6 Tips for Filming Quality Testimonials

One of my current clients is a top education consultant who gives conferences all over the US. Testimonials from these conferences are most valuable when the participants are fresh from the event and eager to share their experiences. Of course, it's not always practical for me to travel with her to every conference, so I came up with some tips to help her record quality video testimonials on her own – and you can, too!

You might think you need an expensive camera to get great footage, but testimonials can be filmed with any kind of camera. Even an iphone or an ipad can produce excellent footage if a few simple guidelines are followed.

1. Find a quiet place. In-camera microphones are notoriously bad, and excess noise of people talking, furniture moving, silverware and plates, etc. can ruin your audio completely. If you hear clinking plates or squeaking chairs, pause the recording and move to a quieter location.

2. Stand close to your subject. In-camera microphones are notoriously bad, so standing close to your subject will help get clearer audio.  

3. Make sure there is light on the participant's face. If there's a window nearby, have them face the window or position them at a 3/4 angle so their face is illuminated. An illuminated face shows expression which can convey far more than words ever can. Avoid filming your subject with their back to the window, the camera will get confused and you'll end up with a dark silhouette. Likewise, avoid direct overhead lighting and harsh shadows.

Here, overhead lighting illuminates the subject's body and the top of her head, but her face is in shadow. Not only is this awkward for the subject, but the shadows conceal her expressions. Simply walking to a different part of the room, or turning the subject, can radically alter the lighting.

Here, overhead lighting illuminates the subject's body and the top of her head, but her face is in shadow. Not only is this awkward for the subject, but the shadows conceal her expressions. Simply walking to a different part of the room, or turning the subject, can radically alter the lighting.

An example of even lighting. There are no shadows on her face, and the language of her expression is clear.

An example of even lighting. There are no shadows on her face, and the language of her expression is clear.

 

3. Stabilize the camera by holding it with two hands, with your elbows pressed against your body. Leaning against a wall will provide additional stabilization.

4. Tell them to rephrase the question in their answer, and be silent as the participant gives the testimonial.

For example:

Q -- What did you think of the presentation?

Answer -- "I thought the presentation was absolutely amazing!"

Q -- Would you recommend this conference to others?

Answer -- "I would absolutely recommend this conference to everyone I know!"

 

5. Get it twice! If you don't get the answer you want, if the camera wobbles or there's excessive noise or two people speaking at once, it's fine to ask the participant to give the testimonial again.

6. Bonus Tip! When filming a conference or lecture, turn the camera around to capture the audience response. Aim to capture applause, laughter, smiling and nodding - a happy, engaged audience will do wonders for your testimonial!

Were these tips helpful? Let us know! Or add your own tips in the comments.