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10 Steps to Get Video Comfortable for Your Nonprofit

by Holly Rustick

Media, media, media.

Whether that is traditional media, such as television and radio, or social media like Facebook live or Instagram stories, it can be a little nerve-wracking to promote your nonprofit or the nonprofits you work with. Yes, good ole newsletters still are showing effectiveness in reaching donors, but video is fast becoming a number one communicator of nonprofit messaging to donors, sponsors, and grant funders.

According to a report by See3, Into Focus: Benchmarks for Nonprofit Video and a Guide for Creators, 80 percent of respondents said video is important to their nonprofits and 91 percent believe video will become more important in the next three years. Just a quick look on Google showcased nearly 49,000 webpages when typing in "video marketing for nonprofits". This is huge.
OMG, what if I make a mistake and say the wrong thing!
Being filmed by a smartphone camera is still a form of public speaking (coined: glossophobia) and according to Psychology Today 25 percent of the American public suffers from fear of public speaking. (Interesting side note, they state that although fear of public speaking is common, it is an urban legend that it is usually someone’s biggest fear).
Many foundation funders now also require a video to be uploaded alongside a grant application. You can no longer hide underneath text! I see this more and more when foundations publish their announcements on social media.
Video messaging is super important and here to stay. So how can you overcome your fears if you loathe being on camera?
I work with a lot of nonprofits and often they want me to do the television spot because they say they are too nervous to be on screen! But the thing is as a freelancer, I tell them I am not the face of the nonprofit and that the executive director or project manager should be on screen and maybe even bring a beneficiary with them (even if that is a cat!)!

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Here are 10 steps to get over your jitters of being onscreen:

#1) Draft out what you are going to say. Writing it down is a great way to get your thoughts in order and to help give you a roadmap of what to say. (Get a FREE download of the checklist here)

#2) Read it aloud to a colleague or someone who knows what you are doing for your nonprofit and get feedback on what you are going to say. Ask the listener to provide any feedback of how it sounds and if you are missing anything.

#3) Take several deep breaths before you go on camera! Go to your happy space and imagine your interview of video going amazingly! Walk yourself through the entire process.

#4) Be your 100 percent self! Wear your favorite dress, pantsuit, or favorite jeans and t-shirt. Whatever makes you feel fabulous and represents you then be that! Put on make-up if you like to, brush your hair, and feel amazing. Just by looking great on the outside can help you feel more confident and relaxed.

#5) Good background and lighting: If filming from a Smartphone or Computer make sure you have a simple background and good lighting. Filming near a window where you are looking towards the window (not your window behind you!) is a good trick on not having a shadow on the side of your face or not being able to see you because the backdrop is too bright.

#6) Run a sample: If you are filming on a phone or computer, do a sample video before sharing or going Live. There might be a laundry basket behind you that you totally forgot about! Plus, you will get more used to seeing yourself on film.

#7) Use Sticky Notes: If you are filming on your computer or smart phone, but a sticky note with major bullet points near the camera.

#8) Know your Project: If you are on a television station or on the news, be confident. You know your project! You got this and it’ll be over before you know it! If you really don’t want them to ask you a specific question, tell the media before you start. I’ve had to go on the news before on a subject I wasn’t entirely confident about, so I told the anchorman I wasn’t sure about all of the history of the project. He was happy for the head’s up and didn’t go down that rabbit hole.

#9) Always go back to your Content: If you truly don’t know the answer to something and get asked while Live or during an interview, don’t lie! Just say you can try to find out the answer and then work back in what you do know. Don’t just say, “I don’t know,” say, “I can find out the answer for that, but we really are excited about our upcoming event that will benefit 100 cats on January 1st, 2020 at the Cat Ball!”
#10) Mention your sponsors: One reason people get nervous about going on video is that they are afraid that they will miss thanking one of their sponsors. This is much easier though print advertising as you can have your team look it over and make sure you have included everyone. However, this is a lot more difficult when being filmed on the television, onsite, or going Live on Facebook or Instagram. Make sure you include your major sponsors in your notes. If you need to, make a side note that you are actually going to read the sponsors off from you list because you want to make sure you do not miss anyone. That is absolutely fine!
Want the checklist of these top 10? Click here for a FREE downloadable checklist! 

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Listen to the FULL podcast on iTunesSoundCloud or Stitcher