Updated for 2019! Creating share-worthy videos is easy!
The primary update to these tips is in regards to #4 below, shoot horizontally. With more and more social media (and website usage) being consumed on smartphones, it is not ALWAYS best to film horizontally. According to this post by Covideo, 94% of smartphone videos are consumed vertically…people simply aren’t willing (or able in the case of many apps like Twitter and Instagram) to turn their phones. So shooting vertically may be best when your target channel is social and your social audience consumes your content on their phone.
If you don’t want to invest in buying equipment or can’t wait for it to arrive, you can certainly create iPhone videos without any extra gear all by yourself. The video below was created without using external equipment and handheld by the speaker (me). No tripod, no external microphone, no special lighting. It’s really pretty easy to get a post-worthy video with just a little thought.
You can also view the video on YouTube for some tips on taking videos with an iPhone (or most any smartphone) including:
Be aware of your lighting. Shooting outside (be sure the sun is not directly behind you) or near windows is good if you do not have lighting equipment.
Take a sample video to see how it looks. Experiment using the phone’s flash, or the flash of a second phone.
Do not use your phone’s zoom (zoom the old fashion way by moving toward or away from your subject).
Use your “exposure lock” on an iPhone (and most other smartphones).
This is done by touching your screen to “lock” in on your subject, hold your touch until it displays “AE/AF LOCK” which will help keep the lens from changing the exposure (how much light it lets in) automatically.
Unless the primary purpose is for social media feeds (vertical shots do not play well on websites, but social users on mobile prefer vertical)
Have a steady hand or prop your phone on something stable.
Or you can use a tripod (you can find a great one for around $20). Check Amazon Prime for a variety of options.
Place the phone’s microphone close to your subject.
Or get an external microphone, we use a clip-on lavalier with an extension cord.
You can also easily step up your production value by investing a little (certainly under $100) by purchasing a tripod &/or external microphone. The following video was taken using a tripod and external microphone (again, no extra/special lighting). The set-up used to film the below video included a tripod, lapel microphone and extension cord, all for about $50.
‘Tis the season for the holiday party. Whether you love the office mixer or dread another December full of evening obligations, you are likely going to a few seasonal get-togethers. Interested in spending that time wisely to further your career or business? Here are eight networking tips for your next holiday party:
1. Show up. 90% of success is showing up, right?
Some holiday events are basically mandatory, while others you may not HAVE to go to but you should. Yes, we are all busy, but many of these events only come around once a year and if you want to expand your network, show up. If you are unable to attend an event you are expressly invited to be sure to send a pleasant note that you can’t make it. Also, if the event has a charitable component (food drive, gift donation, etc.), consider still donating if you can’t attend, the host will be appreciative.
2. Have fun.
No one wants to hang with the sour-faced guy. If you really don’t want to be there, don’t go…however.
You don’t have to be the life of the party. Unless you are in the PR department, then promotion is your job!
3. When should I get there?
Like most things in life, it depends…Here are my guidelines for a few different types of gatherings:
(informal at the office or offsite, during the workday or right after work)
Arrive on time and plan to stay for a couple hours or until the official end time. Don’t stick around too long.
(more formal at a private residence or swanky establishment, evening start time)
It’s good form to be a little late to a company party being held at a private home. Like any party, your hosts are likely running a little behind and you being the first to show up isn’t a great look. Plan to stay for a few hours, but also try and be flexible with your curfew. If you are having a great time and bonding with new contacts, it’s a shame to have to leave just to get home for a babysitter that doesn’t really care anyway.
Client or Vendor Party
Totally depends on your relationship — if you are going to do a flyby and not stay very long, try and add a few extra minutes so it doesn’t seem like you are in and out. Make a point to connect and say hello to the person that invited you as soon as you can.
4. Participate and dress appropriately.
Participate? Many holiday events have a theme or predetermined activity. If the event is an ugly sweater, wear your ugliest. If it’s a food or toy drive, bring a donation. Secret Santas and White Elephants are fun, try and plan ahead a little so you can have a good gift.
If you don’t know the attire ask someone who has gone before or use a little common sense based on the time, location and culture of the host(s).
You can always plan an after party with your bros…or really, you probably see them enough the rest of the year.
Since you’re reading this post, I assume you’re interested in networking. If so, get outside your inner circle and meet new people. The holiday party is a great way to get to know your boss, Phyllis from accounting or the new intern. Not only is it good form to engage with your co-workers’ guests, you may find a great connection outside of The Office.
5a. Ask questions and actually listen to the answers.
Don’t expect to know what to talk about offhand. Have a variety of topics ready to go and spend a little time thinking about what you’d say. If someone asks you a question, answer and reciprocate. Here are a few suggestions for non-worky topics:
What’s the best book you read this year?
Do you listen to podcasts? What are you currently listening to?
Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation?
The list can go on and on, talk about what you are interested in. TV shows, sports, holiday travel plans, etc. It is ok to get intimate and into a real conversation, at least for a little while, but probably best to avoid politics.
6. Have an exit plan.
When it is time to go (see #3) be sure to find the host to thank them and say goodbye. Also, if there is a party planning committee, thank them and consider a thank you gesture because putting on these events is a lot of work. You can also follow-up with an email or handwritten note. If you feel like you need to sneak away, you are leaving too early.
Glen Wilson / Paramount Pictures
7. Know your limits.
What list of holiday networking tips would be complete without this one? However, there seems to always be a few partygoers that hit it a little too hard. If you do need to get your drink on, save it for the after party or grandma’s house. That way you won’t end up like Clay and Walter at ZenoTek.
BONUS HOST TIP: Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverage choices. While everyone wants to have a good time, not everyone wants beer, wine or…water. This also goes a long way in helping people stick to their limits. Most people want to have a drink in their hand and if there are lots of options (a signature booze-less drink perhaps) they aren’t as likely to overindulge.