Set the Stage
Except for circumstances where you have no advance warning, it’s best to prepare by practicing your message and your presentation style. These tips from photographer/videographer Judah Harris should help.
Be sure that you know, to the greatest extent possible, the intended purpose of the video, where it will be seen, and why you’re the person being asked to appear on camera.
Think not only about what you want to say, but also – especially if this is a marketing message – what the viewers might want to hear. Connect the two as seamlessly as possible. Stick to your message, but consider your audience.
For a more natural (and believable) presentation, DO NOT memorize your text. Of course, you need to remember select ideas and specific key words so that you remember to incorporate them.
Don’t be afraid to stop talking and look directly into the camera. Pauses can be very effective.
Let the interviewer lead the way. Refrain from answering before the question has been completed… even if you are sure you know exactly what the question is.
How are you doing on camera? If your school is producing this video, ask for the producer’s candid feedback. Are you coming across as interesting, believable, and clearly understood? If not, request a retake. (You certainly have this luxury when your school, not a TV station, has commissioned the interview.)
Judah S. Harris is a photographer and filmmaker whose photography documenting Jewish life has been exhibited at the Jewish Museum and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York City, Beth Hatefutsoth in Tel Aviv, and the Klutznick National Museum in Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit his website.
There is a classic tale from the Talmud (Ta’anit page 23A), of Honi Ha-Me’agel, the circle maker, who came upon an old man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?” The man replied, “Seventy years.” Honi then asked, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?” The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.” Trees help us focus on the next generation… on a meaningful future.
On Tu b’Shevat (and every day) we applaud the Jewish educators who focus on the next generation day in and day out to ensure that our legacy continues mi’dor l’dor. I extend a personal mazal tov to our next generation: Bella! Of course… a hearty yashar koach to her parents and all her morot at Yeshiva Har Torah.
To learn more about compelling video marketing tools or any of my other day school marketing and development services, please feel free to send me an email or call me at 516.569.8070.