Making videos and speaking on camera is a great way to practice your English and improve your fluency. Whether it’s with your phone cam or webcam, here are some technical tips to take into consideration in order to make this experience successful and fun, especially if you want to share your video with other learners and English-speaking partners:
Using Your Phone cam
1. How to hold your phone
If you want to share it on Instagram, hold it vertically. But if it’s for YouTube, hold it horizontally.
2. Background & Lighting
Look for an indirect light source and position yourself in front of the light source. Ideally it should be a window with sunlight, but it can also be soft artificial lighting or one of your lamps at home.
3. Frame space
Make sure there’s some space between your head and the frame.
Also, keep the camera slightly above your eye level.
Make sure there isn’t a lot of background noise. If it’s not silent around you, by all means use your headphones. People will hear you much better that way.
Remember that the focus should be on you so make sure nothing weird sticks out behind you. There should be contrast between you and the background. Choose a background that’s appropriate for the mood and feel of your video. For example, if the background is dark and your face is lit, you stick out more.
6. Free your hands and maintain eye contact with potential viewers!
Consider getting a tripod to hold your phone when you want to shoot longer videos. Another option is simply to use whatever’s around you to place the phone at eye level: it could be a box, a pile of books, etc. But whatever you do, don’t forget to look at the camera and not at yourself on the screen.
Using Your Webcam
As with your phone cam, remember to look at the camera and not at your own image, and keep some distance from the screen. Your default position is when your laptop is on a table, but consider putting the laptop on top of something so it’s at your eye level.
Watch the video below and let me know if you found these tips helpful.
Are you making videos in English? Let me know in the comments below. And if you want to practice this way with other amazing video learners, come and say hello to the members of our InFluency Community on Facebook. See you there, on video!