There are many reasons that coaches and therapists are using videos these days. Both practices have gone to nearly 100% online service delivery because of COVID-19. And many clients and practitioners are learning how convenient online service can be, so I don’t think that we’ll be returning to the “old normal.” Expect more coaching and therapy to be provided via online or tele-health.
Coaches and Therapists also have a message to share with the world. A service that they can provide over the Internet using video. YouTube is the second largest search engine and the place where people are going to find help – coaching, therapy, consulting or just a bit of humor to make it through the day.
By being the person who shows up on camera when someone is searching for answers, you become the expert they can rely on to help with future questions – either on YouTube or by hiring your services.
Recorded or Live video?
Coaches and therapists can be served by both live video (think tele-health, coaching calls on Zoom or Skype, etc) and recorded video (think videos on YouTube, your website or other social media.)
To me the best setup for video works for both of these circumstances. To that end, I suggest using a webcam setup that uses your computer. You could use an iPhone or DSLR type setup – and those are great for certain circumstances – but in this post, I’m looking for the most versatile setup.
I love helping coaches and therapists connect with online video. And I know that videography far from your favorite past-time. I want to make it easy for you to jump on a call or record a video. So I’ve put together the perfect setup for your office. For me, the perfect setup can sit on your desk at all times, and you can flip it on instantly. If you need to unpack your boxes and go through 30 minutes of setup, then we’ll never see you on camera.
You’ll start with a computer, which I’m sure you already own. You can use Zoom, Skype or a similar service to connect with clients (be sure to check HIPPA laws if they apply.) Your computer can be a Mac or PC. I prefer Macs because, for me, they are more simple and reliable.
You can use Zoom or Skype or another telehealth software on your computer for client calls. And you can use a software like Screenflow for Mac or Camtasia for PC to record and edit recorded videos for things like YouTube or your website.
External monitor and webcam
You’ll plug two things into your computer: an external webcam and an external monitor. I recommend the Logitech c920 or c922. Unfortunately, during the COVID shutdown, it’s nearly impossible to buy a webcam, so I’m hoping you already have an external webcam.
For an external monitor, you need something about 11-13″ across. Not a big monitor. I recommend the Szoon. You will plug this into your computer with an HDMI or USB cable. The necessary cable and adapter depend on your computer. Most monitors come with an HDMI or USB cable, but I can’t guarantee they will come with the cables needed for your individual situation.
Device to hold the monitor and webcam
The monitor and webcam are mounted to a teleprompter. This is a magic tool that TV newscasters have been using for ages. But the key is that it projects whatever is on your monitor onto a 2-way mirror in front of the camera lens. So when you look at your monitor, you are also looking at the camera lens.
Why is this important? First, eye contact is expected in human interactions. Because this is hard online, we have started to accept people not looking us in the eye during a Zoom call. But there’s still thousands of years that our brains have been expecting eye contact, so we need the technology to adapt to our expectations. The teleprompter allows you to make eye contact easily, while reading their body language.
The second is about fatigue. Zooming all day long can be exhausting. One reason is the issue of eye contact. If you are trying to make eye contact, then you are consciously looking at the camera instead of your client. That makes your client feel great, but it means you can’t see their reactions, and it’s tiring because our brains aren’t used to “faking eye contact.”
Enter the teleprompter – a magic system to eliminate all that extra thinking, and just making it work like nature.
You’ll lay the monitor horizontally in the tray, and mount the webcam behind the glass. Then make a mirror image of your monitor on the external monitor. Move the Zoom window around until your client’s eyes match the camera behind.
You’ll also need to set the teleprompter at the right height. More on that below.
Looking professional and sounding fabulous
Tripod (or books, boxes, etc.)
You want the camera at the right height so that you’re not looking down on your client (or looking up at them.) The right height is at eye-level, or maybe 1-2 inches higher than your eyes.
I recommend a tabletop tripod with wide legs like this one. Or you could use books, storage container or reams of paper.
You’ll need some light to look good. It could be coming from a window if you have one facing your desk. Otherwise, I recommend adding this light behind or on your desk. You’ll put it slightly off center – right or left doesn’t matter. And line up the bottom of the light with your eyes. You can adjust the brightness as needed.
You can use the microphone inside your computer, but to get better sound I recommend this lavalier microphone which plugs into a USB port on your computer. Another option is to get a “podcast microphone” that sits on your desk.