Today I received a question for advice about making people feel comfortable taking video of them at a trade show. After having done quite a bit of that, here are my suggestions!
- The best way to ask is to do so confidently, clearly and with a smile. People are inclined to help, especially if you seem to know what you are doing.
- Also, ask them individually. If you ask in a general group, you’re more likely to get a collective “no”, even for those who might be open to it.
- You ARE going to run into people who are going to say no. To that you can ask, “Are you sure?” or say “It would really help us.” Sometimes that changes their minds, but not always, so those people, just let be.
- Since you asked individually though, if there are more people in the group, ask them!
- If someone is on the fence, (they are slow to respond, or seem to be weighing their options) you can reassure them by saying, “Don’t worry! I can always edit or delete it.” In this tech era, it’s so easy to cut out the bad parts or even delete and start over.
- BEFORE you have gotten a “yes” make sure all of your equipment is ready. Have the camera (and mic) turned on, have your batteries charged or changed and have the shot somewhat set up in your head. It helps with the follow through. Make it as easy as possible for them, and if they’re not awkwardly standing around waiting for you, the video will end up more natural.
- If they’ve said “yes”, to make them feel more comfortable, have them to look AT or talk TO you. Looking directly at the camera can be intimidating. But if you are right behind it smiling encouragingly, asking questions, getting them engaged, they will do well.
- Give them a direction. Just turning the camera on them is a sure fire way to produce a “deer-in-headlights.” Have them say their name, company and give them a question to answer. “What do you do?” “What does your company do?” “What is your newest product?” etc. Then you can let them go where they will or direct the video with more questions.
- Get their information. After doing videos, however reluctantly, most companies and people are thrilled to have the publicity, and will watch or share the video. However, if they contact you that they have a problem with it (the employee was not actually allowed to do one), make sure you’re respectful and take it down.
- Lastly, be sure you thank them! It’s strange to be on camera, to see ourselves, hear ourselves and know others are watching as well. Those brave souls who gave an impromptu video for you deserve some kudos!
Good luck to you all! Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions, I’m here with answers. 🙂