Engage Your Business Top Tips

How to create a successful Top Tips video

David Calder

Engage Your Business is introducing a new service not just for its members but by its members. It is to be called Top Tips and I thought it would be a good idea to offer a little advice on how to put “Top Tips” together.

Why am I doing this? Well, as well as having a video production company, we also specialise in helping people to communicate more effectively. We train people in communication skills and public speaking, so we do have some idea of what works – and what doesn’t!

1. How long should I speak for?

In the various discussions we’ve had on this subject, the general consensus is that these video should be no longer than 2-3 minutes. But what does that mean in terms of the number of words you need to write? When we are presenting (as opposed to normal speech), we speak at (at most) about 170-180 words a minute. That means that your target length should be between 350 and 500 words – which isn’t a lot when you stop to think about it!

2. How do I prepare?

Because of the restricted number of words, it’s really important to have a very clear idea of what you’re going to say long before the camera is ever switched on. That means that it’s a good idea to write out your tips and check the length against the counter built into your word processor. Once you have done this, check your own speech rate by talking through your words ALOUD at a good (slow) talking pace and see what is really comfortable for you and acceptable for your audience.

3. How do I deliver my tips?

Something you probably should not do is to try to commit everything to memory. As someone who does a lot of public speaking, I know all too well that is a recipe for stumbling over your words. Instead, prepare yourself either a mind map or set of bullet points and then speak to those – drawing on what you’ve written and using that in a way that makes you look a lot more natural.

4. How do I present my tips?

If you’re really nervous about standing in front of a camera and trying desperately to remember what you’re supposed be talking about, then think about using you an autocue which is what I often use. Now, as a former broadcaster, I’ve been using autocue for many years and am quite comfortable in using it. However, it does take a little getting used to. While professional autocues are superior, there are autocue apps available for most phones and tablets.

5. How many tips should you actually deliver?

The original idea was that each video should include Ten Top Tips. However, we quickly realised that not everyone would have 10 tips and that others would probably want to give a little more detailed information about each tip – so it’s essentially up to you how many you choose to deliver (but remember, you only have three minutes so you have to keep each one under tight control).

So, those were five tips on preparing your top tips. I hope it’s been helpful.

Watch this space for many more tips from Engage Your Business members.
If you would like watch this Tip in video form you can see it here:

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