10 Tips to Take Great Videos

Whether you’re taking a selfie-style video, or recording a member of your community, here are 10 tips to take your nonprofit videos to the next level!

  1. Keep it short: The most engaging videos online are 1 minute or less. Think critically about the message you’re planning to share and stay on topic. There is no need to overexplain!

  2. Be specific: Avoid generalizations at all costs. Your personal experience is what makes you unique, and it’s why your organization wants your story. The more detailed your testimonial, the more relatable you are to the audience.

  3. Find good lighting: Make sure your light source is located in front of you (not behind) to avoid harsh shadows on your face. Natural light is your friend, so go outside or stand in front of a window for best results!

  4. Consider your angles: No one wants to see the bottom of your chin! Filming yourself straight on or slightly lifted and tilted downward will be provide the best angle for all shapes of faces.

  5. Be deliberate with your background: There is nothing more distracting than a messy background. Consider a solid background, organized bookshelf or the great outdoors for best results.

  6. Prioritize crisp, clear audio: People are willing to watch a video that’s a bit grainy, but indistinct audio is enough to make someone hit the “X” button within a few seconds. If you’re unsure how you sound – take a test video!

  7. Film vertically: Unless you’re specifically asked to film horizontally, vertical is the way to go! Vertically filmed videos translate best to Facebook Watch, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts & TikTok.

  8. Restate the question: When answering a prompt, restating the question gives the viewer context without having to read the caption. It also helps your organization organize their videos.

  9. Be authentic: Don’t worry about saying the “perfect” thing. Your audience wants to see and hear your genuine thoughts and feelings from your distinct point-of-view. The “um”s and “uhh”s are what make you human!

  10. Smile & relax: Even if your subject addresses an emotional topic, take a deep breath and talk to the camera like you would to a friend. People will be naturally drawn to your warmth and relatability.