefully you'll have other video content for them to watch. Think about what audience you're aiming for and where you'll find them. Is it a general or cold audience who are encountering you for the first time? A slightly warm audience who might've seen you before and know what you do? Or an existing hot audience who want more content to help them take action? Make some notes in your workbook on the destination for your video and who's likely to see it. You might need several slightly different versions of the same video. In Module 5, I'll guide you through uploading a video to YouTube and your website. 8. Activity 2: In this module, we've done a lot of hoofwork to establish the purpose of your video. These exercises will make it much easier to structure your video and create a compelling message. Once you feel more confident of what you're saying, it's easier to get out there and say it. If you haven't done so already, choose the video you want to work on first and decide: - The aim or goal - what do you want to achieve? Awareness, sales, subscribers. - The tone. Entertaining, reassuring, inspiring. - The destination - where will your video live and what audience is likely to see it? Are they cold, warm, or piping hot? I'd like you to record another short video - nothing fancy - talking about the type of video you want to create. Again, you can delete this one afterwards - it's just to get you use to being on camera. Don't worry about the technicalities, just press record and talk about what you're hoping to achieve with your video. Add these details to your workbook. They're going to help you in the next module, where we'll work out exactly what you're going to say. I'll see you there! 9. MODULE 2: PLANNING - Keeping it Short: We're aiming to keep this first video to two minutes. That doesn't sound like much time at all, does it? How can you possibly say anything meaningful in 120 seconds? Well, it's all about carefully crafting your story. You're going to get a clear message across with no waffle. It's fine for promotional or instructional videos to sound more scripted, because they need to be succinct and focused. You're delivering meaning in the shortest possible time. You wouldn't use a script for a podcast, but a video has to capture and hold someone's attention when there's an awful lot of competition. You don't want filler such as "today I'm going to talk to you about .." - jump straight to the juicy stuff. You're getting your audience from A —> B via the most direct route — no digressions, dead ends, or unexpected destinations. We're going to use the important work you did in the previous module to create a storyboard for your video - a series of steps to guide your audience from A to B. But we're going to start with why ... 10. Start with Why: You might have noticed at the beginning of this course, I started by explaining *why* you needed to overcome that resistance to videoing yourself. I didn't launch straight into how to use all the technical gubbins. That's because I wanted to engage your emotions *first*. It's the same with your video. In his hugely popular book Start with Why, Simon Sinek explains that when beginning a project, we usually start with the what and the how. We get bogged down by the mechanics and details, seldom pausing to consider our motivation. It’s our neocortex — the rational part of our brain — that deals with what and how. Although this more evolved area is vital for grappling with complexities, it’s slow to fire up. The more dominant part of our brain is the limbic area which governs the emotions — this is the bit that’s activated very quickly on social media. If we satisfy the emotional reasons for doing something first, it’s easier to work out exactly what we’re going to do and how. In your video, then, you need to start with why, then move on to what and how. Typically, this might involve identifying a problem or creating a knowledge gap and then explaining your solution or expertise - that's the what. Then then the *how* is your call to action - what do they need to do next? We'll work out this storyline in the next video. 11. Finding Your Storyline: You've already got your beginning, middle, and end - why, what, and how. Now we're going to add some more detail. A typical structure is: - Identifying the problem - Explaining the solution - Introducing yourself as someone who can help - Describing the transformation your client will experience - Ending with a call to action If you lead with the problem, you get that important emotional response from the audience. They recognise what you're describing. Initially they feel anxious, but then you swiftly follow up with the solution. Phew, they relax a bit. You've got their attention and trust. After all, you understand their predicament. Now you introduce yourself as someone who can help. Although you're promoting your business, the video has to be about the audience. Once you've said who you are and established your credentials, switch the focus back to them. Describe the transformation they'll experience if they work with you or use your product. Then tell them how they can get started. I've included examples below. Use your workbook to note down some ideas. Next we'll start building on those points. 12. Drafting Your Script: You've got a rock solid structure for your video. Now we're going to develop it into a script. You won't be reading from a script in the final video, but it's still important to write one. I'll explain why in a moment. We're aiming for a 2-minute video. A normal speaking rate is around 150 words per minute, so you want a 300-word script. Revisit that video structure and work out roughly how much time you have for each section. It's probably easier to work in seconds. It might look like this: - Problem (30 seconds, 75 words) - Solution (20 seconds, 50 words) - Introduce myself (20 seconds, 50 words) - Transformation (30 seconds, 75 words) - Call to action (20 seconds, 50 words) That looks brief, doesn't it? But we're keeping this succinct. Now start drafting that script in your workbook. Imagine you're talking on the phone to a prospective client. Be friendly and write as you would speak. Don't use any words that you wouldn't actually say. Avoid long sentences, too - you don't want to turn blue halfway through. Keep in mind the goal and tone from the previous module. You might want to transplant the draft to your computer so you can track the word count. Revise the script until you have 300 words you're happy with. There's no need to get them perfect - this is just the basis for what you'll say in your video. You've done quite a bit of writing. Now it's time to get back in front of the camera. I'd like you to record yourself reading from the script you've just prepared. You'll use prompts, rather than a script, in the final version - but for now you're still getting used to filming yourself and perfecting the content. We'll work on your performance later in the course. So, record yourself reading the script. Then watch it. Don't worry if you can't bear to look at yourself - we're focusing on the content for now. How does it sound? Remember, you can't do anything about your voice. And your voice is absolutely fine. Is everything clear? Are there any words you stumble over? Long sentences? Jargon? Tweak your script, making it as tight and compelling as possible. Research shows that people are better at retaining words they can visualise, such as avocado or weasel, rather than abstract terms, like process, or change. That's not to say that you should introduce random weasels, rather that you need at least a few visual words as hooks for the rest of the content. People might not remember exactly what you said, but they might recall an image in their heads. In the next video, we're going to turn your script into prompts. 13. Generating Prompts: Now you've tweaked your script, you're going to start practising it to improve your performance in the final video. What you'll do now is to distil your script down into bullet points for you to talk around. This way, you'll have a clear structure without it sounding too scripted. I'm going to show you the technique I use for scary public speaking events. I want you to take your script and reduce it down to bullet points. Each chunk becomes a short sentence to summarise the content. You're creating prompts for yourself. If you're a book editor, here's what your prompts might look like: - Editing your own work is hideous. - You need another pair of eyes and a fresh perspective. - My name is Muriel and I'm an editor with 20 years' experience. - You'll get a perfect manuscript ready for submission. - Click below to book a call with me. I've included some other examples below. Practice talking around these prompts, seven times. Seven is the magic number. You're not trying to remember the exact words from the original script. Instead you're creating different pathways through the content. You then have a memory bank of different versions. The final version you perform will be a composite - which means it's both structured and more spontaneous sounding. It doesn't matter if you have to keep stopping and staring at your prompts. Just try to talk around those points seven times. Why seven? That's enough to get comfortable with the content, but you shouldn't get too bored of hearing it. You'll be able to look at your prompts in the final video, too, as I'll show you editing techniques for making it appear seamless. 14. Activity 3: In this module, you've created your storyboard, written a script, and created some prompts. This probably all feels quite time-consuming, especially when the end result is only a two-minute video. However, this workflow will become instinctive and you'll be able to deploy it rapidly for future videos. It's also useful for talks, blog posts, and other content. The more preparation you do on the structure and content, the more headspace you'll have later to focus on your performance. Knowing what you're going to say will give you confidence. Once you've practiced seven times, video yourself! You're still not aiming for a polished performance. This time, you're getting used to talking around your bullet points on camera. We're building up the layers gradually. Again, you can put this video in a secure vault at the end of the course. As you'll know, we behave differently when there's a camera in front of us, so we need to get used to it staring at us. It's all about gradually getting more comfortable and improving one element each day. We're not trying to do everything at once. Soon you'll be able to do all these things simultaneously, like a one-man band, and you'll create videos quickly. Now you've got your content, we can sort out the technology. That's what we'll do in the next module. 15. MODULE 3: PREPARING - Finding a Suitable Location: When you're recording, the number one enemy is noise. I'll show you later how to remove low continuous noises such as computer hum, but it's hard to edit out somebody shouting behind you or car horns blasting. Also, you don't want people wandering into shot wearing just their pants. Essentially, you need an environment you can control. Admittedly, that's quite a tall order, especially when our movements are restricted. If you're recording indoors, try to find a spot that you can control. It should be an area where you can close doors and windows, switch off noisy equipment, and adjust the natural light with blinds. All these elements will improve the quality of your video. With the right spot, you'll be able to create the optimum conditions consistently. Ideally, you want an uncluttered backdrop, too. You don't want viewers peering at your knickknacks or making judgements about your books. Maybe you can establish a corner with a carefully curated collection of Booker Prize-winning novels and a well-tended plant. Rooms with soft furnishings are better, as they'll absorb the sound. Hard surfaces bounce the sound waves around, causing echo. It can sound as though you're trapped down a well. You can soften harsher environments by hanging up some blankets on the walls or using these acoustic panels. Some people record outside. This is usually because daylight is very flattering (we'll come on to lighting in a moment) and you can also position yourself against an attractive backdrop. Of course, you can't then control the environment, unless it's your own garden, and only so far if you live in a terrace. If you're recording outside, it's better to do so at 6am in the summer. It's light but quieter and cooler. We're not overly affected by sunshine here in the UK, but if there is a heatwave, you don't want to be squinting and sweaty on your video. In your workbook, note down some potential locations and consider whether they fulfil the criteria. You might not be able to find the perfect spot, but what's the best compromise? Or come up with a few possibilities to try. And what's appropriate to your business? If you're a gardener, it would be a bit odd if you were lurking in basement for your video. If you're a physical therapist, clients probably want to see your treatment room. You're aiming to set up a studio. "Studio" might sound rather grand. I just mean a reliable location where you can easily access and set up your equipment. The easier it is, the more likely you are to do it. You're reducing the resistance. It might simply mean keeping a corner of a room clear. For my videos, I placed a chair in front of a white wall. This keeps it simple and means you can't see the piles of paper and crisp packets elsewhere in my office. My videoing equipment is all within a few feet and it takes me around two minutes to get everything set up. That's not enough time to come up with a decent excuse. I'll talk you through that equipment in the next video. 16. Getting the Right Kit: Getting the perfect recording equipment could be a lifetime's mission. Unless you're a filmmaker, though, it doesn't need to be perfect. If you're a coach, viewers are interested in **you**. Well, really, they're interested in **themselves** - are you the right person to solve their problem? Your aim is for them not to even notice the video quality. You don't want them to be wowed by it, you just want them not to be distracted by glitches. We're going to cover all of that. If making videos becomes a central part of your business, it's worth investing in decent kit. It'll save you a lot of time, produce better quality videos, and make your life easier. While you're getting started, though, you don't want to spend too much money. You need a certain amount of experience to understand what might be a good investment for you. An expensive camera is no substitute for learning the craft of what makes an effective video. In the next few videos, I'll guide you through the different options for cameras, microphones, tripods, and lighting. You can then decide what's right for you now, and what you might want in future. I'll also demonstrate the cheapest possible solutions to improve that video on a tight budget. Assuming you already have a decent smartphone, you can get away with spending less than £100 on other equipment. Let's get geeky! 17. Choosing and Using a Camera: Of course, you almost certainly have a camera already. Smartphones often include surprisingly good quality cameras. If you have an iPhone, the quality is very high. This is part of the reason why they're so bloody expensive. Unfortunately, Androids tend to be more variable. Unless you have one at the top end (give an example), the video quality is likely to be disappointing. This is my 4-year-old Android and the video quality is a bit shit. It looks OK on the phone screen, but you'll notice the difference on a monitor. Even if your phone is elderly like mine, it's definitely sufficient to get started. I'd recommend that Android users download a free app called Open Camera. This gives you a lot more control over the settings. This is an iPhone 8 (probably the same vintage as the Android), but as you can see, the quality is a lot better. The iPhone is simple to use and the settings are easily accessible. Whatever phone you have, you need to use the rear camera. As you'll notice this lens is bigger than the one on the front, which is called the selfie camera. The bigger the lens, the higher the quality. You'll encounter an immediate problem, though. If you're using the rear camera, how on earth are you supposed to see yourself? There are a couple of options, some more satisfactory than others: - Place a mirror behind your phone so you can see a reflection of the viewfinder. - Use the front or selfie camera to find the right position, mark it with a piece of tape on the floor, then go and flip the phone around so you're using the rear camera. - Connect your phone to a monitor with an HDMI cable so you can see yourself on the big screen. You'll need an adapter like this one for iPhone and this one for Android. - Get someone else to film you. This makes life a lot easier, as you're not having to think at all about the equipment. However, it's probably going to make you feel more self-conscious. Before you start recording, put your phone in airplane mode so you're not interrupted by calls or pesky notifications. This is perhaps one of the main disadvantages of using your phone. While it's pressed into service as a video camera, you can't use it as a phone or to Google any technical problems. It can be a faff to get it set up each time and to find exactly the right spot. If you have an old phone knocking around that has a decent camera, you could give it a new job. If you want to invest some money in a dedicated digital camera, there are a few options. This is a basic point and shoot digital camera that costs around £250. The quality is good, but there are limitations. First, you have the same issue of not being able to see yourself. Secondly, you can't attach an external microphone. As I'll explain in a later video, that's very important. This is a digital SLR that costs around £650. It has this fancy articulated viewfinder so you can see yourself and various ways of attaching external microphones and other gubbins. This particular model also works as a webcam and takes great still shots. It's fine to get started with your phone, especially while you're building your confidence. If you do decide to invest in a proper camera for videoing yourself, make sure it has the following: - An input jack for attaching an external microphone. - A viewfinder that you can see when you're in front of the camera. - Autofocus and facial recognition. This means you won't become blurry if your head is bobbing about. The precise camera or phone settings you need of course will vary. Here are the basic settings for creating a good quality video: You want a video resolution of 1920 x 1080. There's probably an option to record in 4K. That's not necessary unless you're planning a premiere in Leicester Square. The higher the resolution, the more space it'll take up on your phone or camera's memory. Make sure you've got enough space or some additional cards you can pop in. Don't be tempted to reduce the resolution below 1920 x 1080, as the quality will look poor on larger screens and your editing options will be limited. The other setting you need is FPS, or frames per second. This is simply how many frames your camera captures each second. The more frames, the smoother the result. For this type of video, it should be set to 30 fps. If you're using Open Camera on an Android, here's how to configure it. And here's how to configure it on an iPhone. If you're not sure how configure these settings on your device, a quick search on YouTube always yields the answer. There are lots more settings, especially if you have a fancy camera, but those are the basics to get you started. 18. Stabilizing Your Camera: Unless you're promoting action adventures, you don't want wobbly shots. Holding your camera at arm's length or waving it about on a selfie stick won't look professional, either. You need to find a way of stabilising your phone or camera. Depending on your filming location, there might be a conveniently placed filing cabinet or bookcase where your phone can perch. Otherwise, it's a good idea to get a clamp or tripod. Here are a few options: - If you're using a phone, these gooseneck clamps are great. They attach securely to a desk or table and you can bend them into any position. They're also really handy if you're using your phone for a Zoom call and don't want your arms to get tired. They cost around a tenner. Make sure they're attached to a sturdy surface, otherwise it'll look as though you're bobbing about on a boat. - This contraption is a GorillaPod for cameras. It'll grip to almost anything - bookcases, doors, chairs - or you can just use it as a desk tripod. It also looks like something from an H G Wells novel. It costs around £20. For phones, there's the Rhodesy Octopus, which costs around £16. - If you're using an expensive camera or don't have anything handy to clamp on to, you'll want a proper tripod. These start at around £20. The cheaper ones tend to be very lightweight, which is great for travelling, but they can be unstable, especially with heavier cameras. This one cost £22. It's quite sturdy, with good bracing, and is fully adjustable. [pause to show features] There's also a tiny spirit level for ensuring you're not wonky. You can get attachments like this for securing a phone. Make sure you get a tripod that's tall enough. So far, I've managed to buy two that are slightly shorter than me, meaning I have to stoop if I'm making a standing video. Experiment with different types of stabilisation and make some notes in your workbook. What's the best solution? Where should you position it? You can make a few short videos to compare different approaches. Make sure you're not too close to the camera. If it's an extreme close-up, it can look quite confrontational. Equally, you don't want to look as though you're miles away. Include your head and shoulders in the frame and allow some space above your head. If you film yourself full-length, then you have to worry about polishing your shoes, keeping your legs together, and not showing your knickers. You should keep the camera at eye level, too. If it's too high, you'll look tiny and viewers will be able to see up your nose. If it's too low, you'll be looking down on them. You want to be looking straight at them. In some videos, the speaker seems to be talking to somebody else off-camera - either an interviewer or imaginary friend. This is a good technique in documentaries, but it's not good for achieving intimacy with your prospective client. Once you've found the right position on your tripod or other support, you can mark it with a pen or some tape. Don't imagine for a moment that you'll remember the right spot. 19. Selecting a Microphone: Sound quality is more important than video quality. You're right in people's ears, especially if they're wearing headphones. Even if you have any expensive phone or camera, the quality of the built-in microphone will be terrible. They're designed to pick up everything between you and the device. There are a few different options, depending on your budget and the quality you're aiming for. I've included links below, so you can find what's right for you. It's a good idea to read customer reviews to make sure it works with your camera or phone. Unfortunately, manufacturers like Apple are absolute menaces for changing sockets between models. This is a fairly cheap clip-on microphone from Boya - it costs around £17. You can plug it into a phone or camera. If you have an iPhone, you'll need an adapter that costs about 7 quid. A more expensive, but very popular, option is this clip-on microphone by Rode. This costs around £60. Again, you'll need an adapter for it to work with an iPhone. With clip-on microphones, you need clothing you can clip them onto, of course. Don't do what I did once, which was to shove it down my jumper. All I could hear on the recording was the pounding of my heart. You want to position it around here - close enough for it to pick up your voice, but far enough away that it's not distorted. You'll need to experiment. If you have a bigger budget, you can get this fancy wireless mic from Rode. This is favoured by many YouTubers and costs around £160. If you need to move around a lot in your video - for instance you're an aerobics teacher - a wireless mic is much better. Then you won't get tangled up when you're wriggling about on the floor. Otherwise, they're an expensive piece of kit and it's something else you have to remember to charge. I mainly use this Zoom H2n recorder. It works like a dictaphone - so I can use it on its own to make recordings - and I can also attach it to my camera with a cable. This is a more expensive option at around £130, but it's the most versatile solution if you want to do other types of recordings, such as podcasts, and you have an SLR camera. I attach it to a small tripod or boom arm. If you're on a tighter budget or are using a phone, I'd recommend the BOYA or the Rode. Whatever you use, make sure it's near your mouth. This setup is what's called a shotgun microphone. Although they're often good quality and you look like a news reporter, you can end up with too much space between you and the microphone. The further away you are, the weaker the acoustic signal, i.e. you. The microphone picks up much more of the ambient noise in the room and it'll also sound echoey. All microphones will pick up background noise, resulting in a hum. I'll show you how to remove that in the editing module. For now, decide on what microphone you want to get. Maybe you can borrow one and see what it sounds like. Start with the best you can comfortably afford. You can always upgrade it later. 20. Setting up the Lighting: Ideally, you want soft, bright lighting for your video. Natural light is best, but it tends to be inconsistent and unpredictable. You might have brilliant sunshine at the beginning, then suddenly you're plunged into darkness. If you're filming indoors, daylight can enhance your video. If possible, position yourself with daylight shining on your face. You don't want it behind you, otherwise the camera will focus on the light source and not you. If the sunshine is too strong, you might be able to control it by adjusting a blind, but watch out for stripy faces. Domestic lighting can be problematic, too. Fluorescent overhead lights tend to cause a flickering effect in videos and they can also be quite harsh. If you want to make video part of your business, it's worth investing in some LED lights. You can get ring lights that attach to your phone. Although these are convenient, you might be dazzled, as they're shining right in your eyes while you're speaking. You can dim the light, but then it might not be bright enough. Another option is these dimmable LED lights. They're incredibly versatile and you can place them on the floor or a desk. They come with different coloured filters and plug into either the mains or a USB port. If you do a lot of webinars or video calls with clients, you can put them either side of your monitor and instantly look a lot brighter and healthier. They fold away easily, too, so won't take up a lot of space. They cost around £65. I use one of these behind me to illuminate the wall. This means I don't get any ominous shadows and also it makes the wall look plain and white, even though it's actually a bit grey and textured. If you have the space and the money, these box lights create a lovely soft glow. Although they fold down into a carry case, they do take up a lot of room while you're using them. They cost around £90. I think the simplest solution is to have daylight in front of you, then an additional LED light each side. If, like me, you wear glasses, make sure you don't have the light shining directly on your face. You can get anti-glare lenses, too. Rooms with light walls will, of course, bounce the light around, whereas rooms with dark furnishings will absorb it. You probably don't want to redecorate, so these reflectors can help. Position them under your face and they'll bounce the light upwards, giving you a youthful glow. This particular model costs £25 and comes with a dark cover which absorbs light, if there's too much of it. It folds away and you can hang it on a hook. There's a knack to getting it back in the bag and not looking startled when it unfurls itself. A cheaper option is to tape some white paper to the floor in front of you. Anything white will help bounce the light around. Experiment with some different setups and make notes in your workbook. Record short videos and assess the lighting. Is it too gloomy or too bright? If I have too much light, I tend to look like a moomin in specs. Your camera or phone will automatically adjust for the lighting conditions. However, it'll improve the quality significantly if you've done your best to get a good balance manually. In short, don't rely on daylight. 21. Activity 4: Well done! Now you've got your recording studio set up. Although it might not look particularly sophisticated at the moment, you have all the right elements. Once you get into the swing of videoing, you'll be able to gradually replace your basic equipment and find other suitable locations. For now, though, it's absolutely fine. It's easy to put off recording until we have exactly the right kit. Remember - we're not aiming for perfection - it's about you getting your message out there. While you're experimenting with equipment and locations, make sure you document what you did and the results. This'll save you lots of time in future, as you'll be able to recreate successful setups and avoid disastrous combinations. Once you've found the right formula, take a photo or draw a diagram. We always think we'll remember, but of course it doesn't quite happen. I'd now like you to record another video, this time using your recording studio. Talk around the bullet points you created in the previous module, but don't worry about getting them exactly right. Your aim here is to test out your technical setup. Afterwards, watch the video back: - Is the lighting good enough? Are there any sinister shadows. Are you squinting? Is there any flickering? - Is the audio clear? - Are there any distractions in the background? If it's not quite right, adjust and try again, making sure you document everything in your workbook. Create a kit list and add any helpful instructions for setting it up. Include reminders for yourself, such as switching off noisy equipment, closing windows, and so on. If you're really organised, you could also label your cables. You have a cracking script and a recording studio. Now we can start working on your performance. I'll see you in the next module. 22. MODULE 4: PERFORMANCE - Optimizing Your Voice: You probably don't like hearing the sound of your own voice. But there's not much you can do about it. What you *can* control, though, is your vocal performance. There are a few techniques that'll make you sound better. 1. Warm up - getting your lips and jaw moving will help you articulate the words, especially if you've only just got out of bed. I've included some warmup exercises below, as they're far too embarrassing to demonstrate. 2. Keep hydrated - if your throat is dry, you'll start to sound squeaky - which isn't what you're aiming for. Obviously, don't overdo it with the water, though. Apparently, needing a wee can improve your performance, but it's a risky tactic once you hit middle age. Coffee can have a dehydrating effect, too. 3. Don't eat anything sticky - yummy foods like chocolate and peanut butter coat your mouth and make it harder to speak clearly. In terms of your vocal delivery, think back to the tone you established in module 1. If you're aiming to be reassuring, you don't want to sound like a second-hand car salesman. To inspire people, you'll need a correspondingly animated voice. Remember, too, that people will be watching your video individually - you're not addressing a crowd. Try to make it sound more conversational as though you're talking directly to them. You're not belting out a showtune on a reality TV show. I really struggled with this at first. As a former university lecturer, I was used to projecting my voice across a large room and establishing authority. With you video, though, you're aiming for intimacy. Once you're more comfortable with your script, you can also start placing emphasis on certain words or pausing briefly to let your audience absorb an important point. Think of your voice as an instrument that you're using to convey ideas and emotions. At first, you're bound to sound self-conscious and possibly appalled. Gradually, though, you'll start relaxing and sounding more natural. It takes time. 23. Managing Your Appearance: I'm not going to say a lot about clothes, hair and makeup - it's not that sort of course. However, it's a good idea to consider your appearance. We're not talking about radical transformations here - just making sure you're comfortable and presentable on screen. Identifying a suitable outfit and routine can save you time and give you confidence. If you're using a clip-on microphone, it's better to wear a shirt. It's hard to clip them on a t-shirt or jumper. With shirts, make sure your collar hasn't gone awry and that it hasn't come undone. If you have a microphone on a stand, then you've got more choice. In that case, jumpers or t-shirts can be easier as they tend to stay in one place and don't suddenly show your bra. Find an outfit that's practical, comfortable, and behaves itself during recording. In the early days, I made countless videos where my hair was standing up like an antenna. If your hair has a mind of its own, gel or wax can be useful for keeping it in place. You don't want it suddenly swinging in front of your face. I'm hopelessly unqualified to talk about makeup. All I'd say is, if you're not normally someone who wears a lot of makeup, don't go overboard - you want to look like yourself on camera. We want to see lovely you. Depending on your skin tone, the lighting might lose some of the definition in your face, so makeup can help. Foundation is useful for hiding sudden spottiness. Keep a mirror nearby so you can check yourself just before recording. Even if you can see the viewfinder on your camera, it's hard to notice problems on a tiny screen. Get your studio set up *before* you deal with your appearance. Otherwise, you could end up looking cross and sweaty on video. And remember: unless you're a stylist your audience isn't focusing on your hair and makeup - they're interested in what you're saying. As with the video itself, you don't want them to notice your appearance, but neither do you want them to be distracted by it. Make some notes about your routine for getting ready - it'll then be much easier to leap into action and overcome that resistance. 24. The 10-Video Challenge: Now we're going to put everything together and create your final video. Of course, you won't get there immediately. You're going to create 10 videos. Be prepared to ditch the first recording - it'll be terrible. It's like making pancakes - the first one always looks like an old dishcloth, so you put it in the bin. By the third run, you'll be warmed up and more comfortable. As this is such as short video, it doesn't take long to create lots of versions from which to choose. Here's how to prepare for your 10-video challenge. First, block out some time in your calendar or planner for this activity. You'll need around two hours to get everything set up and to record yourself ten times. It's not going to work if you're in a hurry. The technology will sense that you're stressed and it'll thwart you. Also try to choose a time when you're unlikely to be interrupted. The Day Before. Make sure your outfit is ready so you're not rummaging in the laundry basket just beforehand. Before your recording session, consult your technology checklist. Is everything ready and available? Do you need to charge any devices or change the batteries? Get your technology set up. Consult your equipment list to get the right kit and settings. Arrange your lights, tripods, and backgrounds. Get yourself set up - outfit on, hair brushed, and any makeup applied. Get your voice ready by performing some vocal exercises and drinking water. Some people also find power poses helpful. This comes from Amy Cuddy's phenomenally successful TED Talk. Here, she explained how striking poses that take up more physical space can boost our confidence. There's the starfish pose where you put your hands in the air, and the Wonderwoman pose where you put them on your hips. The tiara might be a bit much, though. You do it just before the video, not during. This doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth a try. Make sure you've got your prompts. You're now going to talk around those prompts on camera, 10 times. Remember, the first one will be dreadful, but it has to be done. Get it over with and move on. Hit record and get started with version 1. Talk around your points. If you fluff one of the points, pause, clap three times, pause again then restart just that point - don't go back to the beginning. The clapping might sound foolish, but you'll see why it's important in the next module. Don't worry about getting any of the 10 versions perfect. At the editing stage, you'll stitch together the best bits. You just need to make sure that you get each of your five points right at least once in each version. You want to end up with ten separate recordings. Keep going. It'll feel weird and uncomfortable at first. Then gradually you'll relax and look less haunted. And we'll fix all sorts of things at the editing stage. Remember that you're talking to an individual person. It might help to attach a smiley face to your camera to make it look less intimidating. So, get recording and I'll see you again when you're done. 25. Activity 6: I suspect you're quite tired from the videoing. But I hope you're also proud of yourself. If you can bear it, take a look at the video you made at the beginning of the course. I'm sure you've improved massively. Every time you make a video, you can make it a tiny bit better. At the moment, you'll be very conscious of your performance and getting the technology right. With practice, though, you'll do all of this instinctively. In your workbook, write down how you feel about videoing now. Are you more confident? Is there anything else you want to try? Make some notes for your next recording session. For now, though, we're going to work with your current recording. In the next module, I'll show you how to edit your video, get constructive feedback, add captions, and then upload it. I'll see you there! 26. MODULE 5: PRODUCING - Editing Your Recording: Unless you're a one-take wonder, we've got some editing to do. In this video, I'll show you how to polish the video, enhance the audio quality and add some visual interest. You'll also discover why I made you clap every time you fluffed your words. For this tutorial, I'm guiding you through software called Camtasia. Although there are lots of alternatives out there, I think Camtasia is great for getting started. It's simple to use, but will also grow with you for quite a long time. And once you grasp the basics with Camtasia, it will be a lot easier for you to learn more complicated software such as Adobe Premiere or Apple's Final Cut. It costs around £200 to buy, but there's a 30-day free trial, which should be enough time for you to work through this activity and see whether you like it. Even if you choose not to use Camtasia, the underlying process I show you will apply to most video editing software. This is a longer video than the others, as there's quite a lot to cover. You can pause it and also slow down the speed if necessary. I'm demonstrating on a PC, but it will be similar on a Mac. First, open Camtasia, you'll see this pop up window, which has links to video tutorials and webinars, which are very useful afterwards, but for now, we're going to get stuck into a new project. Click New Project up here. And this is Camtasia. This big square in the middle is your canvas. That's where you're going to put together your masterpiece. Down here is the timeline. And this is the playhead - you can move around in your video down here, as we'll see in a moment. This is the media bin. The media bin holds all the files related to your project so that you can assemble. The bin is a container. To get started, we're going to import the video that you created. Click Import Media, find your video file. And click open, you can see there's a tiny version of me in the media bin. If you've got a few different clips and you want to make sure you've got the right one, right-click on that file and preview. And you'll see a preview of yourself looking a bit shifty. Right-click it or command-click on a Mac and choose Add to Timeline at Playhead. That video is now on my timeline down here. And you can see the first frame in the canvas. Now that you've got some video, you can move through it using the playhead. It's worth doing this a few times that you can get used to seeing yourself making lots of silly faces. It does get easier with time. You'll also see on the timeline that the waveforms are visible. This is the audio track of your recording. This is why I got you to clap three times and pause between takes because you should be able to pick them out. That there is three claps and also you can see me clapping in the video. So I know that that's a retake and there's another one there. This makes it a lot faster for identifying those areas that you need to edit, particularly if it's a long video. Depending on your recording location, there might be a background hum. It's easier to detect if you're listening with headphones. So pop your headphones on now and press play. You can also press the spacebar. If you can detect a background hum, it's very easy to remove in Camtasia. Come over here to audio effects. Click on that and then there's an effect on the top called noise removal. Click with your mouse and drag it onto your video track and it says effect added. Over here, we've got the properties for noise removal, you can actually adjust it. First, listen back to your audio by pressing play or the spacebar to see if it's improved, if it's still a bit hummy, you can increase the amount of noise removal. Don't set it too high, though, because it will remove too much of your voice. What Camtasia is trying to do here is to detect what's background noise and what's you, and obviously it doesn't know for sure. So you don't want it to take away too much. You can keep adjusting this and undoing it and having another go until it sounds right. You're never going to get it absolutely perfect. So it's a matter of getting a good trade off between quality and noise reduction. This technique only works on a consistent background noise - is Camtasia is searching for a specific pattern and removing it. The next job is to trim your video at the beginning and end because there will be some moments where you're faffing about trying to get yourself settled in. Here I've got some general faffing and also afalse start, so I'm going to place my cursor there. And I'm going to click this green marker. And drag it right back to the start and then I click Control and X or Command and X, to cut it out. So that's now gone. I'm also going to do that at the end. You can quickly go to the end by pressing control and end on your keyboard or command and end. That's where I finish speaking and the rest is me launching myself out of my chair again. I position the play head where I want to start cutting and then I'm going to click the red marker through to the end and press control x again to get rid of it. You want to make sure there aren't shots of your retreating bottom at the end of the video. Now we're going to sort out these fluffs. Click my playhead and take it back through. I've found that first set of claps. Now I need to go back a bit. And the beginning of the part that need to cut out, I've selected the offending chunk of video and I press control X again to get rid of that. Next set of claps here. So I listen back to what comes next, so I knew I need to start from. If you're struggling to find the right points, you can zoom in on your timeline with the plus sign here that helps you find the spot with more precision. Cut that out again. Keep going until you've edited out all your fluffs. Now watch through your recording and make sure the cuts between takes are clean and there aren't any long pauses. Camtasia smooths out these cuts. So in some cases they might appear seamless, especially if you remained fairly static to recording. Slight changes are fine, but it look a bit odd if your arms are down by your side in one frame and suddenly above your head in the next. These transitions are called jump cuts. You can distract attention from them by either zooming in or by adding some images. Let's start with zooming. You can see you've made cuts because there are these little stitch marks which join them together. You can see that in my head suddenly others, because I'm joining together those two cuts. To distract attention from that, I'm going to zoom in at this point. I'll put my cursor where I want that to happen. Over on the left here, I click animations and you can see Zoom and Pan. By clicking and dragging the corners, you can zoom in on yourself. Like so. That wasn't quite right, so I'm going to move that zoom across a bit to mask the joint. Still not quite right, so let's move that a bit more by clicking and dragging. There we go, I want to do a bit more tweaking on that, but it's looking a bit better, less obvious. A common trick is to move yourself to one side like this because it also then gives you some space for adding in extra images or text. This is one of the reasons why white backgrounds are good. It's also why you need to video in high resolution. If it's low resolution, when you zoom in, your image will be all pixilated. You can also add images to cover those jumps. This is called b-roll. The talking head video is the arrow. Go back to the media bin over here. Right-click and import media and you can find an image that you want to add to your video. With the playhead at the point where you want to add it, right-click and choose Add to Timeline at Playhead. And I now get my very cross birdie over the top of my video. You can see now that we've got two tracks in this video. My talking head video is track one and then this image is in track two. Whichever track is on top is the one that's visible. As I move my playhead along, it's me, then suddenly the birdie's on top. So that's what we see. And she goes away again. I can click and drag that to move it around. I can also click and extend it or shorten it. Let's look at another example. You could also click and track your image onto the canvas and you can move it around to position it. This image has a transparent background, so it will blend in seamlessly. I can then click and drag it to the right sizeand suddenly I have a tiny woman over my shoulder. The images need to be the same resolution as your videos, so 1920 by 1080. Otherwise, if you do want to stretch them to the full size of your canvas, they're going to lose some definition. Move your playhead around and you can see how this is starting to come together. You can also add some additional visual properties to these images. I'll pop that camera in there. Because the background of this image is brighter than my video, it looks a bit odd. With that selected, I click visual effects, anddrag a border onto it. And now get these border properties. You can choose the colour. And also the thickness. Here we are, makes it look a bit neater and it stands out. You can also add text to your video. Click Annotations over here. And there's a feature called Callouts. Let's start with a speech bubble. I can just click and drag that over here. So it looks like I'm having an important thought. And I can simply type in my text. Highlight it by double-clicking on it and then change any of the properties like colour and size. There are all sorts of other callouts and animations that you can add, but don't get too carried away, certainly not at the moment. You don't want it to look like one of those dizzying PowerPoint presentations. Definitely have some fun because I will help you while you learning. These techniques had some visual interest to your video. Although two minutes is very short, it's quite a long time to be looking directly at someone. And you can feel the intense. Edit the rest of the videos and try out some different techniques. Each time you're improving your skills and getting used to seeing yourself on the screen . Aim to end up with three videos so you can get some feedback on them. That's what we're going to be doing in the next lesson. One last job is to capture a frame to use as a thumbnail. The thumbnail is the frame that's displayed before your viewer clicks play. Sites such as YouTube and video will choose the thumbnail for you, but it's unlikely to be flattering. Scan through with the playhead and find one that you like. This one where I don't look too idiotic. Up the top here, click share and export frame as. Give it a filename that's right for you and then that's captured as an image. This is also a great way of getting good headshots. Make sure you save your project, file and save or control and save. You can come back at any time and adjust those visual effects. If you've messed up your edits on the talking head, you can just delete this entire track and then re-import your original recording by right-clicking and Add to Timeline at Playhead. Once you've finished editing,click Share at the top and Local File. We're now producing your video, which means that Camtasia is packaging up all these elements into an MP4 file, which is the standard video format. In the production settings, make sure you've got MP4 only HD up to 1080, because the dimensions here are 1920 by 1080, which is what we're aiming for. Click next. You can then choose where you want it to go. I'll put it on my desktop for now so that I can find it. Make sure you check the box to say Play video after production. It will automatically play, which means you can test it out and make sure it's OK before the next step. Click finish and your video will start rendering. Depending on the speed of your computer, it might take between two and 10 minutes for your video to appear. This is a good opportunity to go and have a cup of tea. You certainly deserve it. Now you have a video. This probably took a long time. For future videos, though, you'll get a lot quicker. It's important to start simple and build up gradually. Once you feel more comfortable with video editing, you'll be able to add sophisticated effects. Here are the basic steps you need to follow. Trim the beginning and end. Apply noise reduction if necessary. Edit out those fluffs. Add some visual interest such as images and text. Capture one of your frames as a thumbnail. Then produce the video. Next, we're going to get some feedback on that video. 27. Feedback: Before you unleash your video on the world, it's a good idea to get constructive feedback from a trusted friend or colleague. That's hard to do, because we're embarrassed and also we worry they'll tell us it's pants. The emphasis here is on *constructive* feedback - although we want our friend to be kind, we also need them to be honest. Choose your feedback friend carefully! Ideally, it should be someone who knows how hard this is and doesn't have unrealistic expectations. When I published my first video a couple of years ago, a friend sent me a text message telling me that I should look more comfortable, get different glasses, and be more like a BBC news presenter. Be specific on the type of feedback you need. Explain the *purpose* of the video so your reviewer understands what you're trying to do. A friend might not be the best person to ask. If they're unfamiliar with your business persona, they might find it odd. Also, they'll be focusing much more on your appearance, rather than on what you're saying - which is the opposite of your intended audience. Ask your reviewer questions, such as: - Is my message clear? Ask them to tell you the message - if they haven't understood it, you'll need to revise your script. - How did the video make you feel? (compare this with your plan in Module 1) - Were there any distractions? - Anything that could've been better? If you created three edited versions in the previous activity, you could get your reviewer to tell you which they like best. Maybe you can easily fix those issues by re-editing your video. If not, do another quick recording session to get it right. It'll be a lot quicker this time. Sometimes when we ask for feedback, friends get carried away - giving us a laundry list of stuff that should be fixed. That just makes us grumpy and despondent. Our friend, meanwhile, thinks they're being helpful. If necessary, you can wield the feedback sandwich - also known as the shit sandwich. Start with a positive comment, as this makes the mind receptive, then move on to specific points, and end with a clear action, for example, you need to stop flapping your hands about and then it's fine. It's vital that we adopt a growth mindset with video. If we have a fixed mindset, we tell ourselves that we're terrible in front of the camera - that's just how we are and there's nothing to be done about it. With a growth mindset, we're motivated by the belief that we can improve through effort, perseverance, and constructive feedback. You're not aiming for perfection, just getting a little better each time. 28. Adding Captions: If you're making videos, you need to start creating captions, too. They're vital for accessibility and also some of your audience will watch videos with the sound off. In this short tutorial, I'll show you how you can create captions quickly and easily using a tool called Sonix. Once you've logged in, click upload. It will tell you how many minutes you have left for transcription and then you choose the type of file that you're uploading. You can synchronise an existing transcript with a video. But in this case, we want to create a whole new transcript. So I'm going to click normal single track here. Then you can drag and drop your audio or video file or you can select it from Dropbox, Google Drive, etc, wherever you've hosted it. I've selected my video and now it's uploaded. I can scroll down to the details. You can choose where you want to store that video. Is it going to go in the main home directory or in a subfolder? If you've got lots of different projects, it's a good idea to organise them by folder so you can easily find them later. Choose the language that was spoken and once you're ready, click: Yes, start transcribing now. You get a message to say that Sonix is busily transcribing your file and you'll receive an email when it finishes. If it's a short file like this one, which is only 48 seconds, it will be very quick. You can see the status here. It's now transcribing and now it turns green to indicate that the file has been transcribed. Now I click on my file and it gives me a report to say minimal edits are required, which is great. It's confident that it's 94.97 percent accurate, which is very specific. I can see here the transcript alongside my original video. If I click around the transcript, you can see that the video frame is changing on the left, so they're completely synchronised. Now, I can go in and start correcting the transcript. For example. That should be a full stop there rather than a comma. And that one should be a comma rather than the full stop. If you can't remember what you said, you can press the tab key or play up here and you'll hear the recording at the point where your cursor is placed. If I start typing or correcting then playback is automatically paused and then it resumes as soon as I stop typing. Once you get used to Sonix, you'll get very quick making those corrections and playing it back. And also you can increase the playback speed here. If it's your own voice that you're transcribing, then you can probably do it at least one and a half or maybe double speed. Once you finish correcting, click export up the top here. And choose your file format. In this case, we want something called SubRip subtitle file, a .srt file, that's the standard format for captions. You then get a few more options that I don't think are that important right now, once you're getting started, then click download SRT. It should only take a few seconds for that to generate. Click on your file and you can see all those timestamps along with the text that's going to be displayed at that point of your video. This file is in a format that sites like YouTube or Vimeo will understand and they will sync it to your video when you upload that. If your video is going on a social media platform like Twitter, you might want to burn in your subtitles. That means that they are embedded in the video itself rather than being an option. Another great feature in Sonix is that you can translate your subtitles or transcripts into other language. Click on Translations, translate to a new language, and then you can choose from about 12 different languages here. And the final feature I'll show you is the custom dictionary. If you use a lot of technical language in your videos or there's something that Sonix routinely mistranscribes, add those words to your custom dictionary. You can have up to 400 entries. This will improve their accuracy dramatically. As you can see, I've got quite an odd collection of words here. Once you've used Sonix a few times, it will become incredibly quick and also you'll be able to improve the accuracy significantly. 29. Distributing Your Video: You've got your edited video and captions, now it's time to upload it. Yes, you need to get it out into the world. I remember being pleased with myself last year because I'd recorded a video. A few days later, I realised I hadn't actually published it anywhere. I then furtively posted it on LinkedIn at around 6am, hoping that nobody would see it. That's no good! We want to hear from you. You might've already decided on the destination back in Module 1. Wherever you put it, your video needs to live on a streaming site. You can't just put it on your website through a filesharing platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive. This is because your video needs to play and download simultaneously. That's why you see buffering on services such as Netflix - it hasn't yet managed to download the next bit. Without streaming, your viewer would have to wait for the whole file to download before they could start watching it. There are dozens of potential homes for your video. YouTube is one of the most popular. This platform is ideal if you want to attract a more general audience. That naturally brings problems, too. You don't want to be dealing with trolls or inappropriate comments. Although you can mark your videos as private, you don't have much control over the content YouTube decides to display at the end. It's probably not a good choice, then, if you want to embed that video in your website. The main advantage of YouTube is that it's free. As with any free service, you're the product. Google probably owns your house and your kidneys, too. If you can afford to spend some money, there are a few good quality hosting sites. Wistia is one of the nicest, I think, but it's really expensive at around £60 per month, and you need to pay an extra 25 cents for each video you add. They'll let you have 3 videos for free, though, so it might be worth a try to see whether it's right for you. Vimeo offers good functionality at a reasonable price. There's a free version that limits you to weekly uploads of 500Mb and an overall storage limit of 5Gb. That's definitely enough to get you started, although the weekly limit will be frustrating if you want to upload more than a couple of videos each week. There's a Plus account at £6 per month with more generous limits. This is only for non-commercial use, though, so you can't use it for your business. The cheapest paid account for business users is Pro, currently costing £16 per month. This offers total storage of 1Tb. You can experiment with YouTube and the free versions of Wistia and Vimeo to see what suits you. Once you've found a good home for your videos and you're making them consistently, it's worth upgrading your plan. In the next couple of videos, I'll show you how to upload to both YouTube and Vimeo. Back in a moment. 30. Uploading Your Video to YouTube: In this tutorial, I'll show you how to upload a video to YouTube. YouTube could be a good choice if you want your video to reach the widest possible audience. You'll need a Google account before you can create a YouTube channel. Once you're logged in, click your profile picture up in the top right hand corner, and then choose your channel. I set up my channel a couple of weeks ago, so I've already got my banner image in there and also a welcome video. Underneath, you can see the videos that I've uploaded. To customise your own channel, click here, then click branding up the top here. You can upload a profile picture. And you've got information here on the required formats and dimensions. Then a banner image which appears across the top of your channel. Again, it gives you the preferred format and dimensions. The best place to create these better images is on I'll include a link to that below. You can also have a video watermark that appearseither for part of your video or throughout. This is good for protecting your intellectual property so people can't post a video on their website and claim it as their own. Then go to basic info at the top here and you can include a description. This is explaining to your viewers what kind of content you're likely to be publishing on your channel. Here you have your channel URL that you can share. Click here to copy it to your clipboard and you can add a link to your website. This appears over the top of your video. And you can add some extra links as well, if you want to. Once you're happy with those settings, click, publish. Now we're going to get into creating your first video. Click create in the top right hand corner here and choose upload videos. Either click and select your file from your hard drive or drag and drop it into this space. Now you can add some details. The title is going to appear on the top of your video and also people will use this when they're searching to gauge whether it's something that they want to watch. So this should be a meaningful title. Then you can add a description. This is the text that appears immediately beneath your video. There could be more information in there. And also you can add links. This is a little bit clunky. You can't do any proper formatting in the description field. And if you add links, you have to put in the URL and then YouTube converts into a live hyperlink. I'll show you how that works. To include a link to Sonix, I put the name and then the URL afterwards. This part will become a clickable link when I publish it. While I've been doing this YouTube was processing the video. You can see over here that it's ready. Now, I can choose a thumbnail. A thumbnail is a frame from your video that will be displayed before the viewer clicks play. Left to its own devices, YouTube will probably pick an inappropriate frame. Probably one way you're picking your tongue out or scowling. You probably want to choose one yourself. I showed you in one of the previous videos on editing in Camtasia how you could export a specific frame. Now we're going to upload that. So click on the thumbnail, find your file and there it is. There are a few questions about your audience. Is it suitable for kids? And then there's some stuff around age restrictions in case you said anything filthy in your video or exposed your lower portions, which I'm sure you haven't. And we have more options. You have to declare it if you have any paid promotions in your video. And here we're going to add those captions that you created with Sonix. Pick and choose your language, in this case, English. And then the blue text where it says upload subtitlesor CC. We're going to choose with timing because as we saw in the earlier video, Sonix creates a file with the timestamps. That's now uploaded. I'm not going to change any of these other settings right now. I can see my thumbnail has come up. I've got my video link. Click next. You can add an end screen, this is probably more useful once you've got some more content on YouTube so you can promote some of your other content. And also you can add what are called cards. You might have noticed these on other YouTube videos. They appear in the top right hand corner and they encourage you to click to view other videos. We're not going to do that for the moment. So I click next and then you can choose the visibility for your video. If it's private, only you and the people you choose can watch your video. If it's unlisted, then it won't be searchable within YouTube. So again, you've got a bit more control. If it's public, it's available to absolutely anybody. Alternatively, you can choose a schedule for your video. If you're looking to create a YouTube channel is a good idea to publish your videos on a regular schedule, say, every Thursday afternoon at two o'clock. The YouTube algorithm absolutely loves this because it sees you as being someone who reliably produces content and you're likely to get bumped up the results. I'm going to choose that for now, because I want my video to go out on Thursday afternoon. I'll choose my date there. And it confirms those details for me, I've got the link. I can click here to copy that link to my clipboard if I then want to share it. If I go to channel content from the left hand menu, I can see all my videos. If I hover over them, I can edit the details, I can view analytics, look at the comments if I brace myself first. And also preview it. There were lots more settings in YouTube, but that should be enough to get you started. It can feel a little bit scary at first, but once you've done it a few times, you'll feel more confident and you'll learn lots more. 31. Uploading Your Video to Vimeo: Hello, in the short tutorial, I'll show you how to upload a video to Vimeo. This is probably the most appropriate solution if your video is going on your website rather than social media, as it gives you a lot more control. Once you're logged in, click new video in the top right hand corner here and click upload. You can then drag or drop your files into this area. Or you can choose one from your hard drive or perhaps if it's stored on Dropbox or Google Drive or Box or Onedrive, you can choose it from there, also. I'm going to drag and drop my video here. I can see that it's uploading and this is pretty speedy. You can now click go to video and it takes a while for your video to convert into an appropriate format. In the meantime, you can go and fiddle about with the settings. That's what we'll do now. Here you can give it the title. So you probably want something meaningful because that's going to display the top of your video. You can add a description, but that's not necessary if you're just using Vimeo to host files that you're going to embed on your website. Now you can choose the privacy. I won't go into all the settings here, just the main ones that you might be interested in at the moment. People with private link means that you can send that video to individuals who are allowed to view it or you can embed it on your own website. No one else can use that file. If you choose anyone, it means that your video will be publicly available on Vimeo for everyone to see and comment on. We're going to go with people with the private link for now. You can also choose where that video can be embedded. That means the specific websites where it can appear. Here I've got my two main websites. That means that nobody else can take this video and embed it on their own website. You can just type in your own domain name here. You can also decide whether people are allowedto comment on this video, whether they can download it onto their own computers, and whether they can add it to collections. Once you've changed any settings in Vimeo, you need to click save before they take effect. I can see now that my video is uploaded and it's converted. I can press play. There are lots more settings in Vimeo, but I'm just going to show you the main ones now that you might need at the moment. Distribution is where you had your subtitles, which we created earlier. There's some other options in here where you can connect video to your social media accounts. Although this might be useful in some circumstances, it makes me a bit nervous. I don't want to accidentally publish something on Twitter when I'm halfway through editing it. In the left hand menu, you can automatically go to the subtitles part. You click there. It's quite difficult to spot this, but here it is. It says Subtitles, subtitles and captions, then you click plus to add a new file. Select your language. If you're going for English, press the letter E on your keyboard to jump down quickly, you can be very specific and say that it's the United Kingdom or Canada or Ireland. And then choose the type. Choose captions there and click Choose File. And I'm going to find that captioned file, it's an SRT file that we created earlier. Click open and it's uploaded there. It's very important that you now click this switch and that activates the captions. If you don't do that, it won't work. And you also need to click save. Now, your video is uploaded. You've added your captions. Now, you can see in my video window that this is little CC icon. If I click that I can choose English. If you had multiple caption files in different languages, your viewer could select the one that was right for them. Now I get my captions overlaid on the video. And I can switch them off again if I don't need them. Something else you might want to change while you're here is the thumbnail. So this is the frame of your video that is displayed at the beginning, before your viewer has pressed play. Sometimes Vimeo does a good job of choosing something that's appropriate. Sometimes it will catch you in a really unfortunate facial expression you can choose to select from the video. Let's do that now. Click play. And then if you see a frame you like the look of you can click select this frame up in the top left hand corner and that then becomes your thumbnail. Another option is to choose random down there and Vimeo will come up with a range of options that you can choose from. If you don't like the look of those, click refresh again. Let's have one with a kitten. There we are. If you don't like any of the suggestions that Vimeo makes, you can upload your own thumbnail. Click upload and then choose a file on your computer. In the previous tutorial on editing in Camtasia,I encouraged you to export one of those frames. And this is one of the purposes that you can use that for. Once you're happy with everything, you can shareyour video. An extremely useful feature in Vimeo is review tools. I'll click up here so you can see it. With this, you can share the video with friends or colleagues and get them to add comments. Really good for feedback. If I click play here and then click at this point, I can add an comment like so and the comments will appear in the right hand column here. You can copy the link there and that will end up on your clipboard. And that's a link that you can share with anyone is going to give you feedback. It takes them to this screen rather than just the video itself. Assuming you've got your feedback, you've implemented it and you're ready to share your video picture. Click Share over here, and you've got a few options. Copy video link just gives you the URL - that's good for pasting into social media or if you just want to send someone a straightforward link in an email. Copy review page link - that's one that I just showed you, where people can add comments at particular timestamps. Copy download link is if you want someone to be able to download that video onto their computer. And finally, the copy embed code is the code for embedding it in a webpage. Let's do that now. That's been copied to my clipboard and I can show you in Notepad what it looks like. There we are. That might look like gobbledegook to you, but I'll show you how it would work in a typical WordPress site. Here I am on my WordPress website, and I've added a new post. If I click the text tab up here, that takes me into the code view. I'll paste that embed code I just got from Vimeo and go back into the visual mode. And now I can see my video has been embedded. Any changes I make on video now will be reflected in this version. It's not posted on my website, it's on Vimeo. You can see that the captions are there, too. You could just post the URL of your video into the visual editor of WordPress and it will appear magically. However, you don't get much control and it will fill the whole screen. It's much better to embed it. You can also see the analytics for your video in Vimeo. So this will give you an idea of how many people are watching it. Obviously, I've just uploaded this one so there won't be any views yet. But this is useful for gauging which videos are popular and then you can make more of those. There are lots more features in video. But they should be enough to get you started. You can upload your video, add captions, choosea thumbnail and then embed it in your website. 32. Activity 7: Well, we've covered a lot in this module. You've edited your video, implemented feedback, and added captions. If you haven't done so already, upload it so people can see your work. I know this is terrifying, but you need to be visible. Remember, the world wants to hear what you've got to say! Maybe start on LinkedIn or another platform that's likely to be supportive. And you can always redo the video at any time. You're in control. You've worked really hard. Although there might've been a lot to take it, you'll get much quicker at all this stuff. Keep making notes so you remember what works and what doesn't. In the final part of the course, I'll help you create a repeatable process and decide on your next steps. I'll see you there! 33. CONCLUSION: Taking Your Next Steps: Congratulations! You've reached the end of How to Video Yourself with Confidence. I suspect you've come a long way. If you're in any doubt, take another look at the video you made at the beginning of the course. Although it's probably taken you a long time to create your final 2-minute video, you'll get quicker every time. Each of the steps will become more efficient and instinctive. Here are the steps again: 1. Decide on the goal of your video, e.g. sales, subscribers, enquiries. 2. Choose the tone. 3. Select an appropriate platform - maybe you'll create several versions of the same video for different purposes, such as a shorter version for Twitter. 4. Create your storyboard, starting with why and ending with your call to action. If appropriate, use the five-point template from earlier. Even if your video is longer, you'll just devote more time to each point. 1. Problem 2. Solution 3. Introduce yourself 4. Transformation 5. Call to action 5. Once you're more confident, you won't need to write out a script - you should be able to just practice talking around those points before recording. 6. Set up your studio. If possible, maintain a dedicated space with easy access to your kit. 7. Schedule your recording session and get everything ready. 8. Record at least three times so you can choose the best version. 9. Edit to tidy up and add visual interest. 10. Unleash it upon the world! With a process and a mini studio, you'll be able to create videos with ease. Soon it'll be possible to make a short video in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. It'll no longer feel like a complete palaver. Make sure you keep notes on what works and what doesn't. Of course, you need to keep going, though. Unless you keep making videos consistently, you'll lose momentum and forget how to do some of this stuff. At the beginning of the course, I encouraged you to capture ideas for future videos. Pick one that you'll work on next. If you're struggling to choose, consider: - Which one is the easiest? - Which one are you most excited about? - Which one would make the most difference to your business? This might be in terms of saving time on enquiries, or reaching a wider audience. Make some time in your schedule for recording this next video. And then repeat. Remember Daniel Priestly's advice that you need seven hours' content on your site. Keep pedalling! 34. Thankyou and Goodbye: Thank you so much for joining me on this course. I hope you found it useful. I know how difficult it is to get to grips with video, so I'm proud of you for pushing through that fear. Please keep going, because we need you to be visible. Now you've got the basics, you can start planning your YouTube channel, online course, or vlog. I'd love to hear from you. If you have a moment, please do complete the feedback form below. That helps me improve the course for future students. And also Iet me know where I can see your videos. Wishing you all the very best with your future adventures. Bye for now! 35. BONUS: Resizing Videos for Social Media: So far in this course, we've created standard-sized videos. If you want to take social media by storm, though, you'll need to create some different formats. For instance, you might have noticed that Instagram posts are square rather than rectangular. Below, I've included a list of typical sizes and durations for videos on various social media platforms. In this video, I'll show you how you can change the size and shape of your videos, first in Camtasia, and then with an online tool called Canva. If you're already using Camtasia, the editing tool I demonstrated earlier in the course, it's very quick and easy to change the size of your video. The process will be similar in other video editing tools. In Camtasia, click File and then Project Settings. Under Canvas Dimensions, you can see there are some presets, including Instagram and Facebook Cover Video. If you can't see what you want, click Custom and then enter the dimensions. I'll go with Instagram for now and click Apply. As you can see, that's made me scarily big. I'll zoom out to 50% and then resize myself. Now there's too much blank space above and below, but I can click and drag to adjust the proportions until I've filled that square. These yellow lines helped me to get everything aligned properly. You might need to experiment for a little while to get this right. If the proportions aren't working for you, you could change the colour of the canvas by right-clicking the canvas, choosing Project Settings, then Colour. Now you can either choose a colour from the palette, or use the eyedropper tool to match it to the background of your video. This now looks as though I'm stuck in a hole, but you get the idea. An alternative is to use Canva, a web-based design tool. This includes lots of presets for social media posts, including videos. If I click on video here, the default is 1920 x 1080. However, I can click resize and choose Instagram Post and Resize. Now it's square. There is lots of stock footage you can use, but in this case you want it to be your talking head. If you have the premium version of Canva, you can import your own video and images here. I've already uploaded this video clip. I'll drag that onto the canvas so I can resize it. These pink lines help me to see when it's aligned correctly. Then you can have some fun. With Canva, there are thousands of images to play with and you can superimpose yourself almost anywhere. If you need another format, click Resize, choose the dimensions, then Copy & Resize. This is a quick way of creating multiple formats for the same video. Once you're done, click Download in the top-right hand corner. Make sure you do lots of mucking about first, though.