9 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating a Testimonial Video

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Testimonial videos—stories from real people—are a tried-and-true way to tell an organization’s story. But a poor video can actually hurt your image.

Here are nine things to watch for to ensure that your testimonial videos represent your company well:

  1. Camera bounce. Yes, in some reality-type videos this can work, but it’s like a sentence fragment. It should only be used intentionally.
  2. Inadequate lighting. Check for good skin tones and heavy shadows on faces.
  3. Uneven sound levels. Make sure the sound is at a consistent level, and clear and free of muffled background noises.
  4. Poor speaker appeal. Careless grooming and sloppy apparel detract from credibility, so be sure to tell your subjects what you expect before they show up for the filming.
  5. Poor framing. Tight crops help the viewer focus—while busy backgrounds can distract. A simple rule of thumb: Use only as much background as needed to help convey the story.
  6. Unprofessional editing. Avoid things like sloppy transitions, for example, that scream amateur.
  7. Lack of variety. Mix up the talking heads with graphics, still images and other techniques that break it up visually.
  8. Lagging momentum. Often, this is a result of not editing rigorously enough, so ask yourself if the content can be trimmed.
  9. Needless graphical treatments. Flying titles and flashy effects aren’t always an improvement, so use them with discretion, making sure that they support rather than distract from your testimonial.
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