How to Make Great Video: Mannerisms, or How Not to be Annoying

Video production tips

Part of an on-going series about how to make great videos, without needing specialized tools. Read more here.
Most of us have small mannerisms that are not particularly noticeable in person. But on a recording, especially if you get nervous on camera, it’s easy to overdo it. So before you commit to a long recording, it’s not a bad idea to record yourself and watch to see if you have any habits that you’ll want to be careful about. Some things to look for:

  • Annoying gestures on cameraHand gestures. A little talking with your hands will do no harm. It can be more visually interesting than standing perfectly still. But some gestures can get very repetitive. Waving in circles, touching hair, pointing—all of it can get very annoying, very fast if repeated too often. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, try clasping them loosely in front of you.
  • Overusing words. Most of us have pet words or phrases that we habitually use. But if you’re using a distinctive word or phrase more than once or twice in a single video, it will become noticeable, even comical. If you find yourself overusing certain terms, come up with a list of synonyms or replacements.
  • Speaking volume. Make sure you’re not speaking too loud or too soft. Speed is important, too. It’s usually a good idea to speak just a little more slowly than you usually do, to make sure your articulation is clear.

If you’re not sure if you’re displaying problematic mannerisms, ask a friend or colleague to take a quick look at a test video. If it’s not immediately obvious that there’s a problem, you’re probably fine. Time to record some videos!

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