• Michael Jobling, Producer

Talking Head Videos 101: How To Use Them Effectively

Looking for a video to promote your business but having trouble getting to grips with what you need? How do you summarise your entire business or project in such a short amount of time? In an ideal world, you want to deliver your core message, explain why you love what you do and look cool as hell, all in under three minutes. With Talking Head videos, and by asking yourself a set of simple questions, this is all possible.


In case you don’t know, a Talking Head video is someone talking on camera and delivering their key message, cut together with captivating looking B-roll. You can learn more in this blog entry by fellow Pesky Kid Oliver Blair, which even goes into the science of why body language is so successful in holding a viewer’s attention.


In this blog, I’m going to break down how engaging Talking Head videos can be, the different forms they come in, and how and when to use them most effectively.



The Different Types of Talking Head Video


First off, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to achieve from making a video about your business or project. Are you looking to showcase your services to get customers lining up round the block? Do you want to impress everyone with some glowing customer testimonials? Or do you want a heartfelt and cinematic summary of what you do so well to send to potential investors?



Here’s a few examples to get you started, that highlight just how open you can be when approaching a Talking Head video. Remember, there’s no rules to filmmaking!


  1. Product Demonstration Sometimes, it’s better to show and tell. Producing an on brand video to match your new, revolutionary product is a great way to demonstrate to your potential audience how and why they need it in their lives. Match that with your expert knowledge and insightful explanation, and they’ll have everything they need before rushing to click the Purchase Now button.

  2. Corporate Social Responsibility Been doing a great job of recycling lately? Is your business helping those most in need in your local community? Then a CSR video might be the one for you. Getting your CEO, or even someone you’ve helped along the way to explain what important work you’ve been doing on camera can be very powerful, and will get your audience to connect on an emotional level.

  3. Meet The Team What better way to let everyone know that your business is the bee’s knees than letting your team say it for you. Nominated for a Best Sales Team award? Office morale resulting in improved customer service? Nothing exudes confidence like a Meet The Team Talking Head video, and can do wonders in attracting the interest of future employees and investors.

Things To Consider


If you read this article about the work of neuroscientist Jeffrey M. Zacks, you’ll find that humans are conditioned to subconsciously mirror the behaviour of those around them, no matter whether it’s in the real world or on a laptop or phone screen.


It explains why we're prone to laugh or cry, to smile or grimace as we watch someone else do the same. So if you put a loyal employee, a happy customer, or the enthusiastic mastermind behind your project on camera, your audiences are going to react on a far more emotional basis than if you were to just give them a bunch of facts and figures.


As you can probably now tell, your audience may be more intuitive than you think. There are plenty of things to consider when making a Talking Head video that can take it from rags to riches, and that can ensure a more meaningful response.


-Who Is Your Target Audience? May sound simple, but knowing your audience and knowing what they want will dictate the style and tone of your Talking Head video. If you run a care home, and want to showcase a friendly and inviting atmosphere, then your video will most likely use a warm and gentle colour palette, an easy-going editing pace and your subject might be sat down in a comfy looking armchair. If you’re a personal trainer, and want to target those looking to lose weight, it might be more fast paced, use a more active handheld camera style when conducting your interviews, and use high-octane, high energy music.

-What Do You Want Your Audience To Think/Feel/Do? Become inspired? Be moved? Sign up to your newsletter? There are simple, subliminal things you can do to make an audience feel and act in a certain way. It might be as simple as choosing where your interviewee looks while on camera. Looking ‘off camera’ to an invisible interviewer can feel more indirect, and informative. Looking straight into the lens, and speaking ‘directly to the audience’ evokes more urgency and a direct message. Take a look at examples from our previous work. They feel different right?



-The Practicalities Now onto the boring, yet important stuff. Do you have permission to film in your perfect location? How long have you got to film an interview with your subject before they have to shoot off to pick up the kids? Where is your audience accessing the video, and does it need to be appropriately optimised? These are some of the things that can make or break your vision, and having the foresight and time to prepare is essential.

The Ariella Kickstarter video

The key to a good crowdfunding video is showing your passion and explaining why the world will be a better place if people invest in your idea. Selling yourself and whatever you’re making is key, and what better way to do that than talking openly and honestly on camera. Here’s the crowdfunding video we made to raise money for our short film Ariella.


It was successful, and we managed to raise £10,000, because people recognised the intended tone and style of the film, felt informed from watching our discussions with each other and felt the urgency during our pieces to camera.


Have a watch, and if you want to find out more about how we successfully ran a month long crowdfunding campaign, read this blog from Ryan Harvey, producer of Ariella.



That’s A Wrap!

Filmmaking is almost entirely problem solving, and even a seemingly simple Talking Head video can throw up some interesting challenges.


Here at Them Pesky Kids, we’ve made dozens of them for a huge array of different causes, businesses and projects. We know that everyone has their own story, and a Talking Head video is a quick, cost effective and evocative way to tell them.


Reckon a Talking Head video is the right video for you?


Check out our Services Page or contact us now!


0115 953 3806

contact@thempeskykids.co.uk

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©2019 Them Pesky Kids Ltd.

©Them Pesky Kids Ltd 2019 | Nottingham, UK. Film and TV development and production services, corporate video, and content creation.

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