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  • Writer's pictureSimon Elliott

Having a regular video presenter for your brand can be great… and not so great…


presenter shows an apple watch to the camera
Presenters can be expensive but a cost saving in the end.

A regular ‘face’ for your videos? Depends on a few things:

The style of video you’re going for.

The platform.

How much material you have.


Having a presenter, in-house or a hired in pro, can be an enormous cost saving. Someone talking to camera is cheaper than hiring a cameraman and sending them to get arty pictures and voicing them over. Plus, that can be very old school TV style.


Digital video’s an intimate form, a one-on-one experience that’s often consumed on a phone with headphones. A presenter talking straight to camera - and therefore straight to your viewer - is intimate. It’s the default setting of so many influencers and creators across all kinds of platforms because it’s cheap and fits the form.


If you establish an employee as your ‘face’ and they leave, it’s a big blow. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. They’ll often do a cracking job because of their knowledge and the cost. But go in with your eyes open.


Video podcasts are a brilliantly effective way to get long and short form video. But vods are where you’ll need a presenter that can talk straight to camera and do interviews. In Video for Magazines, I got the brilliant Faye Carruthers to present because she can do both and I... can’t.


As a magazine professional, if you're considering presenting, be aware that being on-camera can be challenging.


Presenting videos for your title is a very reasonable proposition. You’re the expert. You know the people. But there are questions:


Do you reflect the audience you want?

Are you any good at it?

Can you take really hurtful personal criticism?

If not you, who?

Do you need a ‘face’ at all?


Do you reflect the audience you want?

If you’re a b2b title going out to CEOs or leadership level people and you’re someone, that audience would take seriously, great. If you’re that same person and leading a title aimed at students… Remember, this is about effective video.

If you’re targeting a younger audience for that b2b leadership title, a younger presenter might work well. Different audiences same title? Consider using multiple presenters.

To engage viewers, videos should have relatable elements. Whether that’s just an audience appropriate tone, or the actual presenter.


Are you any good?

This is a hard question for you to answer. And it’s even harder for anyone you work with to answer.


Here are a few pointers:

Practise. I mean really practise. Instead of doing a few tests and saying ‘Good to go’, do at least half a dozen practise runs.


And while you’re practising, the single most important thing to remember is cameras suck energy. It’s a performance. AMP IT UP.


In any video, you’re performing. Think about all the zooms and teams calls during the pandemic (Sorry to mention it). How exhausted did you feel after video meetings? That’s because you were performing.


In order to get your points across, you had to amp it up. And that was with people who had to do what you asked. Your videos are going out to people who don’t know you and really don’t have to watch.


My experience in the Video for Magazines series is a great example. I’m not a good presenter. Faye’s skills and presence on-screen are why I got her to help me. She’s a friend, but far more important than that, she’s a professional presenter. The difference between us on screen is huge.


Watch me and you’re probably thinking, come on mate, cheer up. And I’m actively performing. The only reason I’m on screen is that I need to represent my company. Plus, there’s a reasonable chance I reflect the audience I want to speak to.


Can you take really hurtful personal criticism?

The relative anonymity of being a magazine writer/editor/publisher will disappear. Social media’s taken some privacy, but video’s worse. I saw the struggles of reporters and presenters who worked for me.


If your video succeeds, you’ll be told you’re an appalling, ill-informed idiot with the looks of a hippo.


The advice is don’t read the comments, but it’s hard. In making the videos for crowdfindervideo, I had genuine doubts. I’m an overweight middle-aged guy. I’ll get stick.


But because I’m passionate about what we do, I feel it’s worth it. I’m not exactly a sensitive flower and I’m worried. One thing here. Don’t react, don’t engage.


If not you, then who?

Look around your team. Can someone do it well and reflect the audience? If you or someone in your team is the answer, great. If you’re not, and you don’t have someone to do it, get in touch, we’ll find you a professional presenter. You can buy me a bottle of wine, they can buy me a case, because a decent presenter will charge you £250 to £1k a day. Like I say - worth it though.


Do you need a ‘face’ at all?

Avoid the ‘face of’ issue by not having a presenter. Use voiceover, shots, music, natural sound, and on-screen text. Doing this can work, but you create another problem for yourself. Make sure you have enough footage.


A good video with decent pace burns through shots quicker than you can imagine. Plus, you might stray too close to old school TV.


That’s a few ideas and thoughts. Questions? Get in touch. We’ll see what we can do.

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