What Smartphone users can learn from the movies

Fast Forward

In cinema, we now have magnificent effects such as motion capture, CGI and astonishing special effects with dinosaurs, spaceships, animals and humans all created inside a computer. The story is the most important factor, as any amount of special effects does not make up for a bad story, as some movie makers have sadly discovered too late!

OK fast forward to the present day, and most of us have a mobile phone in our pockets capable of astonishing feats of technology. The slim and beautiful device contains a multitude of apps and software, including an office suite, compass, GPS satellite navigation, and perhaps, more importantly, a high definition stills camera and a UHD 4K capable video camera, and the ability to live stream HD pictures around the globe!

What we now have is many people using the phone as a marvellous business tool to communicate to the World. However…

The quality of the Smartphone cameras is technically exceptional, as long as the limits are understood of the camera lens, image stabilisation, the sensor size, the microphone, and more. Go within the limitations and it can produce fantastic results. Stray outside of those limits, however, and its potentially a horrible mess and a shambles.

The user needs to understand what video is good for, and what it is not. It is good for communicating to a wider audience around the World, potentially. It is good for explaining how something works, as a video can show in seconds what would take thousands of words. “A picture paints a thousand words”, as the saying goes, well a video can paint tens of thousands of words

When you play to its strengths and minimise the limits it is possible to get fantastic results, yet what I often see is very bad technical quality, and more importantly many people using it as a platform for their ego, with very little in actual quality content. This is potentially a huge problem in waiting.


We are now flooded with emails and often many go unopened due to the sheer volume. The average is now something like 150 Emails per address per day. With many people having multiple email addresses the problem is compounded, and they go largely ignored. When it was new, it was great and exciting to get an email, yet since it was misused by a tiny minority who spam people, and sending many emails a day is now necessary just to make sure your message is read! Now it has become a necessary part of what we do, yet we often miss important emails due to the immense volume.

The same will ultimately happen with video if it is misused. Unless there is quality content delivered in a concise manner that takes little time to consume we run the risk of people switching off or not starting to watch.

We now have the potential for quality movies to be beamed into our homes, with $100million budgets, and quality 4K screens and sound systems. We LIKE quality, as the sales of 4K TV’s shows. So why shortchange the Internet viewer by producing rubbish? They will quickly become bored.

Click Off

If I get to a Facebook live and the first 5 minutes is taken up by the hosts waiting for people to attend, and saying hi to the newcomers who send a heart or smiley across the screen, I am straight out of there. Click. I am sure I am not alone. What about you?

Why does anyone think they are an expert simply because the phone is in his or her pocket?

I also see presenters who are running a live at 11 pm, and they may have had a few too many beers or wines for their own good. It may seem a great idea at the time, but in the replay, they will regret the damage done to their brand. That happens once and it takes a long time ( if ever) to gain that brand respect back again.

I also see people rambling on for long periods full of their own self-interest, and mostly that is seen as nonsense that should be ignored. Unless a personal experience is used to help other people understand their own position ( for example helping to understand a disease) then most people have their own issues and would rather not be burdened with yours too. They will Click Off.

Quality video content.

If there is a quality produced video, using the camera as it was designed to be used, and the presenter provides quality information in a short video, I am fine with that. In fact, I totally embrace that! A video is a fantastic tool in the right hands, and can literally communicate to customers and clients all around the World, and can be used to drive leads to your business when someone starts looking for what you supply.

The main problem I see is people using video with no idea how it works and they don’t know what is bad for the viewer. I often hear people say they are going to “try” and shoot a video, and then produce a shaky video that is badly framed, with the wrong aspect ratio, and sounds terrible. I

My thinking is if THAT is the quality of a video, what is the quality of their main products? Many of you will have thought the same and decided to NOT buy from a company because their video is so bad. I personally know several business people who know that for sure, as they asked a new client why they bought from them specifically. It was: “one company had NO video, one had BAD video, so we went with you as you had GOOD video”. That’s now a multi-thousand-pound client who continues to buy more from them!

People only buy from those they know, like and trust

My question to you. If you have bad video or perhaps you have found it daunting and you have no video, what are you potentially losing? You most likely will not even know! The potential clients will not phone you up to tell you they went with another company because you have rubbish videos! They simply buy somewhere else!

The irony

It doesn’t have to be shaky, badly framed and sounding terrible, as you can find out how to make your videos look and sound great, and make you appear natural and trustworthy

If we take an analogy of a car driver. When we start to drive at a young age, we are not simply given the car keys and left to get on with it. “Do the best you can, it doesn’t matter if you make any mistakes…” How long would that last? No, we are given tuition, and understanding of how the car works, and the correct way to drive within the rules. With training and understanding, we get better and eventually we pass our driving test and we can drive with confidence.

Why is making a video any different? In many ways making a video is even more complicated than driving, yet picking up a phone is no licence to be a great video maker! You need to understand how it works, and what is bad for the viewer. You need to understand the best use of the camera (and it is NOT hand holding the selfie camera). You need to get your message across quickly and clearly, as people don’t have all the time in the world to listen to minutes of nonsense. You need to pick your camera angle, distance and lens, and a suitable background. You then need to work out what you are going to say with your language patterns and get into a state where you are confidently conveying what you want to actually say.

Using speaking from stage techniques is very different, and it’s also a different energy. I see so many stage speakers on camera, and I can spot it a mile off. Some techniques are used the same, yet many are not as its different. It’s like painting in oil paint compared to watercolour. Both equally valid, but there are subtleties that make the end result very different.

What you say and how you say it is vital, otherwise your message will be lost. Simple use of different language is crucial, and that is often misunderstood.

So, my ultimate message is get training in shooting your own video. Find someone who has broadcast experience, and I don’t mean TV presenters with the flailing arms and loud voices. I am talking about finding a trainer like myself who can teach you how to be natural and speak like you are a normal person. Do not get taught by someone who has no broadcast or filmmaking experience, or who have simply come out of university and has made a few online courses…There are a few people like that out there who are teaching shockingly bad stuff. The thing is you won’t know they are bad. You don’t yet know what you don’t know!

How I will now help you.

I will help you in your speaking and video making skills, and I run an online 1-1 coaching programme where all the factors above are covered. You can be anywhere in the World to take this course. You will come out with a better understanding of how to speak to a camera, get your message across without boring the viewer, and gain more clients or followers. I take many influences from many sources, including NLP, language patterns, words used, mindset, my broadcast experience, stage speaking experience, and much more. I would love to see how I can help you, so get in touch with me now to schedule a talk. My details are below. Do it now. Don’t delay as I can only work with a limited amount of people at any one time.

“Cutting to the Chase” is a movie term from where the dialogue explaining the plot needs to then have some action in the story arc of the film, with quick editing and loud noises. This is (to a lesser degree) how a video should be presented, with highs and low energy, visually exciting content, and changes of scenery. Whilst a video doesn’t need quite so much excitement and visual stimulation, it needs a structure based on how you speak and can be tailored for you as an individual.

If Smartphone users can take the lessons from the movies and use what 100 years of experimentation has found out, then the videos will be informative, educational, inspiring, and exciting. You will also be able to sell your products or services much more easily, as they will know like and trust you from the video.

Let us talk.

Speak to Camera-Talk to the World™

John Keedwell