Key takeaways:
Making presenters comfortable is key to great content
Quick logistic checks go a long way
Preparing and recording ahead of time reduces stress

One of the most powerful ways to establish brand credibility is through talking head videos. These interview-style videos feature one or more subject matter experts discussing a specific topic. Types of talking head videos include live or pre-recorded virtual events, training courses, fireside chats, video case studies, and product how-tos.

But your video can only be as good as the thought leader that stars in it. If your speaker has poor lighting, fumbles over their words, or simply doesn’t promote the asset across their own networks, your video content will lack the professional touch needed to captivate audiences.

Here’s how to ensure your thought leaders are prepped for success.

Start with the logistics

Consider putting together a thought leader success kit that outlines best practices. For example, we recommend:

  • Use an ethernet connection over wifi, if possible.
  • Consider upgrading your gear setup.
  • Close any unnecessary applications that could distract you or reduce the quality of your internet connection.
  • Find a quiet environment.
  • Don’t wear clothing with overly distracting patterns, logos, or designs.
  • Make sure your background is free of clutter, or use a virtual background.
  • Avoid putting light sources directly behind you.
  • Center yourself within the camera frame.
  • Keep the camera at eye level.
  • Use a microphone for the best audio quality.
  • Have a glass of water nearby.

Find a good moderator

The moderator is an essential counterpart to your thought leader. A good moderator sets the tone of your conversation and keeps the conversation engaging and on track. You’ll want to find someone comfortable on screen and able to pivot or ask follow-up questions depending on your speaker’s responses.

Conduct dry runs and tech checks

Your producer should meet with each speaker and your moderator before the recording to perform a tech check. These checks ensure there are no laggy frame rates, distorted audio, or other technical issues during your broadcast. You should also gather all your participants ahead of time to conduct a dry run of the program. Socialive’s Virtual Green Room provides the perfect environment to streamline everything behind the scenes so your production runs smoothly.

Record thought leaders when possible

Even if it’s for a stream, you can still take advantage of Socialive’s ability to record, edit, publish, and then livestream video.

To make absolutely sure there are no on-air slip-ups, you can pre-record your thought leader ahead of time, then broadcast the content live at the appropriate time. With Socialive, you can even mix and match pre-recorded and live content to allow for audience discussion.

If you’re creating purely on-demand content, you can still make use of the remote recording feature to accommodate busy schedules. For example, if you want to get the perspectives of several senior leaders but can’t find time to record them all together, you can capture each thought leader individually, then stitch their clips together into one final video.

Create customized promotional materials

During one of your dry runs, you could have talent record a quick promo or two. Share these short videos with your audiences to generate hype and entice registrations ahead of your event. If you’re creating recorded content (i.e., not a virtual event), you can still create snackable video clips to capture users’ attention on social media and drive them to the full-length video.

If schedules don’t work out for meeting ahead of the call, thought leaders can easily record on their own. With Socialive’s Recording Booth, the production team can leave a script with the thought leader and have them record a promo on their schedule.

Use intuitive tech

C-suite perspectives are incredibly valuable, but these leaders only have so much time to commit. Having to walk presenters through clearing their cache, downloading special software, or even setting up an account to record their content wastes valuable time and creates frustration.

Whenever possible, look for intuitive technologies that remove friction. Socialive, for example, allows guests to join from a desktop browser or mobile device. Plus, with direct guest links, there’s no need to register or manually sign in.

Whether it’s a recorded session or a live broadcast, you’ll want to instill confidence. Using a built-in teleprompter goes a long way. Your speaker can read through their piece at eye level and write in bullet points for guidance on their talking points. It might be helpful for your thought leader to read through the content and do a practice run, even if they don’t want to use the teleprompter during the main event.

Make it a two-sided discussion

While you should develop a script or talking points ahead of your broadcast, you should also leave room for some spontaneity. Speakers are energized by audience reactions and questions, but this energy can be difficult to feel virtually. Leverage intuitive audience engagement tools to drive deeper connections with your brand through live quizzes, reactions, Q&As, and polls during live broadcasts.

Provide follow-up assets

Edit together clips of the highlights from your video to maximize your content. You can then share these clips across your own channels, like social media, email, and your website. Be sure to provide these assets to your thought leader so they can share with their audiences and amplify your reach even further.

The value of a better thought leader experience

Improving the thought leader experience directly impacts the quality of your content, helping you increase reach, views, and engagement. Plus, by building strong relationships with these leaders, you have go-to sources for future content and may even turn them into advocates for your brand.

Take a quick, self-guided tour of our platform to see how Socialive can transform your talking head video content.