The Threesome Technique for Online Video Interviewing

The Threesome Technique for Online Video Interviewing

How did I get inspired to dream up and post this? It came to me one day when my girlfriend suggested that I video record a three-way. I was all excited. Then she said to me, "Grant, I meant with you, someone you interview professionally, and your videographer." That left me disgusted. (But not disgusted enough to not share what I learned from my video experience – read on…)[powerpress]

OK, I admit that's not quite exactly how the conversation went, but I'm trying to segue here into what I've meant to be intentionally titillating, yet oh-so-purposeful: The "threesome effect." This is something that I've noticed with some very successful online video clips we've done in our interview pieces at ReelSEO, and perhaps you can learn from them for your own video marketing pieces. This article is about what are appropriate uses of this "threesome effect" with online video for purely professional purposes.

How to have a professional three-way with online video

An online video threesome consists of, conveniently enough, 3 parts:

  • The interviewee (or spokesperson or presenter)
  • The interviewer (or "physical" audience)
  • The camera (or "virtual audience”).

So a professional "video threesome" (or "video three-way") is when the interviewee, featured on camera, regularly alternates eye contact between their physical and virtual audience.

When is it appropriate to have a professional video threesome?

This really comes down to what situation and subject matter will seem natural enough to acknowledge both the interviewer and the audience. If you have something to sell or a real offer to make, then looking at the camera is appropriate. When it's likely not appropriate is if you're trying to have a real conversation with someone, or if you're doing a "skit." (Unless you mean it to be tongue-in-cheek and for humorous effect.)

An example of a professional video threesome

The following threesome-style video example is my recent interview with Kaltura, featuring myself as the interviewer, Kaltura's Ron Yekutiel as the interviewee, and of course our videographer. Watch this example below and you'll see how Ron is in an appropriate "salesman" mode – looking at me part of the time, but also clearly acknowledging the audience who will be watching the interview, demonstrated by looking directly at the camera intermittently. Here Ron isn't just giving an interview; he's giving a sales presentation within a conversation.

Tips for doing your own professional video threesome

  • INTERVIEWERS: Be patient and wait your turn. If the main subject of the video is supposed to be your interviewee, then let the interviewee be the "dom." In the example interview you saw with Kaltura, I accidentally felt like I had to move a bit in front of my interviewee to get back into the video shot, rather than just letting the camera back on me. If I had just waited for the videographer to just pan back to me, it would have looked more natural. Otherwise, I look like I'm trying to force myself back into threesome, rather than patiently waiting my turn.
  • INTERVIEWEES: Keep reasonable eye contact. Look at your interviewer while they are directing their question or comment to you, and wait at least 5 or more seconds before you turn your head to the camera. To much attention on your audience will make you seem like a sales "tool" rather than a legitimate conversationalist.
  • INTERVIEWEES: Acknowledge your interviewer. Ron does a good example of repeating my initial question in his own words. His responses well thought out and directly related to what I'm asking, and he even ends the interview with saying our own publication's own slogan. (The "money shot.”)
  • INTERVIEWERS: React to your interviewee's comments. If you're having yourself appear on camera, it's OK to be a "sub," but just don't be a lazy one and have the interviewee do all of the activity. Even simple facial expressions convey interest and engagement in the interviewee and their subject matter, which the camera and virtual audience will be able to pick up.
  • INTERVIEWER AND INTERVIEWEES: Match each other's body language. If one party appears over-exaggerated in how they express themselves on camera compared to the other party, it will appear even more distracting to the audience than if both people have exaggerated body language. I noticed this when I looked back at my interview with Daisy Whitney of the New Media Minute. I'm not saying avoid any body language or physical expression, just pay attention to your "partner" on camera and have yours more closely match their own.

So should you have a video threesome? I say yes. But like in your personal life, be a good judge when it comes to whom you do it with, and your professional circumstances.

My videographer eagerly speaks out on his video three-ways

The Threesome Technique for Online Video InterviewingAs a little end-of-the-year bonus (or punishment, because if you've gotten this far, you must enjoy punishment) I have a podcast conversation with my videographer, Andy Schenider of Digital Take Productions, who I've had several threesomes with on video (professionally speaking, of course). Click the play button below and hear me discuss with video threesome pro Andy these important questions:

  • What would we consider to be appropriate uses for having a professional video threesome?
  • What would we consider to be in-appropriate uses?
  • What tips would we give for doing professional 3-way online videos?
  • Why are you smiling that way at me?

(I must confess, its an un-professional podcast – no professional intro or outtro, or even an edit of the lead-in to the interview. Just raw and amateur-style, the way another audience seems to like it.)

There you have it, Video-philes. I leave you with my last article of 2009, a really Reel Video SEOrgy. Can we now make the case that "professional video threesome" should be added to your own lexicon? Well, see what your own spouse or partner (or mom) has to say about it, first. ;)


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