How to present in front of the camera

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Online video now accounts for more than 50% of mobile traffic; 75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least twice a week; and 54% of senior executives share work related videos with colleagues at least once a week.

Whether you like it or not, video presenting might soon be the new public speaking. Just like any other new media practice, you’re better off embracing a new trend than ignoring it.

The good news is that – like public speaking – video presenting gets easier with practice and effective presentation is within your reach.

Here are some tips to get you started…

Practice

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Chances are you have at least a mid-range video camera in your phone right now. Get used to the camera, record a practice speech or presentation to it. Over time, the object will become demystified – it will be just another audience member for your presentation. You’ll be astonished at the difference in quality between your first, second and third recording. Even film stars require multiple takes!

Plant your Feet

Just like in a job interview or presentation, over-thinking body language is not recommended. But there is one way to ensure that you look and feel more secure: Plant your feet. In everyday standing conversations (from the coffee rooms to board rooms to the pub), we tend to alternate between the legs we stand on. Don’t do that with a video presentation: Plant both feet strongly. You’ll stand firmer, look more certain and – most crucially – feel more confident.

Don’t Worry about your Hands

This is a contentious one: Some experts say to keep your hands in one position; others say to use them occasionally to emphasis a point. But we would argue that you put it out of your mind. The most important qualities in video presenting are comfort and confidence. What you do with your hands is one more thing to think about, so don’t think about it. Someone under-thinking hand movements might wave them around too much; while over-thinkers tend to be stiff and self-conscious. Hand-waving is by far the lesser of the two evils.

Keep the Language Simple

Mastery of language is essential for business, but many confuse long words with good communication. We’re sure you’ve seen emails, job applications and presentations where the person has tripped over long words and compplicated sentences. This problem is even more acute in public speaking and video presentation. Only use words that you would use yourself in everyday conversation. Learning the meaning and pronunciation of exotic new words is a noble pursuit, but this is not the place for it. Clear, simple language will be easier to understand and to deliver.

Stay on Topic

Public speaking usually has the security blanket of autocues or cue cards. This is often absent in video presentation, leaving you to deliver your expertise in a more informal, less structured manner. Some speakers tend to ramble or go off topic when left to their own devices. Try to avoid this by remembering the points you’re making. Start each new topic with a single point; then explain that point, and no more. Again, this will become easier with practice.

Know Your Audience

Unlike in a live presentation or public speaking engagement, follow-on questions for clarification are usually not available; neither can you read an audience’s reaction in real time. (Skype presentations are an exception – most video presenting will be pre-recorded.) Before preparing a video presentation, think about who you’d like to watch it. Will it be mid-level execs, consumers, top-level execs, industry experts who will understand jargon, or a specific demographic? This preparation will not only make your video more engaging and valuable to its target audience, it will help with your own confidence too.

Watch the Experts

Now for the fun part: We would suggest that you check out video speakers to take cues from them. TED talks have countless examples of good public speaking and video presentation; the most popular YouTube corporate videos will show you how it’s done; and we’d also recommend watching how the best TV presenters deal with the camera. From the slick, current-affairs presenters to the less formal chat show hosts, they balance the need to address the camera without becoming intimidated by it.

Video presenting can be daunting at first, but with just a little preparation and practice, it can be harnessed and conquered; a relevant tool and a modern, engaging way to reach existing and potential clients.

How social media helps your search ranking

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Every business wants to be discovered.

Whether it’s by intense, short-burst methods, such as marketing campaigns; or longer-term approaches, like search engine optimisation (SEO), the desired result is the same; a higher profile for your business.

But SEO has evolved exponentially since Google first conquered the online search world. Where once keywords were king, now the content must also be original and in context (thanks to increasingly intelligent Google algorithms).

A few short years ago, hashtags were barely a factor in social media and SEO. Now, with the rise of Twitter, they’re an essential part of the package.

Indeed, social media (along with compelling content) is emerging as an increasingly effective – and often essential – tool for boosting your company’s search engine rankings.

Social media shares and acknowledgements are not automatically embedded in search engine algorithms (but they likely will be soon). Instead, their direct effect kicks in after a popular or viral post or video.

So it would work like this; you create compelling content; that content gets shared on social media (increasing traffic and profile); then the content becomes popular. Your profile and traffic has benefitted, and after that, the SEO engine kicks in and your search ranking climbs – as people search for your business based on the social media shares.

Here are a few reasons why combining social media and SEO into your marketing campaign are critical to your business’s success.

1. The world is getting more and more social online.

As of August 2014, there were 2.95 billion active Internet users, and 2.03 billion active social media users. The internet is often accused of having too much white noise, which is why people use social media to source recommendations from trusted sources friends and family.

2. There is a strong correlation between rankings and social signals.

Social media shares aren’t directly linked to search algorithms (yet!), but there is a direct correlation between social media and traffic; whether it’s increased visibility from Twitter trending, or organic shares and clicks from evangelising fans as your content goes viral.

3. Not all traffic and profile is created equal.

Accidental clicks of ads is becoming a major problem, so much so that many marketing and internet giants (including Google) are working hard to address it. After all, what good is a visit to your page if the customer never intended to be there? Social media shares generate quality visits, in other words website hits based on recommendations from trusted sources, instead of accidental or fleeting clicks.

5. Social media draws in mobile search users.

At the time of writing, there are roughly 3.6 billion mobile Internet users (with that number climbing every day). As you’d expect, many of these users are social networking on the go. Want to increase mobile traffic to your site? Encourage social sharing, and make sure your site is appropriately responsive too.

6. Positive social media reviews help local searches.

Encourage and nurture social media interaction and reviews. Remember the value of user-generated content: Every picture, video and word of text relating to your business helps your profile. And that’s before we even talk about reviews on the likes of Google Local and Yelp, which can boost your page in local search rankings.

7. Social + SEO can boost brand engagement.

Customers shouldn’t just be purchasing and recommending your products: They should be engaged with your brands. This means more frequent visits to your site, discussions on your social media, recommendations, likes and Tweets, and ultimately, an increased bottom line. Repeat visits to your site are registered by search engine metrics and reflected in your ranking.