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ENG 4340 Weeks 13 and 14


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ENG 4340 Weeks 13 and 14

  1. 1. CUSTOMERS If you’re appealing to buyers, you should focus on • Best products and features • Pros and cons of products and features • Popular products and features • Ratings (best and worst cars of the year) • Interviews with other customers
  2. 2. ENTHUSIASTS If you’re appealing to enthusiasts, you should focus on • News • New releases • History • Best practices and worst mistakes • Interviews with other enthusiasts
  3. 3. PEERS If you’re appealing to peers, you should focus on • Industry news • New releases • New regulations • Interviews with others in the field
  4. 4. INTERVIEW SUBJECT MATTER • Books: Don’t be afraid to reach out to authors. Many are happy to grant interviews, and most have contact info online, usually through a blog or website. If you can’t locate their information, you can reach authors through their publishers. • Blogs: Many bloggers, podcasters, and other content creators are experts at what they do. Many are happy to grant interviews to help drive traffic to their blogs and build their brands. • Colleges: Schools provide an endless assortment of experts who you can reach out to for interviews. • H.A.R.O: Also known as “Help a Reporter Out” ( ) enables you to fill out an interview request, which in turn is blasted to experts and professionals who are looking for interview opportunities in exchange for traffic or a boost in credibility.
  5. 5. INTERVIEW SUBJECT MATTER • Profnet: Similar to H.A.R.O., Profnet ( also allows you to fill out an interview request, which will reach public relations professionals who in turn will contact you to tell you about their clients. • LinkedIn: Some people with very impressive credentials are using LinkedIn. Do a search for your topic and see who you find. • Local networking groups: Most areas have clubs that play host to networking groups. See what kind of professional events are happening near you. You may find some interesting people. • Conferences: Your search should take you offline as well. Conferences are a wonderful place to network, promote your brand and your business, and, yes, meet intriguing people.
  6. 6. VIDEO BENEFITS • You can create product demonstrations, showing how something works, instead of telling. • Using product placement in videos can entice others to use your product or service. • You can show your logo on the video, leading to more brand recognition. • You can upload your video to YouTube and other video sharing services, giving you more opportunities to reach people. • In addition to optimizing your video and attracting the search engines, you can also drive traffic from YouTube or another video hosting service.
  7. 7. VIDEO BENEFITS • People will look and listen, instead of scanning the text of a blog post. • Seeing your personality and style on a video can lead to speaking engagements. • According to Forrester Research, videos can improve your blog’s search engine visibility by up to 50%. • You can show off a fun, humorous, playful side. • Your viewers connect better when they see your face and hear the emotional appeal of your voice.
  8. 8. VIRAL VIDEOS • • • They’re parodies. People like to see brands or celebrities poke fun at something, and self-deprecating humor always goes over well. When you poke fun at yourself, your brand, or your genre, people appreciate your ability to keep it real. Just be careful not to be mean and insult the people you’re trying to reach, People can relate to them. When people see a video that resonates with them, they’re likely to share. Common household mishaps, children being children, bad acting or singing, and a humorous look at the things people go through during their regular routines are especially appealing. They appeal to our emotions. Charitable or campaigns to raise awareness often use unfortunate but real situations to tug at heartstrings and get people talking.
  9. 9. VIRAL VIDEOS • They’re not too deep. When people have to think about what they’re watching or if they just don’t get what they’re watching, they’re not going to stick around. If you have to touch on a deep or intellectual topic, try doing so with humor so that you don’t lose your audience. • They’re unique. You know what makes a video not go viral? When it copies other viral videos. Come up with some ideas no one else is doing and you’ll have more viewers. • They show something remarkable. Many viral videos show talented people. Singers, athletes, musicians, and others have gone viral. • They’re not staged. Videos that are staged to look spontaneous usually don’t look anything close to spontaneous.
  10. 10. INTERVIEWING TIPS • Do your research. Know as much about your interview subject as possible so that when you’re live on camera, you can get more personal, if needed. • Don’t get too personal. The last thing you want is to make the person with you feel uncomfortable. Not only will it lead to a bad interview, but your viewers may also be uncomfortable, and you may have problems finding future interview subjects. • If you’re reading from notes, don’t make it obvious. Place Bullet1 points off camera where you can sneak a glance, but don’t spend your interview time reading. It looks unprofessional.
  11. 11. INTERVIEW TIPS • Be mindful of your “uhms.” Sometimes people don’t notice their own little habits, but boy, do they show up on camera! It takes some practice, but do pay attention to throat clearings, “ums,” and other habits that don’t show well on camera. • Make eye contact. If you’re not looking at the person you’re interviewing, look at the camera. Looking off to the side or down at your lap makes you look distracted and not really interested in what’s going on around you. • Talk into the camera. If you’re talking to viewers, look at the camera so that they feel as if you’re talking to them.
  12. 12. INTERVIEWING TIPS • • • Create your list of questions ahead of time and share it with your interview subject. Always know what you’re going to talk about ahead of time. Winging sometimes leads to a lapse in the conversation and sometimes looks unprofessional. Also, if your interview subject knows what questions he’ll be asked, he can provide some good information, statistics, and other facts to help back up his point of view. Don’t let your interview subject take control. If you’re not careful, the person whom you’re interviewing will take the lead and talk about only what she wants to talk about or start selling her latest book or blog post. Once you lose control of an interview, it’s hard to get back on the right track. Take the lead and keep the lead. Ask to expand upon one-word answers. Nothing turns off viewers more than a boring interview. You’ll find most people enjoy talking about themselves or what they do. However, now and then, you’ll come across someone who is shy or unpolished. They may even feel “yes” or “no” is an adequate response. It’s up to the interviewer to bring out the best in the guests by asking open-ended questions and directing the conversation.
  13. 13. PODCASTING TIPS • Develop your podcast: Who, what, how often, and how long • Format and structure your podcast: The freedom of confinement, working clean, and defamation • Use music legally in your podcast: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), indie artists, and the benefits of Creative Commons • Incorporate other elements into your podcast: Voicemail messages and live phone calls from listeners, segments from other podcasts, and other elements
  14. 14. PLANNING • As you plan your podcast, to ensure its success and longevity, you need to take some time and really consider the following questions: • Who are you, and why should we subscribe? • How will you and your audience benefit from focusing on a specific topic? • How long a podcast should you try to put together, and how often can you do it and keep it interesting?
  15. 15. WHY SHOULD WE SUBSCRIBE? • A fact of human nature is that people would rather listen to something they connect with that is poorly produced than something that looks and sounds like a million bucks and is, to them, a complete bore. • Try narrowcasting, or making programs available that may appeal only to a small percentage of a total potential audience
  16. 16. HOW LONG? Trial and error has shown that between 15 and 30 minutes is about the optimum length for a solid audio podcast, and anywhere from 1 minute to perhaps 7 is ideal for video. If you are going to err, err on the side of brevity. A shorter podcast has a higher likelihood of being enjoyed regularly, as compared to a longer one (“Sam Has Seven Friends” is a riveting 90 seconds daily).
  17. 17. FORMAT FOR A TALK SHOW • Intro music • Greetings and thanks • Listener mail • B topic (short) • Listener voicemail message • A topic (long) • URL/phone number • Outro music
  18. 18. FORMAT FOR A MUSIC SHOW • Show ID • Up-tempo song • Slower song • “Back sell” first songs, give URL/phone number • Up-tempo song • Requested song • “Back sell” with album information, promote next show • Last song
  19. 19. FORMAT FOR A TECHNOLOGY SHOW • Voicemail message • Intro song • Tech news and reviews • B topic (short) • Question from mail/voicemail • Promote upcoming show • Phone interview with expert guest on topic A (long) • Outro music
  20. 20. USING MUSIC • To cut to the chase, if you use music in a podcast without the express permission of the persons/entities that own that music, you are in violation of copyright • One of the easiest ways to begin looking for music to incorporate into your podcast is to look into websites specializing in independent music, such as IODA Promonet, GarageBand, the Podsafe Music Network, IndieHeaven, and Magnatunes. GarageBand and the Podsafe Music Network alone represent a community of thousands of independent artists and their work in dozens of genres. • Also try royalty free stock music.
  21. 21. EDITING SOUND The waveform measurement scale varies depending on your audio-editing software. In some editing software, the scale will be between -∞dB and 0dB, with 0dB indicating “as loud as possible.” Another popular application uses the scale 0 to 100, with 100 representing the limit for peak audio.
  22. 22. EDITING SOUND • To generalize, the goal of a good recording is to get relatively consistent levels of sound while allowing for an adequate amount of dynamic range and a total avoidance of clipping. This allows listeners to hear both the loud and soft portions of a recording without having to adjust the volume to compensate. • Clipping occurs when you go above 1.0 on the scale in Figure 6-1.
  23. 23. SOUND EDITING • Remember, this isn’t a broadcast—it’s a podcast. You have complete control over what ends up in the final product. If you go into your first recording session knowing that you can take out any mistakes and edit down any incoherent ramblings, you’ll be much more relaxed and much less likely to need to edit things. It sounds strange, but it’s true. • Beware of background noise and uneven levels.
  24. 24. VOICE TECHNIQUES • Relaxation is the key to good vocal technique. Relax your voice, not your body. You need to find a way to relax your voice but maintain good energy. This is why most voiceover artists record standing up. Doing so helps your energy, breathing, and blood flow. • Unless you’ve had some experience behind the mic, you owe it to yourself to spend a little time goofing around. Yes, goofing around. • To find the optimum mic/mouth position to use when recording, sing yourself a little embarrassing nonsense song (OK, you can sing or say whatever you like) while slowly moving your head and mouth up and down and from side to side in front of the mic.
  25. 25. VOICE TECHNIQUES • Talk to one person at a time. Speak as if you are speaking to one person. • Decide exactly who the one person you’re talking to is. Give yourself a buddy, a listener, a point of reference.
  26. 26. VIDEO LIGHTING • The key light: This is the main light used to light the subject. • The fill light: The second light is the fill light. Its function is to fill in the shadows left by the key. The fill light throws less light than the key and is usually a softer, more diffused light. • The backlight: The backlight is positioned behind the subject, casting light on the back of the head and body, which creates a highlighting effect that helps separate the subject from the background.
  27. 27. SETTING • If you have access to a conference room, a friend’s apartment, or a large garage and it can be converted into wherever it is you need to shoot, go for it. • The scene should help convey the message. • Lighting, background noise, environmental control play a part.
  28. 28. LINE SIGHT Imagine when shooting that there is an invisible line that extends from one actor to the other. You must place the camera on one side of “the line” and leave it on that side.
  29. 29. SHOTS: RULE OF THIRDS The rule of thirds is the belief that a frame is much more interesting and pleasing to the eye if the subject of the shot is not centered.
  30. 30. SHOTS: LONG SHOT A long shot (or wideshot) includes the entire subject of the shot in the frame. Long shots and extreme long shots are often used as an establishing shot to orient the characters within the scene or reveal the location of the action.
  31. 31. SHOTS: MEDIUM SHOT A medium shot could be any shot that is tighter than a long shot but not quite tight enough to be a closeup. We like to think of a medium shot as starting around the actor’s waist or so and including all of the top of the head.
  32. 32. SHOTS: CLOSE-UPS A close-up shot is meant for dramatic effect, focusing on the face expressions and hand movements of humans or on the details of an object. They are often used to highlight a specific bit of action or detail that is important to the story or point at hand but that would be lost in a wider shot.
  33. 33. SHOTS: OVER THE SHOULDER This is a useful shot when shooting a two-person dialogue, when the actors are standing close to each other face to face. It is set up exactly as it sounds like it would be.
  34. 34. VIDEO STORYTELLING • Outline: Just like you might outline a speech, write yourself a list of bullet points and basic actions so you can see who is doing what to whom. • Treatment: A treatment is a version of your idea written not in script form but in prose. This is between an outline and a full script, because it is more specific than the first but is not complete dialogue and action. • Script Get all the action and dialogue on paper. Some types of shows will require a tight script to make sure certain facts get illuminated or certain plot points are hit. • Storyboards: Map of your shots. If you’re shooting any kind of action, or a sequence that relies heavily on the shots coming together just so, take the time to draw it out (even with stick figures if you must). It is often the easiest way to communicate complex setups and moves to your crew.
  35. 35. PODCAST OVERVIEW • Podcasting is an equally accessible and entertaining application of the iPod. The word podcasting comes from combining the terms iPod and broadcasting. • An audio podcast can range from less than a minute to more than an hour in total length, depending upon the content you wish to include. The podcast can sound slick, as though it was professionally produced, or have a rough-around-the-edges homemade flavor to it. It can start with an introduction to the content and speaker, and even have a musical intro.
  36. 36. PLANNING • It’s best if you plan out your podcast ahead of time— gathering and importing information, and then writing the script. Although the goal of pod-cast production is to make it sound professional, it needn’t be perfectly polished. • What is right depends on your audience and your personal production style; many podcasters try to sound more relaxed and casual, while others go to great lengths to make their radio shows, audiobooks, and other recordings rival the production value of traditional media sources. • Less than perfect is okay, even better. But be sure the audio quality is pleasing; your customers are more likely to listen to it all the way through.
  37. 37. INTRO • The next step of planning is to sketch out the type of introduction that you want to have. It can include a verbal opening explaining who you are, what your subject matter is, and what you will be talking about in this episode. It can also be saved for future use as the introduction for your next podcast. Remember: Your intro is your persona, your audio image, and your brand for you and your content. • Your introduction can also include a couple of riffs or a few bars of music. Get an idea ahead of time the feeling you want your podcast to convey: serious, businesslike, entertaining, educational, or something else. Then pick about five seconds of music that conveys that feeling to your listener.
  38. 38. SIGN OFF • The last part of podcast planning involves writing or rehearsing your closing, or sign-off. During this part of the session, you should remind your audience of who you are and what your subject matter is, where they can find more of it, and perhaps mention your sponsor (if you have one). Your sign-off is perhaps the most important part of your podcast, because it is the last thing your listeners will hear each time they listen to you, and through repetition, it establishes your auditory brand identity.
  39. 39. EDITING • At the very minimum, you will need to trim the dead air at the beginning and end of your recording; and in most cases, you will want to paste together the music and verbal intro and your sign-off content.
  40. 40. EDITING • Special effects, properly used, can enhance your podcasts. By adding a little creativity and a special effect here and there, you can keep your content exciting and entertaining. • If your software has features that allow you to do so, you should first boost your volume and your bass. Most microphones—especially the inexpensive built-in types—can make your recording sound shallow and tinny. Boosting the volume and bass will add fullness and fidelity to your recording.
  41. 41. SOFTWARE • Podcast recording and editing programs include GarageBand, Quicktime Player, WordPress PodPress Widget, Sound Studio, Soundtrack Pro, Audacity, Evoca, ePodcast Creator, Gabcast, Hipcast, Odeo Studio, Phone Blogz, Podcast Station, Propagan, WebPod Studio, and others.
  42. 42. RECORDING AUDIO • Soundcloud • Audioboo • Chirbit • Audacity • Vocaroo • iRecord MP3 • DropVox • Acoustica Basic • Tunekitten Audio Editor • Audio Joiner • Caster • Podbean
  43. 43. RECORDING VIDEO • YouTube • WeVideo • MovieMaker • Screencast-o-Matic • MoviePro • MixBit • iMovie • Pixorial • Splice • iSupr8
  44. 44. VLOG TIPS • Do not covet thy neighbor’s copyrights: Be careful not to take or use something that belongs to someone else. Creating a fivesecond song is really easy. There are even royalty-free sound bites and music you can use called pod-safe music. • Do not spend a lot of money: Unless you really want to get into podcasting, don’t spend a lot of money doing it. Remember in this one case that “good enough” might actually be good enough. • Keep your podcasts brief: Most people only have about a seven-minute attention span for audio. Taking any more time than that will lose your listeners’ interest. If you have a 30minute interview or a 45-minute panel discussion, leave it at that length. If your audio file can be broken into five- to sevenminute chapters, topics, or ideas, then break it up.
  45. 45. TIPS • Produce in the right file format: Be sure that when you link or upload your podcasts, they are in a usable file format. While QuickTime is great for Macintosh users to play, Windows and PowerPoint users have difficulties with it. Most people want your content in an MP3 format so that it is compatible with their digital music players. • Be conscious of file size: While you may have a lot to say, a 53MB file is just too large for most people to download and install on their digital players. Most tunes run at about 3.5MB each, so try to keep your finished files in the single-digit MB range. • Be creative: This, again, is the most important commandment. The more creative you are and the more “What’s in It for Me?” you provide for your listener, the more people will download it, listen to it, pass it along to their friends, recommend it, and comment on it; and the more loyal listeners and followers and trusted network you will build. Remember to ask your customers to be collaborators of your content.
  46. 46. VIDEO LINGO The technical measure of video content is frames per second, which means the number of still images every second. For standard film, the frame rate can be 32 frames (or images) per second, while video frame rates can range from 25 to 30 and even 50 to 60 frames per second for high definition (HD) video, which means that for a standard video that is running at 25 frames per second, there are 1,500 separate images every minute. Based on the dimensions of the video screen, that can add up to a lot of data per frame (image), and a huge amount of information every minute. Getting all of those data through the earliest 300-baud modem (300 bits per second), or even today’s 56K-baud modem (56,000 bits per second) is a monumental task.
  47. 47. SCRIPT YOUR THOUGHTS It’s always best to script your thoughts, or at least organize them as a list of bullet points. One suggestion for recording a video is to first create a Keynote presentation (PowerPoint, for non-Apple users). Position the monitor behind the camera or print the slides and tape them where you can speak to them while recording. Directly reading a script is the worst thing you can do. Don’t attempt to record too much at one time. If you can get through a slide, say “cut,” take a deep breath, and start fresh with a new slide. If you are one of those people lucky enough to be able to just start talking, then by all means, do that. The bottom line is to do whatever you are most comfortable with; you will come across as confident in the video. Your audience will mirror whatever your emotions are. If you are having fun, they will have fun as well. Be sure to remember to record your introduction: who you are, your subject matter, and your website address. Keep in mind that you must also record your conclusion, which will consist of a summary and a reiteration of who you are and your website. The introduction and conclusion can also contain some music, and even titles.
  48. 48. EDITING YOUR VIDEO • Once you have created some raw digital video, it’s time to edit. Select a video editing application such as Apple’s iMovie and import your video (see Figure 11.4). Pick out some theme music, still photos, and other additional video clips you might want to include. You can also do a voice-over by recording directly from the microphone over your still photos or video clips. • Your video editing software will allow you to create tracks, which will enable you to place your video in as the main track, insert your introduction in front of it, and even lay down a separate music track that will play simultaneously. You can, of course, control the track volume, so that the background music remains in the background.
  49. 49. VIDEO TIPS • Look at some of the most popular videos shared: Go look at the most popular videos posted on YouTube and other video sharing websites. See what they have in common. Notice the strong entertainment value (entertainment is a very strong “What’s in It for Me?”). • Create a video: Go out and create a video. Try it. Keep it light, and keep it short (three to five minutes). Try to have the highest WIIFM you can for your customers. Give them a takeaway in the form of information, such as an “I didn’t know that,” or a “You can use it that way,” or just plain have fun. • Do not spend a lot of money: If you have a digital video camera, start shooting. If you don’t own one, borrow one first and try it to see if you like it. Download free software from the Internet, and have some fun editing.