• Oliver Blair

Talking Head Videos - The Basics

Chances are, if you've started to use video content within your company or business then it's likely you've wondered how you should do it. Animations? Product Reviews? Social media?!

The choices are endless and though each can be used in a direct and powerful way, one of the simplest and most effective formats to get started with is...

The 'Talking Head'

A talking head video is, in the most basic of terms, one person talking to the audience (either directly to camera, or just off to the side) to deliver their significant message. It's clean, it's straightforward and most importantly, it lets your audience connect with a charismatic and trusting face from your business.

There are many purposes for this format of video; promotion, brand-awareness and in-house training being just a few of them. For example, three ways a talking head can be used effectively are:

  • Leaders in the electric automobile industry delivering their important ecological message

  • Beneficiaries of charity organisations on WHY this charity was so important to them

  • Managers and their employees developing new safety techniques and applying them together in the workplace

Citizens Advice - Client Video

It's a pretty big mix - and we get it! It's hard to know how this video is really supposed to help you, right?

Let's both go deeper and look at some of the benefits and things to avoid when setting out and doing it for yourself.

The Three Aims

#1 - Connect with your audience

One of the most important key factors to a Talking Head is the empathy and emotion that you can deliver. A study by Albert Mehrabian found that 55% of human communication is delivered in body language while 38% is delivered in the tone of voice. That leaves just 7% for verbal communication left.

This means that it is key that preparation for the script and the video all focus on being as genuine, spontaneous and human as possible.

Staying one step ahead and knowing the importance of body language and deeper expression means you can use them to your advantage and relate to your audience in ways people aren't thinking about.

#2 - Be effective and cost-efficient

When done correctly, Talking Head videos are engaging and relatable. Consumer or employee, these videos are designed to grab and hold the attention of your audience in an entertaining way.

Once you've hooked them, you're now able to deliver a significant amount of information to the audience - and it's far more likely that they'll retain and remember that information if they're committed to enjoying the video.

Not only this, but because the videos are so simple to shoot (it’s only interview and a little bit of extra footage), it’s usually low-cost and a great return on your investment into the video!

#3 - It should (and can!) be creative

There are just some things that you can't put in a training manual or leaflet.

Just because it's business-related, doesn't mean that you can't have fun with it - music choice, graphics and extra footage connected to the message you're putting out will interest your audience and keep them in their seats. This is the perfect chance to show off the personality of yourself or your business in a quick and easy way.

A Talking Head walks into a bar - ouch! (bonus benefit)

Humour can be a fantastic tool to break the ice and display trust in your audience. It's a language that everyone can understand and connect through and research shows that people can become receptive to new ideas when exposed to humour, so start brushing off that joke book!

Three things to avoid!

#1 - Don't deliver the wrong message!

A common pitfall that businesses fall into, is forgetting the message or feeling that they're trying to get across- so much so that the audience doesn't understand it correctly and it comes across as 'too serious' or 'too cheesy'. Be aware that a poorly delivered message could actually damage your brand.

Writing a script, creating a storyboard and figuring out the goals and aims of the video is crucial to pinpointing where your energy (and emphasis) should go into. Make sure that you take the time to plan before the cameras start rolling!

Also - having a professional (that knows all about the subject) speak to camera is great but not when they assume the audience understands what they're saying. Break down the conversation for your audience, avoid jargon and your industry-specific terms!

#2 - Be careful who delivers your message!

Let's face it. Not all of us are cut out to be on camera - taking selfies is one thing, but delivering a message as the face of a company? Totally different!

When we pitched for our Kickstarter campaign, we made sure we were the ones talking to our audience. Because it was important.

Once you have your script in place, make sure that you pick the right person to read it aloud.

If it’s a testimonial or can be delivered naturally, an employee, partner or client is fine (though they may need a little bit of help to get over their nerves).

If the script is a little more complicated it may be worth hiring an actor to read it.

#3 - Be careful with your time!

As a company or small business, you're aware that time is a precious commodity and you need to be careful when utilising it within your team.

A video is exactly the same and the more preparation (and time) that you put into it, the higher the quality of video that you'll make.

Although Talking Head videos are among the simplest, please ensure you get as much help as possible and use the resources you have available.


That’s all there is to it, connecting with your audience while being cost-effective and creative and avoid delivering the wrong message by the wrong person.

At Them Pesky Kids, we make Talking Head videos regularly with our clients. So we've decided to help one business, charity, or project with giving away one for free!

To find out more and enter the competition CLICK HERE

Need help with your Talking Head Video?

Check out our Services Page or Contact Us now!

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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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