I’ve been a professional video producer for 11 years working mainly with small businesses and member associations. Over the last month as I’ve adjusted to my new normal like all of you, I recognized something profound that we’re all doing in our businesses that presents an exciting new opportunity for all of us.
Every single conversation you’re having online is either being recorded or can be recorded.
I don’t mean this in a Big Brother or deep state kind of way! The truth is, these video calls you’re having multiple times per day on Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc. are chock full of trust-building knowledge, useful information for your team, and authentic social proof.
But the problem is, **you just hang up and start the next one. **
Think about it…
- Every time you check in with a client
- Every time you help a new hire get up to speed
- Every time you have a senior management meeting
- Every time you discuss a new marketing campaign
- Every time you get an update from a volunteer
You need to record and do something with these conversations so they can help your business!
- That client call could be a great video testimonial on your site or social media
- That call with a new hire could be a training video for new team members
- That senior management meeting could be transcribed and part of it sent in your newsletter
- That campaign meeting could be used in a slide deck
- That volunteer call could be a social video to reach and activate new volunteers
It’s time to stop wasting these video calls!
Instead, we need to Capture them, Cut them, and Convert with them.
So now that you’re aware of this golden opportunity, let’s talk about HOW you record these calls so you have awesome raw footage to start with.
Zoom is the easiest and most popular way to start recording video calls. Let me walk you through the settings I use. I’m still testing and learning, but this is what has worked for me to get the best quality and flexibility from my clients that hire me for video editing.
The first thing I do when I hop on a call that I know I’m going to record is walk my participant through the Zoom settings…and there are a lot of settings!
Settings → Video
- Make sure 16:9 is selected which is standard widescreen dimensions
- You’ll want to click “Enable HD” under My Video. This is super important! This will ensure the video you record is 1280x720p HD instead of 640x360p SD.
- “Mirror my video” - This one is up to you
- “Touch up my appearance” - I think you look beautiful just the way you are, but this will add some skin smoothing and stuff
- “Always display participant name on their videos” → OFF. I want a clean video recording with no overlays.
- Advanced →
- Enable de-noise = ON. This refers to video noise (ISO) and may help clean up video in low light situations.
- Enable hardware acceleration for receiving video = ON
Settings → Audio
- We’ll assume all participants have their speaker and microphone settings figured out. We’ll also assume they are in a quiet room that’s not next to loud air duct and that their kids are watching Disney+ in the other room.
- Go to Advanced →
- “Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone = ON. Unlike video, I want to handle all the audio processing on my end so I want to get the most unprocessed sound possible from Zoom.
- Zoom is notorious for over-compressing the audio so unless there’s audible background noise I’m also going to turn off:
- Suppress Persistent Background noise = DISABLE
- Suppress Intermittent Background noise = DISABLE
- Echo Cancellation = AUTO
Settings → Recording
- “Store my recordings at” → Choose a save location. If you have an external hard drive, use that. You’re going to start eating up hard drive space after a while so it’s best to keep this off your system drive.
- “Choose a location to save the recording after the meeting ends” → I CHECKed this so I can stay organized
- “Record separate audio file for each participant” - Sure, why not. CHECK
- “Optimize for 3rd party video editor” - CHECK. This creates MP4 files instead of a proprietary Zoom file.
- “Add timestamp to the recording” - UNCHECK. I don’t want any unnecessary text burned into the video. This’ll make it look like that 1996 Disney World trip from your family camcorder.
- “Record video during screen sharing” - CHECK
- “Place video next to the shared screen” - CHECK
- “Keep temporary recording files” - CHECK. May help in the case of a corrupted file.
Best practices for Zoom interviews
Now that’s we’ve optimized Zoom settings for recording and instructed our interviewee or coworker to do the same, let’s talk about some other best practices. I’m going to use a “client case study” as the example.
Let’s call our client Karen and ask us why she loves working with us so we can put a testimonial on our case study page and on social media. I know she’s going to give us a glowing testimonial instead of complaining for a change!
Getting the best video
- Sit in front of a window or light source, make sure it’s not backlit.
- Position the camera at eye level. Looking too far up or down is awkward.
- Place your device on a table, don’t go handheld. I prefer using a laptop to a phone for this reason. I have my laptop on a stand so I’m not looking down.
- Take your headphones off. This will make it look more authentic. Airpods aren’t too distracting but over-ear headphones can be an eye sore.
- At the top of the window choose “Speaker View” instead of “Gallery View” so we’re full screen on Karen instead of seeing both of us the whole time. Ultimately we’re going to cut ourselves out entirely.
- Right click on Karen and choose “PIN VIDEO” so our Speaker View stays on Karen the entire time and doesn’t change based on who is talking.
- MUTE yourself by default! Super important that you don’t interrupt Karen!! We don’t want to hear “Uh huh. Yeah. TOTALLY…” while Karen’s talking. Stick to head nods and unmute yourself using the spacebar to talk when Karen’s done talking. SERIOUSLY DON’T INTERRUPT KAREN!
- Tell Karen to “please rephrase the question in your answer.” We’re cutting out us asking the question so we need to make sure that we have context and know what Karen’s talking about. Example I like to give is “If I ask you ‘What’s your favorite color?’ You wouldn’t just say ‘Blue.’ You’d say ‘My favorite color is blue.’”
Congrats! You’ve unlocked the power of Zoom recordings! Follow this guide and you’ll be on your way to the 3 C’s of marketing with video calls: Capture, Cut and Convert!
Let me know if this is helpful and if I can answer any questions.