I am stilling trying to get warm after sitting outside last night watching Virginia Tech play North Carolina. Even with hand and foot warmers, I was shaking cold. If you happened to watch the game on ESPN, you likely learned just how cold it was.

I can remember when very few college football games were televised. I always felt in those days that the players reacted differently because they knew they were on camera. I think the same is true of lawyers who are on camera for trials.

As you likely know I have Apple computers. A few years ago I shot video from the camera on my iMac and I thought I looked like a deer (with short hair)  in headlights. I still feel uncomfortable looking at the video.

After learning the cost to shoot video in a studio, I purchased an HD camera and shot video again. I discovered the lighting wasn’t good enough so I purchased two umbrella lights. Then, I wasn’t satisfied with the microphone so I purchased a professional microphone.

Call me a perfectionist, but I am still not 100% satisfied. Here is a link to one of the videos:

Why does this matter to you? I believe everyone agrees that video will play an increasingly important role in legal marketing and client development. I urge you to start practicing in front of a camera with no audience.

I know actors speak to a camera, but acting is different. I always use President Reagan and President Clinton as an examples of speakers comfortable speaking to directly to a camera. Both Presidents had a magic way of making their television audience feel like they were speaking directly to each person.

If you believe Bill Clinton and Ronald Regan were naturally gifted, read:What Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and You Have in Common Hint: It’s Not Natural Ability and then find a video clip of Bill Clinton’s nomination speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention. It was not his finest moment. He was so bad that when he appeared on the Johnny Carson show a week later, Johnny introduced him mimicking his speech at the convention. I still laugh when I listen to Johnny Carson at his best: Introducing Clinton

Like President Reagan and President Clinton, it takes a lot of work to be a gifted communicator. Time to get a camera and start practicing. You will need this skill sooner rather than later.

 

 

  • Anonymous

    Cordell,
    You are correct when you say that lawyers need to become comfortable sitting in front of a camera. As you personally experienced, the quality of your equipment matters when creating an educational video.

    Our viewers perceive that the quality of our legal ability is somehow tied to the quality of our video. We certainly do not want to give the impression that simply because we chose not invest in a good microphone that somehow relates to us not being able to give good legal advice.

    However, a viewers observations and perceptions are paramount. The will not stick around to ask you why you didn’t take the time to get lighting equipment to illuminate you. They won’t spend the time to wonder why your audio stinks. They want a coherent compelling message and the technical stuff should be invisible and offer no distractions.

    To become a really good videographer, a great video editor and a fantastic video publisher takes time and effort. In fact, there’s a huge learning curve. It’s not as simplistic as some gurus say by simply pressing the red ‘record’ button and directly uploading to YouTube.

    Most lawyers don’t want to spend the time and energy to learn how do it all themselves. That’s when an experienced video marketing company is needed. Others, like yourself, are eager to learn and invest the time to make that picture-perfect video. More power to you. The majority of lawyers just want to practice law and stick to what they do best.

    You are right. Video will be the dominant force online in the next few years. Lawyers who fail to embrace it, will be left in the dust.

    Gerry Oginski
    NY Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyer &
    Founder, Lawyers Video Studio
    http://lawyersvideostudio.com