Recording yourself on video looks easy, but when it comes to making a good recording for marketing or business, it can easily go wrong if you don’t take a bit of care with the sound, lighting and framing. 


We all want to look our best, and sound professional, even when we don’t have a lot of time in our busy schedules. Our smartphone cameras can make good videos, but these tips will help make them better.

  1. SOUND.
    Check you are in a quiet area, ideally inside and in a room without noisy surfaces. Have the phone no more an arm’s length away from you to ensure you pick up your voice well.

Most of us hold our phones while recording ourselves, but it’s best not to, as we end up with shaky videos. So put your phone, facing you for a selfie video, on a shelf, a pile of books or ideally on a tripod mount where it’s steady and secure to record.

Look into the camera lens, and avoid looking at yourself on your screen. I encourage people to cover the screen with a sticky note with an arrow on it pointing at the lens. That way you can lock your eyes onto the lens and the viewer sees you talking to them directly and not off-lens. If you have to angle it, look slightly down into the shot rather than up.

Make sure you have a bit of space above your head, and leave space below your chin to ensure you can add text there if needed. So head and shoulders in the shot is good, remembering the tip for sound in Tip 1 above. 

Ideally choose a clear background, not covered in clutter or distracting objects. Make the background relevant to your video.

Ensure there is natural light shining on your face, from a window ideally. Make sure your face is not in shadow so don’t have the light source behind you. In wintertime, this might mean using an extra light – so find a source of white light if possible, such as a ring light or a bright room light.

Write down what you want to say and rehearse it.  Don’t learn it off, but do be familiar with it before you start. Three sentences is a good guide for a short social media video.

Shorter sentences are easier to deliver than longer ones, so break them up a bit and put in pace and emphasis. 

When you press Record, pause a second or so before starting to speak, and then pause at the end, hold your pose, and then stop recording. This makes it easier to trim the beginning and the end.

Don’t be too critical of yourself. Ask a friend to assess it for you, and good luck!