Find your quiet place
Select a quiet space in your dental practice to film your video. Background dental noises, e.g., a handpiece, can be intimidating to patients. Conversely, background chatter during your interview isn’t intimidating, but will distract and annoy viewers.
Being interviewed? Incorporate the question in your answer
If you decide to go with an interview format, remember that the interviewer’s voice will most likely not be a part of the video, so practice incorporating her/his question into your answer. For example, in answering the question, “Why did you become a dentist?” Instead of replying, “I enjoy being able to work with my hands and change people’s lives,” you might respond, “A number of my patients have asked me why I became a dentist. More than anything else, I enjoy being able to work with my hands and change people’s lives.”
Slow your cadence down
Everyone, including dentists, tend to speak quicker on camera. As the mind and pulse race faster, so does speech cadence. Before you know it, you’re speaking at a much faster pace than normal. Take a few deep breathes before appearing on camera, and relax. Remember, if you appear hurried and anxious in your video, patients might conclude you’re that way in the operatory.
A little practice goes a long way
Of course you’re busy, but practicing what you’re going to say in front of a mirror, to a friend, or even in front of a smart phone recording you, can make a significant difference in your confidence level and on-camera performance. If you’re being interviewed ask for the questions ahead of time if you’d like to think over your responses. At all costs, avoid “winging it.” That approach rarely ends well.
If/When you do screw up, don’t worry about it
Everyone stumbles on camera, so don’t let it rattle you when it happens. Take a few seconds and compose yourself; go back and repeat a couple of sentences, and then keep moving. When you screw up again, repeat the process. A good video editor can easily stitch things together in post-production to make you sound like you were made to be in front of the camera. If you’d rather DIY editing your video to save on costs, there are a number of low or no-cost editors out there for Mac and PC platforms.
Get a microphone—get close to it
Whatever microphone you choose, and there are loads of inexpensive ones out there, make sure it’s placed within three feet of your face, and that it’s pointed directly at your mouth. These points alone will noticeably improve the quality of your audio. And while it might be tempting to focus on the visual part of your video, remember, if you’re filming on your own, viewers won’t expect a visually-stunning video. Most viewers can even tolerate somewhat blurry or shaky footage, but having poor audio is unacceptable. As a last tip, choose a larger room to film your video in. If you do have a smaller room, make sure there are curtains, furniture, and hopefully carpet in the room so you don’t end up with an annoying echo in your voice. Sound reverberates considerably more in a small room with a hardwood floor and no furniture.
Avoid being a “one and done”
Don’t be afraid of covering a topic a couple of times—whether you’re using a teleprompter, cue cards, an interviewer, or a combination. It’s also not uncommon for editors to combine different parts or answers of your interview to form a cohesive sound bite. If you only have one take of you articulating what makes your practice different, your choices will be limited when editing the footage in post-production (called “post.”) Do yourself a favor and record a few takes of each topic you talk about in your video. There is no worse feeling than editing your footage and realizing, “I don’t have what I need to make this sound good. I have to do it again.”
Drop me a line if you have questions about the content above or about leveraging video to market your dental practice. I’ll be happy to offer some insights.