Capturing Sound Bites on Video

Unscripted videos can be effective, coming across as spontaneous and conversational. You need to put your interview subjects at ease and coax out their best and most colorful sound bites.Not every company video can be scripted. Often you must rely on interviews for content — and find a way to cut 15 minutes of footage into a 30-second sound bite.

Here are some tips for getting the content you need from your interview subjects.

1) Put the interviewee at ease
Before a sporting event, athletes warm up. The same is true for interviews. Start recording and then start the "interview" with conversational topics, such as the weather, weekend plans, personal history. People will relax answering easy questions and talking warms up the vocal cords. Take the opportunity to sprinkle in a useful question or two without preamble.

2) Use simple questions
Each question should focus on one topic. Keep the questions simple. You want the interviewee to talk and respond with inspiration. That is easier to do if the question isn't complicated.

3) Use eye contact, posture and body language
Interviewees will mirror the interviewers behavior. Eye contact demonstrates interest. Correct posture exudes confidence. Nodding your head and smiling implies approval. Be relaxed and others will be at ease.

4) Encourage colorful expression
You are after sound bites, after all, so give your subjects the license to talk like they would around their own kitchen table or on their backyard deck. When an interviewee uses an interesting, colorful or provocative phrase, ask them about it so you have material that backs up the sound bite– and the backbone of your video.

5) Do-overs are okay
Move on to another topic if a response doesn't get the sound bite you want. Return to the question later in the interview, when the interviewee isn't thinking about a mistake.

6) Encourage and compliment
Remind the interviewee how well they are doing. Be impressed with comments. Reassure the person you are getting the information you want and need.