How Much to Speak When Making a Video?
Story and Speaking in Videos
While not solely the domain of online videos, telling a story is as much a part of good video production as lighting, sound and subject. Sooner or later I will probably address each of those areas as well. For now I wanted to go over something I think about a lot. Whether to talk or not in a video.
Do you speak live, do voice-over or just let the video tell the story? There is not a right answer. Sometimes it depends on the project and sometimes on your mood. I have found that at times I don't want any voice at all, live on camera or voice-over. This is usually because the project is self-explanatory, or it is like an art piece, or just because I want to feature some kind of feel, usually with a specific music piece.
If anyone has watched my Sheet Music Box Video, that is what I was thinking. By not giving a verbal explanation I wanted the focus to be on the feel of working in a shop, and not necessarily on some kind or instructions about how to build a box. That is one of the reasons the project was so simple, if it was complex the audience might be paying too much attention to something I was not planning to explain.
I often consider which projects get filmed which way before the project starts. It determines how I set up the cameras and what ultimate feel I am going for.
To come back to the concept of how much to speak and how to do that, I am struck by how videos seem to break down very traditionally. Male-focused productions tend to be less verbal, while female-focused videos can be pretty talkative. Sometimes the extreme in this is amusing. Males tend to have pretty traditional male-focused subjects and females tend to be the same. Males weld and females have make-up videos. For the most part these videos all tell stories, and that is all that matters. How exactly you do it is your personal preference.
I don't think you can say there is any evidence that the amount of talking correlates with the success of the channel. There is quite a range in the successful YouTube channel category. Videos succeed because of the underlying story and quality, not necessarily because they are overly vocal or overly silent. So when I think about what to say, and how to say it, I often think as long as there is a real story there that is all that matters.