How To Be The MacGyver Of Video Confidence

How To Be The MacGyver Of Video Confidence

Are you ready to be a video superstar? Or would you still rather poke yourself in the eye with a stick? Being the MacGyver of video confidence means you use what’s at your disposal to solve a problem. You get inventive to get yourself out of your current situation (for him usually one of life and death, thank goodness we’re only talking about videos),  and into one where you are front and centre representing your awesome brand.

Here are my top tips for conquering those nerves and feeling fabulous about how you look and sound on camera, so you can enjoy superstar video confidence.

Being the McGyver of video confidence means you use what's at your disposal to solve a problem Click To Tweet

I regularly ask in business groups ‘what’s stopping you?’ What pops into your head that split second before you decide that, no, today is not the day for videos? I can’t go live today because… I have asked this question of thousands of female entrepreneurs, and the responses are always pretty similar. We can’t stand the way we look and sound on video, we don’t know how to do it well, and we are not sure what we would say anyway. It might be one or more of these factors that’s stopping you.

Because no-one deserve sweaty palms, and we all deserve to feel fantastic and grow our people, profile and profit!

The Audience Is Key

I’ll let you in on a secret – no amount of fancy tech or gadgets will make up for poor messaging in your videos. Once you’ve nailed your message, both for your business and individual videos, the rest is easy to learn. Loads of people have jumped on the video band wagon without a thought to what they really want and need to say, and who they are saying it to. You on the other hand are going to focus on what’s right in front of you.

I’ll let you in on a secret - no amount of fancy tech or gadgets will make up for poor messaging in your videos Click To Tweet

If you don’t know who you are talking to how will you know what to say?

The benefit to being audience focused don’t stop there. Focusing your energy and vibes outwardly to your audience is a great way to cure nerves as well. You can’t be thinking about yourself when you are truly audience focused.

So give some thought to who you want to serve? What do they need from you? What are their common questions and concerns? This will set you up with a little content plan

If you don’t know who you are talking to how will you know what to say? Click To Tweet

Plan Your Video Content

You aren’t an actor learning lines, you’re an expert in your field and your video content will show it. But what are you actually going to SAY? What would a kickass female MacGyver do? OWN your expertise! Stop hiding what you are truly good at under your handbags. Rely on it, use it, share it. It will bring you more confidence than you know.

I know it can be scary, but spending some time deciding on the outcome you’re looking for will pay dividends. Go back to the ideas you wrote down in the last section and start planning them. Pick one of the ideas and try it on for size. Is it something you can say without any effort? Do the words flow? Then do that one first.

You aren’t an actor learning lines, you’re an expert in your field and your video content will show it Click To Tweet

Planning each video is as simple as writing a few dot points that you want to say, and having a video title that describes what it’s all about.

Use Your Voice

Getting used to the sound of your own voice is critical to video confidence. No-one likes how they sound. I promise. BBC Future shared a video that explains it a little more, but essentially we hear it differently as we speak compared to hearing it back. And the cringe is real.

But it’s your best tool and it’s free. You get used to it – we’ve been listening to you for ages and haven’t run screaming for the hills or put noise cancelling headphones on, so don’t sweat it.

The cringe is real. Click To Tweet

Saying your video intro and key points out loud is super important for sounding conversational, and to the confidence in your delivery. You don’t need a teleprompter. This is your message, your business. And you can tell when someone is relying on reading the notes on a screen just off camera. If you’re not media trained I wouldn’t recommend it.

So, back to your voice. If you don’t know what to say, start with your voice recorder on your phone. This little tool is easy to use and free. Say your introduction – now play it back – did it sound authentic, which words if any did you stumble over? Are there important words you want to include and you forgot to say them?

Write down what you want to say, or just start speaking, whichever floats your boat, then do it again, and again, and again if you have to until you feel 80% okay with it, then move on.

Prepare Your Environment

Don’t wing it. Walking the dog and going live when you’re juggling a coffee and the dog lead is not the prime time to go live or record a video. Set up some space in your office. A chair, a neutral coloured wall, a pot plant, maybe a shelf with some branded colours on it. Stuff you already have! This way you don’t have to think about it every time.

Shed some light on your lovely face, make sure you know where to look at your smartphone so you’re looking at the lens of the camera, and away you go. Bonus points to having the phone at eye level so it feels even more like we’re having a conversation.

You’ll look better on camera, and you’ll feel great about the content you create.

Bonus points to having the phone at eye level so it feels even more like we’re having a conversation. Click To Tweet

Prepare Yourself

Don’t stress over the details. Just choose and outfit you feel good in (remember most of the time we only see chest up), whack on a bit of lippy and away you go. If you like spending time getting ready with hair and makeup, then do it. If you don’t, then don’t. Be yourself.

Breath through any nerves, and start speaking. Just starting will help your confidence. I promise. A standard introduction helps enormously for this. Need more confidence tips for presenting? Read more about it here

A standard introduction helps enormously for your presentation confidence Click To Tweet

Over To You

Now it’s you turn to put these tips into practice. You can do it. Be your own MacGyver and use what you have at your disposal to build that video confidence you need to grow your business. As they say in the classics, rip it off like a bandaid. Before you know it, you’ll feel really great about your videos. Everyone gets better, I don’t know anyone who gets worse!

If you’d like some more support, please download my free video training and tutorial that takes you through fives steps to set up for successfully implementing video marketing in your business to grow your people, profile and profit. You can grab it here.
Jenny De Lacy Signature

How To Add Captions To Videos Four Ways

How To Add Captions To Videos Four Ways

How To Add Captions To Your Videos

You’ve recorded it, uploaded to your computer/cloud, edited a logo animation, a transition or two – then what? How do you add captions to your videos?

Let’s just remind ourselves why captions are valuable to our video content:

  • People tend to watch longer (see this research by Instapage as some proof)
  • YouTube and google can’t watch/index video content but they can read text, so closed caption files and video discriptions can improve the reach and views of you video content
  • It makes your content more accessible to a more diverse audience

With 80% of viewers watching video without sound, it’s important to add visuals to let people know what your video is about and whether they want to save it for later to listen to, or watch it now with captions or titles.

Captions can be time consuming and pretty tedious to be honest.

Following is a few ways to add video captions, and the pros and cons of each. So hopefully you can choose a method and not lose your mind along with it.

Option 1 – Adding Captions With Video Editing Software

I use iMovie because it’s free and pretty easy to work out (here’s a short 10 min tutorial if you need it).
If you have Windows, you could try Windows Movie Maker, some of the other microsoft products, or check our Filmora.
  1. Upload your video file to your video editor
  2. Add titles there manually: watch a bit of video, add the title of your choice, then type in the words you say
  3. Save to your computer, and hey presto the captions stay with the video file

>>>there’s an example of iMovie titles in a recent promo video on the right>>>

  • captions remain always with the video file (so can’t be turned on and off, and you can add the video anywhere and the captions will go with it
  • it can be immediate and fast if your videos are less than a minute
  • Captions in the MP4 file can’t be indexed by Google for SEO. Not sure about that? Here’s more information.
  • OMG tedium!! This is the definition of watching paint dry, grass grow and kids sport all in the one package.
Although splash a beautiful colour on the wall and I might choose it over doing captions manually in iMovie. And the longer the video the more of your life you lose…
  • it’s pretty fast and cheap ($1 per minute of video)
  • you can use it as a transcript by adding the text to a pdf
  • Google and YouTube can index a closed caption/srt file to improve your SEO
  • it’s pretty simple to add to the video file
  • people can turn captions on and off
  • if you share on another platform the captions don’t always show and need to be switched on
  • if you are creating longer videos, over 5 minutes or so, this is your best option

Option 2 – Adding Captions With a Third Party Captions File

  1. Add the video to youtube (unlisted is fine, it’s like a draft and you’re only doing this to get the share url, so you don’t have to add any other youtube bells and whistles at this stage)
  2. Grab the url and send it to
  3. They send back an srt file
  4. Open it in text editor or similar and read through while watching the movie to proofread it
  5. Open youtube and add the captions file in the subtitles menu in video editor
  6. Do the same if you are adding the file directly to Facebook (upload video to your post, then once it’s loaded, you can add a captions file – instructions here)

Option 3 Using Auto-Captions in Facebook and YouTube

Some fortunate beasts have the ability to auto generate captions in Facebook. And you can also do it in YouTube.
Open the video and click to edit. The editing screen allows you to add captions. This is where you add you .srt file, but if you click “generate” like the photo on the right, the editing screen pops up. You should check each line – because you don’t want to end up publishing the one over here – FB Auto Captions Fail!
A word of warning – test it on a short amount of text and ‘save’ to see if it works. Sometimes you can’t tell if you can use this feature until you try to save something. Don’t waste 30 minutes editing the captions only to find it doesn’t save. I value the safety of your laptop…

Option 4: Key Word Titles

When I am in a super hurry and the thought of making captions makes me prefer a needle in the eye, adding keywords or headings through the video can still help the viewer, without the hours thrown away doing word for word captions. Here’s an example of one:

There are prettier software options than the titles in iMovie, but I have always just wanted to use what I already have and not learn a whole new software. Camtasia, etc etc.

BONUS option

Outsource the lot to someone else to do from start to finish. There is merit in finding an VA who can add your captions and post your videos. SO MUCH LESS WORK!

Over To You

Do you add captions to your videos? Whats you’re favourite method?

Would you like to know more about how to craft powerful video messages, set up on a budget to create high impact social videos for your business marketing and more? No more random acts of video or facebook live! Check out my workshop dates here – run in Melbourne and online, there’s bound to be one to suit you xx

Jenny De Lacy Signature

Creating business videos on a budget

Creating business videos on a budget

High Quality Videos On A Budget

It’s important to create videos on a budget so you don’t have to take out a second mortgage. You can make the most of the benefits of including video in your business marketing, and save your money for other cool stuff.

Every year for the last three years has apparently been the ‘year of video’. And there’s a reason for that>>>

Hubspot report that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week, and Twitter reports that 82% of Twitter users watch video content. Video is reaching more and more people, with YouTube growing 100% year on year, and 8 out of 10 18-49 year olds watching content on youtube (Google)*

Whichever way you look at it, video marketing is a must for your business.


And it doesn’t have to cost the earth or your hairline – you can set up for FREE, or if you want a little more, for under $300. Use your smart phone to record high quality videos that you could be sharing with your online audience, in email marketing, on your website homepage and more – today.

In this article – I will show you how to set up with a free or low cost option to get your started creating great quality videos to showcase your personality and business message fast and faff-free.

The Equipment

The Camera.

Free Option: Your Smart Phone.

The camera in your phone is better than your webcam. With the amount of moula manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung are throwing at smart phone technology, you can understand why.

Don’t go and buy camcorder or a fancy DSLR right off the bat. You can create great quality videos with your smart phone.

Just use what you have and you can create great quality videos.

creating videos on a budget

A tripod

Free Option: Prop your phone on a stack of books or similar. Make sure it’s eye level so you are speaking directly to your audience. Check it’s stable and won’t fall off part way through your recording.

Low Cost Option: Grab a selfie stick/tripod combination that works well for sitting-at-desk style videos. They are under $60. Just search “selfie tripod” and you’ll get lots of options to choose from.

A tripod is really a must for professional looking videos. You can find one at your local camera store, or online.

The main thing is to make sure you have the adaptor for your phone to attach to the top and you’re ready to go for under $150AUD.


Free Option: Natural Light or a desk lamp you already have.

Light makes a huge difference to how you look on camera. With 80% of people watching videos without sound, it makes the light even more important. You can go from anonymous interviewee on a current affair to video star with just the flick of a switch.

Better yet, save your dollars and see if you have a good source of natural light in your office space where you can stand or sit with the light facing you, and you’re good to go.

If you do choose to buy lights, check eBay and you can find studio light kits starting around the $70AUD mark. You can spend more, but I always suggest trying with the natural light first, then if you decide this video lark is ongoing, invest in some lights. That way you can record from anywhere in your work space and still have light on your lovely face.


Free Option: The headphones that come with your smartphone

Sound can be a game changer and a deal breaker on video. Statistics say that sound is even more important than light if you want people to watch your video creations.

Do a sound test on you phone without a mic and see if you can hear any background noise, office chatter, air-conditioning and so on. If
you think you’re too hard to hear – invest in a microphone.

Shown in the collage: Headphones, A lapel mic from RODE ($60-$80AUD), a RODE Videomic Me.  little directional microphone that is great if you are speaking with someone else, as it cuts out hea[s of background noise, ($80AUD). And a Blue Yeti podcast style mic (starting around $150AUD).

I find most of the time you won’t need a mic. But times you might include:

  • Speaking to someone else on camera
  • Speaking when there is noise around you (lapel mic is good for that one)
  • Moving around speaking at a conference or similar
  • A podcast
  • Creating videos for courses

Let’s Get Visible!

Now you have the equipment – set up in a spot with good light, and nothing too distracting in the background.  Especially if you have a whiteboard covered in commercially sensitive information, or a messy bookshelf. People will spend their time trying to read it or check out your reading preferences instead of listening to your message.

It’s a good idea to find somewhere in your workspace that you can set up regularly to record. That way you don’t have to think about it each time, and it’s ready to go when you are. Think corner of boardroom next to the pot plant or nice picture on the wall. Or standing in your workspace with a simple shelf near you with branded coloured vase and flowers.

None of this will break the bank. If you work from home, most of the time you already have things that suit your brand because it’s a colour you like.

Stores such as Typo and K-Mart have tons of great decorator bits and pieces in a range of colours that suit most brands.

Your Content

Now that you’re ready to go – what are you going to say? The starting point for a video marketing strategy that works is working out what your clients need. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • Use you Frequently Asked Questions on your website as inspiration for a few short videos
  • Do an industry round up each Friday and send it out via social media
  • Interview some of the team so clients get to know who’s behind the scenes
  • Is there an industry trend or current concern you could answer on video?
  • Use regular videos to send out to team members as a way to stay in touch
  • If you send out a newsletter to your email list, add a video instead for some of the content

Professional vs DIY

Access to video technology has meant that anyone with a smart phone and a message can create and share videos.

There might be times when you would like something a bit sexier though, and that’s where professional video producers come in.

Times when you need to call in the professionals include:

  • Waking and talking
  • shooting video outside in multiple locations
  • you want a video with multiple elements such as various locations, music, professional voice over etc
  • you’re creating your website ‘evergreen’ video that showcases your business, team, location etc
  • you watch this awesome video about dollar shave club and want something just like it

Find a professional who understands or specialises in your industry, and have your message ready to go. They are the video specialists not presentation coaches.

Over to you

If you’d like to set up a video marketing strategy for your business but you’re not sure how, think about your clients, your budget, and the channels you already use for your business marketing. Video is just another element to your overall strategy, and should complement what you already do.

Not sure where to start? I run regular small business workshops in Melbourne and online – check the calendar for a date that suits you, or get in touch with me here for 1:1 support

Jenny De Lacy Signature

Jenny De Lacy Creating Videos On A shoestring budget
What To Do When Confidence Deserts You Mid-Preso

What To Do When Confidence Deserts You Mid-Preso

Confidence Can Be Like A Bad Boyfriend

So you’ve got the topic, done the prep and you’re ready to go. Your audience is waiting, if not with baited breath then certainly with a cuppa and expectation. And you want to speak confidently.

You feel a little excited. You have good butterflies. But then…

You’re live. You freeze.

Suddenly your confidence has left you in the learch like a bad first date escaping out the loo window.

What do you do now? How can you speak confidently when you’d rather give it all up like a bad joke?

Here are five ways to speak with confidence and put you back on the wagon while you’re live with an audience. Whether it’s a webinar, Facebook Live, or in front of a group of rabid business networkers.

Suddenly your confidence has left you in the learch like a bad first date escaping out the loo window. Click To Tweet

Remember the lag

If this is Facebook Live – remember that at the very beginning of a facebook live broadcast and throughout, there’s a lag. People don’t get the notification that you’re live for 30 seconds or so.

So once you’re live, smile at the lens so you are looking at people when the watch your video, collect your thoughts, take a breath, look at your cheat sheet if you have one, get ready…

And soldier on.

Learning how to speak confidently takes practice. The more you do this the better you'll get. Click To Tweet

Start Speaking

Talk about something. Anything. Just starting to talk and hearing your voice will shock you back into action.

Just commenting on the weather or saying hello to someone watching might be enough to get you on your way. Learning how to speak confidently takes practice – so the more you do this the better you’ll become.

 A Standard Introduction

Have a standard intro like your favourite podcast.

Say something like:
Hi and welcome. I’m Jenny and today I’m joining you live to talk about xyz.

Having a standard opening line that you’ve practiced a few times will give you breathing space and improve your confidence. It also helps people get used to hearing the same thing from you – adding to their confidence in you and your brand.

having a standard introduction is like wearing a comfy pair of slippers Click To Tweet

SlowDdown Cowboy

Slow down your rate of speech. It’s interesting that the more nervous and excited we are about our topic, the faster and more out of breath we get.

I learnt a super valuable lesson speaking at a wedding once (read about it here)

In a nutshell, even though I thought I was speaking terribly slowly – in slow motion, because I was sucking in air in between lines of a poem and I didn’t want everyone to know I was out of breath – it was one of the best public speaking gigs I’d ever done. It has helped me for nearly 30 years since.

Slow down. Regulate your breathing, so your heart rate slows. It seems like you’re speaking really slowly but it’s probably spot on.

The aim is to get that oxygen back to your brain and the confidence back in your attitude. Click To Tweet

Admit to Your Nerves

Admit you’re feeling nervous and then crack on.

I’ve seen a couple of first timers recently saying “full disclosure – I am quite nervous so I am going to look at my notes/have a sip of water/take a breath etc.”

People were straight onto it with supportive comments. She kept going then and didn’t mention it again, and her content was awesome.

Feeling nervous is normal. You’re putting yourself out there and people appreciate that. But there are tips to follow to stay on track so you and your awesome business message are front and centre and not you breathlessly apologising for being nervous and giving up mid message.

Even the pros suffer nerves. It's normal and shows you care. Click To Tweet

You can do this! Nervous about going live and want to practice? You can go live on your personal Facebook profile to ‘only me’ so no-one else sees it but you. Want to know how? Here’s a video tutorial (skip to 2.10 for the personal profile instructions).

Over to you

So there are the five ways to speak with confidence – do you have anything you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments if you have tried any of these tips and how they worked for you.

Need support to set up your video and live broadcast strategy? Get in touch today – I’d love to hear from you

Jenny de Lacy Video Marketing Specialist
Visibility For Introverts

Visibility For Introverts

You don’t have to be a loud mouth like me for your business to be more visible

Introverts can be visible, even if you'd seriously rather poke a stick in your eye than press record Click To Tweet

There are heaps of ways to be visible without pressing go live on your phone and clenching your bum cheeks hoping you don’t stuff it up.

Here’s my visibility for introverts list (more…)

Facebook Live for Beginners

Facebook Live for Beginners

What’s it costing you not to do this?

If you’re a beginner at all this, and feeling a bit like a bunny in the headlights – Facebook Live for Beginners is the ultimate guide for you.

Facebook Newsroom reports that people watch a live video three times longer than a static pre-recorded video. And the reach for live posts is 10 times more than normal posts. For Free.

Did I mention this is free promo for your business right now?

And if you go live on your Facebook business page, which is public, you can reach a larger potential audience than just the people who like your page. For nicks, for nothing, nada.

NOTE: Recently updated for new Facebook Live features such as interviewing another person (with instructions), and sharing your screen from your desktop.