Planning the Visual Components of Your Video

Planning the Visual Components of Your Video (Video)

Show Notes – Video 00185

Original Air Date September 8, 2013

Most of us have made a mistake or two in our lives and we try to learn from those mistakes. Once we understand what we did wrong, some of us like to share those mistakes with others. The video below is one of our Hot Blog Tips Hangouts on Air that we do each Sunday. In this particular HoA, I show some slides and talk about a few of the mistakes I have made when it comes to using images, speaker position and text on videos. I made these mistakes because I didn’t plan out my video very well. Hopefully, this video will give you a few tips, so you don’t screw up what I have.

As far as planning your video, it is a must! In fact, included in this post is an extra “lesson” in planning. The text below the video is not a transcript of the entire video. It is the script I wrote before the HoA and used when we were live. I have done many HoA’s with just bullet points written beforehand and some of those HoA’ have gone well and others, I forget things I should have said to make it complete.

By writing out your complete script, you can make sure you are covering every point you need to. You also have much less chance of getting off target in your message.

Planning your video be it live or just recorded, is a must! You want to leave nothing to chance.

My Script For The Video Below:

Welcome to our Hot Blog Tips Hangouts on Air.

I am here with Brian D. Hawkins of

Mitch Mitchell is off on assignment.

Our topic today is about planning the visual elements of your video. We need to think ahead when we start pulling up images, text slides, the position of any speakers, where the annotations will be placed, if you allow ads to run on your video, the InVideo buttons, and even video over video.

I hope to screen share images of my mistakes, so you will know what to watch for.

Let’s start with picking images for backgrounds.

#A – Here we have a great picture of a fox. I was using this for a background and figured out that the fox is in the center of the picture and didn’t leave much room for the speaker’s image in the overlayed video.

#B – As you can see I either had to resize the fox image which ended up distorting the poor animal, or moving the fox over and cutting off part of him so I had room for Granny.

Lesson – When looking at background images or taking images to use as backgrounds, keep the target item to the side rather than center and you will have less problems later. This goes the same for when you are making video or slide show to use behind a speaker. If there is something you want to be in the video, and not hidden behind the speaker, keep it to one side.

#C – Here we are looking at Overlays. This one happens to be an Overlay using the Lower Third in an HoA.

Mitch has a picture of his book displayed in the upper corner. The book is hard to see what it is since his background is so busy. This can also happen if you have a window or bright light behind you as the “glare” will take away from the image.

If this was a real Call To Action or had info that is of utmost importance…it may not even be noticed by the viewers. Try to steer clear of busy background if you need people to focus.

#D – Here is Mitch with the same overlay in an HoA, only this time his background has a lot less going on and the book is more noticeable.

Lesson – Keep distractions out of your background if you want the viewer to focus on an item displayed. Such a Logo, Text, Call to Action or even an Annotation.

#E – Speaking of Annotations, in this image, you can see that I am a bit close and that means that there is very little room to put an annotation without going over my face.

#F – Here is my alter ego and she is doing it right. She is positioned to the side, so there is plenty of room for the annotation in the opposite corner.

#G – and since we are on Annotations, if you are using one as a call to action, make sure the image is REALLY noticeable!

#H – Ok, I know this is not the best image, but let me tell you about it, so you don’t make the same mistake as I did!

This is the thumbnail that will show in the search results or as a related video. Notice when you look at these thumbnails, the length of the video is in the lower right corner.

With this video, the puppet is in the lower right corner of the video and is almost completely covered by the time in the thumbnail.

Lesson – Do not put an image that will be used to draw attention to the video in the lower right.


A few other tips I do not have images for…

Remember that if you run ads on YouTube, for part of the video, the bottom third may be covered. If you have important info there, viewers may miss it.

**** Also, If you use the YouTube InVideo feature, they use to allow you to choose which corner the icon was placed in, now they don’t. The watermark option goes in the top corner and the Featured Video is in the bottom corner.

***** If you are going to have a speaker and slides pop up at certain points, if the speaker is moving a lot, you may not be able to get the slides easily placed. Think of a speaker who is walking back and forth across the stage and you are trying to place the slide on his side (That keeps changing).

******Also be aware that if you have 2 channels and you include a clip from one channel in a video on the other channel, and you monetize it…you may get a warning that you need to show proof that you have the rights to use the video from the 1st channel. I’ll give you 3 guesses as to who just got dinged for this!

***** Here is a bonus for those of you wanting to try your first Green screen with a video behind you (Like you are reporting from the scene)…Set your camera in a stationary position and video whatever it is you want behind you. If you are moving the background around and you the speaker are staying stationary, it looks a bit funky. Here is a chicken video you can watch to see what I mean…the background video is moving around and it looks like Granny may be floating.

Ok, those are the mistakes I can think of, I know I have made many more, I just blocked them out of my mind.

Brian can you think of any others?

Thanks for watching and we hope these tips save you a bit of time and frustration.

Please leave us a comment, because we love to hear your thoughts.

Just as an FYI, the #letters are the way I named the images in the slide show. This keeps them in order in the folder and it allows me to easily see the image name at the top of the window, so I know I am on the right slide.

Do you spend much time planning out your videos? If so, what is your best tip for others? Let us know in the comments below!

Listen As A Podcast

Planning the Visual Components of Your Video

Watch The Video

Planning the Visual Components of Your Video

Show Participants:

Sheryl Loch
Brian D. Hawkins

Interaction – Things You Can Do Right Now…

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.


  1. this is an amazing article .Its a great idea to write down a script for a video just as the script writers do fo the movies.I’ll try this out for sure when i’ll plan for my 1st youtube video. Thanks for sharing the information.

  2. In the past, just having video content gave you a great advantage over other sites that did not. Nowadays, most everyone has the access and ability to create video content, even in high definition. Standing out now depends on polishing your video content, much like you would with written content. Plan things out, create a script, and make things as fluid as possible. Presentation is crucial.

  3. I will surely try this idea , but i don’t have knowledge in creating videos . So i will have to take help of someone who is expert . Anyways good idea of creating video . may be it will help 🙂

  4. Nice point Paul Lee, blogging and every other source of content marketing has gotten to that point as well – good ain’t good enough anymore. 😉

  5. It’s not for everyone though Pramod, I tried it last week and it didn’t work out that well. I can’t read from a script, I had to ignore it completely to even speak. I do much butter with simple notes with a few bullet points I want to cover.

  6. Check out our channel Jones, Sheryl has some how-to videos on creating them, including Hangouts On Air.

  7. Hello Shery,

    I like your blog and also your ideas so i back to your blog again. Yes, we learn from mistakes, so as a newbie blogger i am doing lots of mistakes and also learning from it. I am a regular reader of your blog and i have now learn about making video for blogs.

    I will now try to use your ideas and i should do it. I make small length video and upload it Youtube but from now i will try to follow your tips to make a better one.

    Waiting for the new post… 😀

  8. Yes video can be a great source for free traffic, i own a pallet company in Essex
    not the most exciting product to market and yet we have had good results wit instruction videos.

  9. That’s a clean looking site using WordPress Cameron. I didn’t see your YouTube link but would love to check it out. Feel free to stop back by and leave the link.

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