Important Lessons Learned From My First Experience of Pre-recorded Talk

A closer look at how you can better understand and prepare yourself

Photo credits: Jessie Zou

First things first, mad respect for those who regularly do this and have mastered the skill.

A little background

I joined Huawei in Oct 2019 and currently lead “Partner Engineering” team. A part of my role involves promoting some of the HMS Core platforms and technology at various events. Fast forward to September 2020, I got an opportunity to speak at Huawei’s largest tech conference “HDC.Together 2020”.

Embrace the unchartered territory

It is always difficult to do something for the first time because of fear, and lack of experience in that area. It is helpful if you know beforehand what are you getting into.

  • There is no luxury to improvise and be spontaneous
  • There’s a camera watching every emotion on your face
  • It can always be re-recorded so there’s a lack of adrenaline
  • Even if the recording can be edited, there will always be pressure to do it right in one go
  • Mistakes will happen and multiple retakes might drain your energy and can frustrate you
How the setup looks like

Preparation

Get familiar with the team

Get familiar with the environment

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprompter

Get an idea about the process of editing

Any professional video recording is incomplete without the editing effort. The team behind the camera (in a literal sense) was kind enough to explain how editing and post-production would work. Mainly because I was genuinely curious and asking questions but it also helped me in getting more confidence and a sense of the big picture.

Source: https://youtu.be/w2sn-9HTa1w?t=586

The script is the King

Practice out loud

Be conscious about the number of talks in one day

Original tweet: https://twitter.com/jesslynnrose/status/1317481415928385541

Execution

Sleep well and come fresh

I understood that the key to a successful recording is the script itself, but only if it is delivered as passionately and as naturally as possible. It will be difficult for you to bring your full energy if you haven’t slept well.

Appearance matters

  • It is advisable to avoid shining objects that reflect the light.
  • Depending on the scale of the event, there may be a make-up artist present who will take care of all the daily imperfections and ensure you look good on the screen.
  • Avoid any physical activities (cycling, jogging, etc. ) before the recording that would make your skin sweat.

Adjust your speech pace

Body language has a key role to play

  • Free your face right at the beginning and don’t forget to put a natural smile where appropriate. For example, when you are introducing yourself.
  • Audience involvement is key but of course, the context will be different. Nevertheless, you can still use this opportunity to engage with them by asking questions or make them think about something to hold their attention.
  • You will have to make eye contact with the camera alone for the whole duration. If you don’t, your viewers will easily notice it while watching the video.

Don’t overthink too much

I hope it was helpful in some way. I would love to hear your follow up questions or even better if you have something to add based on your own experience. Looking forward to your comments!

EU Lead Partner Engineering🥑 at Huawei • Growing HMS Ecosystem, one partner at a time • Android, Product, UX • Co-Organizer @DevRelMunich

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