5 Tips To Create Videos Backgrounds That Engage Audiences


Featuring Guest Blogger Misty Megia 


Video remains one of the best ways to disseminate information/content/you out in the world.  YouTube is still ranked in the top 3 most popular websites and video streaming from any device to another is only becoming easier as all of our devices are starting to connect. Video is definitely a part of our everyday life, helping us learn everything from high-tech strategies, audition techniques, to beauty tips. In fact, this morning I actually got ready watching a YouTube tutorial on how to do a certain hairstyle I was trying to accomplish #helpmyhair. Video has remained one of the easiest forms of communication and it can help you gain a strong following if you put some thought in.

If you don’t think about it and just film all willy nilly, than your lack of presentation and thought is like walking into an audition without having showered for a week and the green fuzz in your teeth is about to be your only friend.

The below tips are for producing video content that you feel will represent you in your finest light. This is not meant for that quick and dirty Periscope moment where you are showing people behind the scenes footage. My goal here is to give you some tips that will help you create something you are proud to show. Something that represents your personality your skills your thoughts before you even speak, so everything you do reflects a unified message. The message of “You have to follow me I am incredibly talented and about to be your new favourite person.”


(1) Don’t Pick Something Boring For Your Background


This may seem like a stupid thing to say. But I just went on to a client’s professional site and they had a video of them against their blank yellow wall. This marketing professional is someone who is full of life, has excellent information to share, and works above and beyond on her personal brand. Then she filmed a welcome video for her site that looked like a prison picture. Do not do this. Scout your house or your office for the best background. Viewers may not realize a great background when they see it because it’s subtle and fits who you are, but they definitely notice a horrible background that is distracting and not in alignment with what you are trying to present.

So, PLEASE do not just film without considering your surroundings.


(2) Do Pick Something That Represents Your Brand


Two pieces of advice I have received in my training on set design that I will pass on to you. If it’s your personal space choose only items that you absolutely love and bring you great joy. Secondly, never have something on a set that doesn’t support the story you are trying to portray to an audience. So make each piece be a part of the conversation.

You can choose a plain color for your backdrop if:  you plan on using pop up text or images or if you plan on dropping an entirely different background in during post production.

No matter if it’s physical or a green-screened image, make sure what is behind you represents the look and feel you’re trying to convey.  How do you determine the look you want? Think of who you are and how to reflect that in your set.

  • Business? Books that are stacked or placed that have been your go-to recommendations to drive your success, plants, an inspired statements in a small frame, artwork that you love, your logo strategically placed, calming colors, energizing colors, think of your tag line and what symbols you can get out of that.
  • High Tech? Cool (meaning in the blue tones not like cool as in hip) lighting, edgy pieces, something quirky or dramatic that represents your personality, interesting sculptures, the golden gate or bay bridge to represent the silicon valley, if your an apple fan a white apple, maybe a nod to the Big Bang Theory, a rocket model ship anything that represents fast, smart, cutting edge.
  • Artistic? What type of artist are you? Makeup? Photographer? Musician? Look at things that represent you without being cliche. A big music note for a musician is cliche but a few framed pieces from your collection of vintage vinyl records or a framed piece of sheet music art that inspires you or  a quote from your lyrics painted on to a piece of wood. Or perhaps a 3D model of your last album or bobble heads of your group. A vintage instrument case. If your music is calming, go with pieces that represent that: greenery, water features, soft colors. There are always color sets that represent moods that you want to use.

You get the idea. Select every piece to build a backdrop that represents you or the feeling you are trying to give your viewers. Think about color, form, imagery, interests. You do not need a ton of items. Just choose wisely and make each piece speak to who you are.


(3) Lighting Is Key


Yes if you are doing multiple videos AND you will be filming on a regular basis then you need to invest in light boxes, or a beauty light ring for make-up videos or close up filming.

Lighting is your friend and you can create all different effects with it. For this article, let’s say it’s for your business and you are doing some sort of a tutorial. You want to put the lighting at your head height directly lighting your face or you can put two lights on either side of your face for equal coverage.

Don’t put the lights above you as that will cast shadows on your eyes and make you look like Frankenstein with dark eye sockets.

Don’t put lights below you unless you’re trying to recreate your spooky Halloween days when you were a kid holding a flashlight under your chin. It’s OK you can take a moment to find a flashlight and recreate that now. Go for it… I’ll wait;)

When you tape. make sure that if you have a window in your space, you are far from it or facing the window for natural light.  Natural light is ideal for a quick video. But if the video is going to be longer than 20 minutes, that natural lighting will consistently change during the shoot.

The window shouldn’t be behind you as it will highlight all of your wild hairs and also pull camera focus so you are dark and the background is lit.  This will create a silhouette of you sometimes.

Your best option is to place two lights, one on your right and left at the height you are sitting. You can also do a top light to highlight your hair (if you’re having a great hair day #helpmyhair haha) but that would mean three lights.  You would not place a top light unless you have two fill lights on your right and left side of your face.

You want direct light that is diffused through a light box or umbrellas.

Here are two fairly reasonable sets on amazon.

 Light box

 Lighting with color filters which is great!!


(4) Outdoor Ideas 


If you are planning on filming outdoors, film in the morning or late afternoon so the sun cooperates with lighting you. (See above for reason on why not at high noon).

If you are filming outside, select a background that goes with what you are talking about or a space that represents who you are or creates a feeling that you are trying to convey. Hey, you want to do a video about how you can work from anywhere on a roller coaster? Great! Love it. Though you may need to do a voice over if you don’t intend on investing in sound equipment, too.

Do a site visit before you film. And then ask yourself: Is it too noisy? Is there solid ground to set up my camera tripod? If I run out of batteries, is there an outlet close by or do I need to bring extra batteries? Will I need additional lighting? Do I need to get permission to film here? Will there be people coming in and out of my shot during the time I want to shoot? Check the weather, including the wind as that will affect the sound quality.


(5) Test Long Before Your Deadline


Take screenshots of yourself before the videotaping and make sure that everything looks good. Does your lighting need to be adjusted? Do you need makeup? (Even guys wear translucent powder and a bit of cherry chapstick as lights wash your color out.) Do you need to adjust anything in your background so you don’t look like you have something resting on your head?

At this point it is helpful to have a friend close by who can adjust while you sit and review.

After you have adjusted everything, put an X on the ground to mark where you need to stand or sit so it will be consistent every time. You want to test everything out well in advance. It takes time to edit so on your first video give yourself a month to shoot, adjust, edit, add in your bookend (intro and closing credits if needed) and to post.

So To Recap:


Don’t be boring.

Select items that represent you.

Put yourself in the best light.

If your outdoors, choose your space wisely.

Take practice shots and adjust as you see fit.


I know you have incredible content to give the world, so move forward with confidence that you are putting your best background forward.

Good luck and we hoped this helped. We would love to see the transformation of your space so post your before and after videos for us to see!!!

This article was originally published on The Theater of Marketing



With over 20 years experience in market strategy, project management, public speaking, corporate branding and channel marketing, Misty has driven success for multiple companies across a variety of industries from hardware manufacturing, software developers, green energy, education and more.

Misty’s powerful methods in helping businesses to create new revenue streams, develop their brand, streamline operations and bring a fresh eye to a company have positioned her as a leader in her field. Most recently, she worked with established thought leader Doug Sleeter, as Executive Director for The Sleeter Group where she managed the day-to-day operations of the company and established strong partnerships in the community to build on the trusted brand. After three short years working with the accounting industry, Misty was honoured as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor.

In her other life Misty is a performer, director and choreographer of professional and regional theater. She loves bringing that knowledge to the business world and often incorporates it in speaker training for those that want to take their speaking from a speech to an experience without the drama.

You will find more about her and her passion @


Some Additional Resources You May Find Helpful


(1) Blab Versus Periscope (Blog Post)

(2) Blab 101 – All You Need To Know (Blog Post)

(3) Join The Video Marketing Revolution (Blog Post)

(4) How To Be Confident On Video (Blog Post) 



How To Live Stream On Blab (Video)

How To Live Stream On Blab (Video)


How to Make Videos With Your Phone

How to Make Videos With Your Phone (Video) 



How To Be More Confident On Video (Podcast) 


How To Be More Confident On Video (Part 2)



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