Four Big Tips to Up the Quality of the Videos You Make

Guest Post Written By: Lawrence He of Polygon Visuals

4 Big Tips to up the quality of the (1)

Video is getting very popular these days as a form of content that can quickly captivate audiences. While doing digital marketing for your tech company you may have already started to produce instructional or explanatory videos for your product or its features. When creating video content, it’s important to first and foremost make sure that the video you make is in-line with with your content strategy. Once you have that, you’re ready to begin making videos that really engage your viewers.

Hiring a local video production firm is great if you need your brand to be perceived at a certain level – but if you don’t have the budget or your business is in its beginning stages, you can still get great results filming and producing your own content. Below are a four easy changes to make your videos better.

mic and lighting

1. Lighting is important but sound is even more important.

Clear sound is necessary in order for people to follow what you’re saying; if you have poor sound viewers will switch off right away. To get good sound, make sure you’re not using the on camera microphone. Its beneficial to invest in a lapel microphone, which is one of those small microphones you can clip to your shirt that you see talk show hosts wear, and are relatively cheap. This helps to eliminate the background noise, static and random clattering sounds that muddle what you have to say.

lighting afternoon

2. Tune into your environment.

Notice where your light source is coming from, and how harsh or bright the light source is. If your subject is sitting in an office, you may not notice the harsh shadows under their eyes, but this becomes very evident behind a video screen. Its important to make the person in the video look flattering because you want the viewer to be engaged with what the speaker is saying rather than be distracted. You can soften light by waiting until the late afternoon when the sun begins to set, moving toward a shaded area, or if indoors, near a big window.640px-3_point_lighting.svg

3. Use three-point lighting.

A standard lighting setup is to have a light 45 degrees off to the right, another light 45 degrees off to the left and another light behind the subject just out of frame. This helps balance the shadows across the subjects face as well as bring the subject out from the background. If you don’t have lighting equipment, position your subject so that the light source, (whether it is a window, the sun, a lamp, or actual led lights) 45 degrees to the right or left of the subject. Then use another light source, whether its a lamp, the flashlight on your phone, or a reflector (like a windshield reflector if you don’t have a real photography reflector) and position this 45 degrees from your subject on the other side.

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4. Consider where you are framing your subject.

A lot of people frame their subjects in the middle of the frame, and this leaves too much headroom. Headroom is the space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. You don’t want to frame your subject’s head in the middle of the shot because this psychologically lowers the authority of your subject. Ideally, you can frame it so that the eyes of the person you are film are at the top third level of the frame.

Another tip to create better storytelling is whether your subject’s face is zoomed in or whether you’re shooting a wider shot to show the background. If the speaker is making a very compelling point, you might want to film closer. This captures more emotion and the viewer can really notice the expression on the speaker’s face. If you show the background, stepping out to a wider shot can be a subtle way to showing context and hinting your point. For example, if you want to emphasize the importance of metrics. Having a poster about analytics in the background can further drive the point of what you’re saying.  If you’re company is international, having a colorful map in the background can hint at multiple locations. The background gives the viewer insight into your business culture, design, and personality.

As you head to off, motivated to shoot your next video, I want you to keep in mind that video is highly visual. Try to make full use of the fact that its visual, and there’s a reason why you’re using this medium. If you’re simply speaking, why not keep it purely audio? Naturally, there are ways to get your message across in a more compelling way if you by showing your viewer. If you’re shooting a tech product demonstration, think about clearer ways to demonstrate usage. Maybe consider the lifestyle of the customer who uses your product. Could you shoot it in a different angle or location so the viewer can better understand how the product helps them? Because in the end, the entire point of making videos is to help your followers engage and connect with your brand.

LawrenceAbout the Author:

Lawrence He is creative director of Polygon Visuals, a video production agency in The Bay Area. He also writes about marketing and project management at lawrencehe.com. It is a tragedy for those who feel that it is their calling to create, but don’t. Thus, Lawrence takes every fleeting moment of inspiration to be a creator. Motivated by the works of his heroes, Lawrence constantly seeks for ways to put life into his imagination. For him, living in San Francisco gives him a great opportunity to film for tech companies, and tell the stories behind their innovative products.

Finding Success on Product Hunt: From Bond’s Founder

Written by guest author Manan Rokani, founder of Bond 

To give you a little background about me, I grew up in India, moved to the US about 9 years back. I went to grad school in Chicago, lived there for about 5 years and then moved to California around 4 years back for work. I have lived in different places but everywhere I have gone, I have met amazing people and made really good friends. Also professionally, I’ve met some really smart people at every company I have worked at. But what I realized was that, as soon as I moved or switched jobs, I was not able to keep in touch with the people there. You know how it is sometimes, out of sight is out of mind.

It was my 30th birthday last year. I got lots of calls, texts and Facebook messages from friends and family. I felt guilty that I was no longer in touch with a lot of them; just because we don’t go to the same school or college any more, live in the same city or work at the same company any more. These were all the people that I was really close to at one point but then life happened, we went in different directions and got so consumed in our new lives that we just completely lost touch. I wanted to change that. I started looking for apps that would help me get better at keeping in touch with people but I could not find anything good. I put together a small team and we decided to build one ourselves. The result was Bond.

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We wanted to build something simple with a great user experience. I had the design and the flow in my head so I quickly built the mock-ups and our developers got to work. We got to mvp in 6 weeks, spent another 6 weeks polishing it up and pushed the product to the app store. I only invited a few friends, family and colleagues to help us test the app in beta. Because we were in the app store, we also started getting some organic traffic. I was also going to a lot of meetups here in LA trying to get the word out about the app. I was getting pretty good feedback from everyone who saw the app.

See the lineup of Tech in Motion meetups across the country and RSVP to attend here.

From the initial feedback we were getting, we knew that we had a decent product in hand. But we had to get it validated from a larger audience. We submitted the app to Product Hunt…(Note: Product Hunt is a curation of buzzworthy new products, every day. It started as an email list and evolved into a competitor of TechCrunch and other tech blogs with it’s ability to surface the latest mobile apps, websites, and tech products that everyone’s talking about.)

product hunt

We honestly weren’t expecting much. But to our surprise, we were trending as the #1 app on their website the following day. I didn’t realize what that would mean until we looked at our numbers. In the first two days alone we got more than:

  • 13,000 hits on our website
  • 2,000 app downloads
  • Tons of emails with a lot of good feedback, suggestions for features and requests for the Android app.

More importantly, these were founders and CEOs of some famous startups, product managers at some top product companies like Apple and Nike, designers, developers and some other tech influencers. These people build amazing products that we use every day- their feedback really mattered.

Soon, other tech websites and bloggers from different parts of the world started writing about us. ABC7 News did a piece on us too. Now the word is spreading.

Product Hunt gave us an amazing platform to put our product in front of the right audience and it really helped us validate our idea. But there’s a lot of people out there who obviously still don’t know about the app and we want to be able to reach them. So growth is our primary focus right now and at the same time we’re building more ways for people to bond with people in their networks. We’re really excited for everything that’s coming up.

To become a Tech in Motion demo company like Bond, contact the organizer in your city.

Keep in touch with people that matter to you by downloading the app. If you have any feedback or suggestions please feel free to email us at [email protected]

manan

About the author:

Manan Rokani, Founder of Bond at www.getBond.co, is passionate about building Internet and mobile technology. With more than 7 years of experience working as a tech consultant for Fortune 500 companies as well as an entrepreneur in the start-up environment, he has now founded multiple companies including Bond. Bond is a simple app that reminds you keep in touch with people. There are different ways to keep in touch with different people. The first version of the app had options to keep in touch with people through Call, Text and Facebook, and the new integrates with WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Emails. For each service, simply select the people you wish to keep in touch with and then how often you’d like to contact each one of them. Once set up, the app schedules regular reminders for you. When you get a reminder, just swipe the notification open and you get an option to contact that person right away, leaving no room for procrastination.

Download the iPhone app for free : https://appsto.re/us/ggTu1.i

Sign up here for Android : http://www.getBond.co/android/

Women Transforming Tech: Are there gender inequalities?

Just before Women’s History Month kicked off, tech enthusiasts around the New York City area braved the winter weather to gather at SVA Theater in Chelsea for Tech in Motion’s NYC Women Transforming Tech panel discussion. Tech in Motion was able to gather together an incredible group of influential women working in the tech community to speak on a panel regarding issues such as equality, hurdles faced in and out of the work place, market news and much more.

Interested in speaking at a Tech in Motion event? Contact us here.

We would like to thank our wonderful panelists and moderator:

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Upon arriving, attendees were encouraged to enjoy some light networking and grilled cheese from Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen before taking their seats to listen to the discussion. Before the panel took to the stage to discuss the past year’s tech headlines, a few words were spoken by representatives from the event’s headline sponsor companies Jobspring Partners, Workbridge Associates, and Verizon FiOS.

Click here to get more info on becoming a Tech in Motion sponsor in your city.

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Samantha King dove into the panel discussion by taking a quick poll from the audience. She asked the audience to raise their hand if the answer was yes.

“Are you currently a women working in the tech industry?”

“Are you currently learning to code or interested in working in technology?”

“Do you think there are gender based inequalities in the tech industry?”

Each question resulted in more and more hands raised. Once almost every hand in the audience was raised, King turned to the panelists and asked, “Is ‘women in tech’ a real issue or a perceived one?”

The three women of the panel shared their opinions and insights on the topic and Rebecca Garcia’s clear answer stood out to the crowd. She stated that until there are no longer panels and events on women in tech, there is indeed a women in tech issue.

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Throughout the panel discussion, the women shared their personal experience both good and bad, their messages of encouragement and motivation and advice on how to succeed in the technology industry despite the facts women face today.

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As King asked questions on what some of the challenges women face are and what advice the panelists had to share with the audience, the audience attentively listened to their every word.

“We need to be more confident,” summed up Krishnaswamy with her opinion on women networking in the tech space.

Get confident and some network at a Tech in Motion event coming up nearby.

Sight and Sound Tech Unveiled: Demos with San Fran

Tech in Motion San Francisco kicked off 2015 by hosting one of their largest attendee and RSVP count to date! Located in the heart of SoMa, tech enthusiasts lined up down the street at SupperClub Lounge. These technology aficionados just couldn’t wait to get their hands on the cutting edge virtual reality and music technologies demoing at Tech in Motion’s Sight and Sound Tech Demo Night. With over 300 attendees this venue was pulsing with energy! Much of this hype was rooted from the high RSVP count on Eventbrite and Meetup totalling just shy of 1,000!

blogSF_demo Companies demoing consisted of Sixense, Wearhaus, Jaunt VR, Leap Motion, and the sponsor for the evening, Postmates. Each booth offered an undefined experience that left members reevaluating what the future holds for technology.

Find a drinks & demos event at a Tech in Motion chapter near you.

First to demo was Sixense, who showed off state of the art VR Lightsabers. The lightsaber or sword is the true test for a one-to-one motion tracking system in VR. A first time attending member, Ali, said Sixense was, “really amazing, everything was so realistic”.

Wearhaus showcased wirelessly syncing multiple headphones that allow for two people to listen together. Wearhaus showed how fast music technology is moving and how they are re-imagining classic pieces of hardware to electrifying levels. Members enjoyed a syncronized music experience unlike anything they’d seen before.

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Next up was Jaunt VR. They demonstrated a comprehensive toolset for creating cinematic VR that allowed users to film, edit and show off live virtual reality content. At the end of the evening one lucky Tech in Motion member was even awarded one of these devices for an Android phone.

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Leap Motion showed technology that uses camera sensors, infrared LEDs and precise mathematical algorithms to translate hand and finger movements into dynamic 3D input. Members were blown away by the sensory tech shown at this booth. At the end of the night Leap Motion raffled off 10 controllers–one Tech in Motion member, Hassan, said “wow, I hope I win one of these! They are too cool!”.

Lastly, Postmates, often described as “everyone’s favorite delivery company” teamed up with Tech in Motion as the social sponsor for the evening. They had an exclusive $100 credit contest for Tech in Motion members at the event–one lucky member walked away with $100 in Postmates deliveries. In addition to the credit contest they gave away t-shirts, swag, buttons and one on one demos of their app.

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As members made their way through the booths the chatter was living up to the event’s hype.

Rubi, a local SF engineer revealed that “I’ve heard about Tech in Motion but have never been. It’s really cool to see how many people come and how easy it is to talk to everyone”. In another corner of the space, Jaimie, a local tech professional said, “After coming to this one I would love to check out another”. The positive energy was flowing as swiftly as the VR experiences.

Figure out what Tech in Motion chapter is closest to you on our location list.

As the event came to a close members began flowing out of the packed venue. One member Kevin, a local Data Analyst Engineer, exclaimed “give it 5 years and this [VR] will be the next way everyone does social networking.”

The proud creators of Tech in Motion;  Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners, continue to provide IT Permanent Placement & Contractor Staffing services within nine US cities.

Product Management: Startup vs Big Company

Written by Sara Mauskopf, Director of Product at Postmates

Now that I’ve been at Postmates for almost 8 months, a lot of people have asked me the difference between Product Management at a larger company like Twitter (where I worked from July 2010 to July 2014) or Google (where I worked from 2007 to 2010) and at a startup like Postmates. I wondered this myself too before I decided to join a startup.

small vs large

So first, let me define Product Management at a larger tech company. As a Product Manager, you’re responsible for defining a roadmap for your area and ensuring that roadmap will yield the goals or objectives you set forth for your team (and these team goals should clearly map to the goals of the company). You’re responsible for ensuring the items on the roadmap are prioritized, and that there are clear product specifications for those items. Finally you work closely with the team to build, launch, collect data/feedback, and iterate. Through all phases, including planning, you’re working closely with engineering, design, and other key stakeholders across the company. And because everyone looks to you as a leader for your product area, it’s important you’re inspiring those around you to do their greatest work by setting the right context, establishing a sense of urgency, and working collaboratively.

Looking for a product or project manager role? Check out the job board to see if any positions are a good match.

As it turns out, all those fundamentals remain the same at a startup. In fact, the fundamentals are so important that having experience at a larger company as a Product Manager is one of the best forms of training for startup Product Management. But on top of all that, at a startup you have responsibilities and challenges that don’t exist at a larger company. If you’re thinking of making the transition from big company PM to startup PM, here are some things you’ll want to know.

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1. You’ll often have to do things you’ve never done before and probably suck at.

Working at a startup you quickly discover where your personal weaknesses are because on a daily basis you need to do something you’ve never done before and probably aren’t good at yet. The main way this manifests is through needing to do something that larger companies have a person or team dedicated to doing. For example, at a startup you will most certainly not have a user research team that helps you assess how your feature will be received in the market. If you want user research or early feedback on a prototype, you’ll have to find and interview users yourself. Although it can be scary to roll up your sleeves and try something you’ve never done before, it’s also the fastest way to learn how to do it. If you’re lucky, you may discover a talent you didn’t know you had!

2. You’ll need gymnast levels of flexibility.

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Imagine any company has 5 “fire drills” a quarter. In other words, an average company has 5 times per quarter when they need to react quickly to something in the market, change a plan due to unexpected data or user feedback, or get in a war room and really focus on a hard problem that hasn’t been given enough attention. At a larger company, those 5 times are spread out between a lot of people and teams so you probably experience yourself at most one per quarter. At a startup, any fire drill usually involves most of the product, design, and engineering team because the team is so small. It’s important at a startup that you can quickly tackle these fire drills, not get too thrown off course, and reprioritize your roadmap when needed. Most importantly, you need to mentally be able to deal with plans changing more frequently. It’s ok!

3. You’ll do less talking the talk, more walking the walk.

At a startup, there’s nowhere to hide. People who can step up to the plate and tackle the challenges will shine and get even more responsibility. Underperformers who can’t cut it will quickly make their way out. In addition to not needing to worry much about whether your individual performance will be recognized, if you ask any good PM at a larger company they’ll tell you they spend some percentage of their time carving out territory for their team, evangelizing the great results of their team, and other activities generally thought of as “managing up”. It’s not because large companies are full of evil political people, it’s just because when you have so many people working somewhere it’s easy to get lost in the noise if you aren’t making it clear what your team works on and the results they’ve achieved.

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You don’t have to worry about that much at a startup. Now, I spend my time working and moving the company forward rather than evangelizing my team internally. With fewer people to communicate with, you can spend more time doing the work, which is great because there’s a lot of work to do.

Connect with companies like Postmates at Tech in Motion events – find one near you here.

sarahAbout the Author

Sara Mauskopf joined on-demand delivery company Postmates in July to build and run its Product Management team. Postmates is transforming the way local goods move around a city by connecting customers with local couriers who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or store in a city in minutes. Prior to Postmates, Sara was a Group Product Manager at Twitter, having joined the company in 2010. She started her career at YouTube and Google as a Partner Technology Manager (a role that’s a mix of partnerships and engineering). Sara graduated with a bachelors degree in Computer Science from MIT.

Pebble Time vs. Apple Watch

One week, 15.8 million dollars, and more than 63,000 backers – that is the success of Pebble Time’s fundraising efforts for their newest Kickstarter campaign that is causing internet havoc. With the new Apple Watch set to launch the week of March 9th everyone’s curious who the top-dog is and where their money should go.

Exactly a year ago, San Fran Tech in Motion pegged wearable tech as hot topic in the year to come. Read more...

So which one should you choose?

Tech in Motion Orange County members weighed in on the Pebble Time vs. Apple Watch debate and here’s what they have to say:

Albert-Qian-ConvertImageAlbert QianHistory will repeat itself

“Apple knows that it has the device market cornered. After all, competitors shudder in fear upon product announcements, and none was more clear during the holiday season for another competitor, FitBit, upon the announcement of the Apple Watch. While I and manyothers received FitBits for Christmas, I also predicted that this would probably be their last profitable holiday with the wearable from Cupertino waiting from the wings the following Spring.

The choice is pretty clear: Apple Watch. While Pebble presents formidable competition, popularity, and a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign to boot, Apple has proven time and time again that it owns an ecosystem that integrates technology, user experience, and quantified self all in one place. They did it with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad — and they’ll do it again with Apple Watch simply because they know that people want convenience, no hassle, and they are willing to shell out the extra dollars to do it.”

Photo by Nate PhotographyChris WaleryTried and true over new and shiny

“My take on the smart watch is simple, I need something that fulfills its first/main task as priority number one…being a watch. If a smartwatch requires a shake of the wrist to turn on then it’s no use to me as a watch guy. That reason alone gives the Pebble Time my nod, since it’s e-ink it is always on and its battery lasts up to 7 days which is also crucial to me. Tried and true (Pebble) over new and shiny (Apple) will always be my moto.”

 

 

Michael-duong-ConvertImageMichal DuongTrading the Beast for the Beauty

“I’d like to preface that I currently own one of the original Pebble watches. Although I followed Pebble when it was first starting out on Kickstarter in April of 2012, I was not intrigued enough to buy in at the time. Fast forward to August 2014, I’ve decided to take a plunge and get a smartwatch to help me manage all the notifications from my iPhone allowing me to work productively without distractions. For months, I loved everything about the Pebble I have. Then came the day I set my eyes on the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch – an elegant, exotic, technologically advanced timepiece. Let’s be honest, even though the Pebble can do a lot of great things, it doesn’t look all that attractive on a wrist. The Apple Watch on the other hand is a beauty and is capable of doing all the things the Pebble is known for as well. Even with the looming release of the Pebble Time, a color version of the one I have, it’s still not enough to sway me from the Apple ecosystem; and I am far from an Apple fan(boy).”

Corey Greth – Ferrari over PriusCorey-ConvertImage

“I believe the Pebble Time is being hyped up from an underdog storyline.  Yes the Pebble is much cheaper and the battery life is much longer; however, the additional features, higher quality material and exquisite design of the Apple Watch must also be accounted for. It’s like comparing a Prius to a Ferrari and bragging about how great the gas mileage is on the Prius. There are many differentiating factors between the two watches; which make a direct comparison difficult. The classy design, retna display and intuitive features made my decision on purchasing the Apple Watch rather simple!”

Join the conversation! Comment below on which you’re considering as your top choice or tweet us @Tech_in_Motion.

Join us for our next Tech in Motion Event in a city near you by clicking here.