5 Questions to Help Plan Your Video Recording

OK, I will say it: “no pre-recorded video can substitute a good psychotherapy or counseling session”. I know that, you know that, but it is undeniable that videos created by mental health and wellness professionals such as awareness videos, videos teaching coping strategies or giving tips and tricks can have a positive impact on viewers. So, if you want to create videos but don’t know how to start or struggle with video skills and technology you are in the right place!    

When we start to think about creating a video we can easily distract ourselves with the gear we will use, the effects we want or how hard it will be to speak looking into the lens of the camera. While all these things are valid and have their place in video creation I would recommend you to start with planning! 

I hope to guide you on your video planning process with who-why-where-how-what questions. These 5 questions can help you create videos more relevant and engaging to your audience, so let’s dive in. 

WHO are you making the video for?

Who is your ideal viewer? Making a video for EVERYONE is not helpful to anyone.   Focus on your target audience.  Videos tailored to men could look very different than the ones tailored to women and videos made for young people could be very different from those made for an older generation, even if the message is mostly the same. How you present that message is what makes it resonate with one group of people or another. Here are a few other questions to ponder.

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What are their problems and worries?
  • Where can you find them online? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? group forums? (TIP: this will also help you choose the platform where you will post your videos)

WHY are you making this video?

What do you want it to accomplish? Is your purpose to:

  • educate? e.g. are you creating a course?
  • bring awareness to a cause or an issue dear to your heart? 
  • help your viewer solve a problem? e.g. tips to cope with anxiety.
  • promote your courses, other products or counseling services? 
  • something else? Write it down!

WHERE will your video be published?

After you decide what your video’s purpose is you can think about which platform(s) you will be publishing it on. 

If your videos are part of a course or educational program you might want to publish it on an online course platform like Teachable, Udemy, Skillshare or Youtube, or sell them on Amazon.

Educational videos usually do not have length restrictions (you can have 5, 10, 20 or more minutes of video). 

If you are creating a promotional or social media video the length of the video may be restricted by the platform you will be publishing on. Some platforms allow for only one minute of video. 

Social media and sales videos are usually much shorter, from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, so keep that in mind if these are the types of videos you are aiming for.

When you decide the appropriate place for your video to be published, verify the length restrictions of the platform and the optimal length for your video.  

HOW do you want your video to look like?

After deciding what you want your video to accomplish and which platforms you will be publishing it on, you can focus on what you want the mood and style of your video to be. 

Think about how you want your video to look when it’s finished. Look at other people’s videos to decide on the style you want. Think also about who you are making the videos for. 

  • What do they like? 
  • What style of video do they prefer or engage more with? 
  • Can your content be presented in a funny way? Are you a funny person? 
  • Would a conversational approach work or does the topic call for a more serious or formal tone?
  • What can you show or say that is unique in your area? Unique presentations tend to stand out and make a lasting impression. 

WHAT will you say?

OK, we are on the last step of the planning where we actually choose what to say. I am sure you probably have created a lecture or in person course on a topic of your area, so this shouldn’t be too hard (if you haven’t done any of these it is ok! With a bit of extra planning and support you can do it too!). 

Some people feel better if they prepare and write down everything they will say in a script and either memorize it or use a teleprompter, so they can make sure they will say everything they need to.

Others find a script too stifling and want to be spontaneous and say things on the spur of the moment. For these people I would recommend writing down at least the important points to keep them on track. 

Both these approaches have advantages and disadvantages, and choosing one has a lot to do with your personality and comfort level. Here are some of the most common points to take into consideration.

Using a Script

AdvantagesWill not forget important points
Things are presented in order
No rumbling
DisadvantagesMay sound mechanical or being read (may need practice to sound right)
If not written in conversational tone can sound weird

Winging It

AdvantagesSounds natural, conversational and engaging
DisadvantagesMay forget important points or present them mixed with other topics which may be confusing or unclear
May ramble or repeat yourself too much

After the “script or not to script” question is decided, write down the outline or script keeping in mind your ideal viewer, your video purpose, the mood and pace of your video and the length and platform it will be published on.

While video recording may look like a simple process, a good and engaging video starts in the planning process, way before the camera is turned on. This can make a difference of engaging your viewers or just being another un-watched video. 

In the next post I will be talking about the gear you can use to video record yourself. Until then, grab a pen & paper or your favourite note taking tool and start planning your video according to the who-why-where-how-what questions. 

Of course, this is only a guideline for video planning.  If you have any questions or need help you can leave a comment below or email me at videos at spiderwebcreations.ca .

You can also join my Newsletter to receive a “Video Record Yourself” downloadable checklist.  Other blog posts give more information on the items in the checklist.

Happy planning!

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