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Video projects: Top tips on recording

As part of the integrated skills series of video projects, Jackie McAvoy provides some top tips for recording audio and video.

Recording a video

  • The easiest way to do this is with a digital camera or mobile phone. This should be on a flat surface so that the head and shoulders of the speaker can be clearly seen.
  • Don’t hold the camera in your hand as it will shake.
  • Consider the background; a plain wall is better than a messy noticeboard, for example.

Making an audio recording

  • Turn off anything in the room that’s making a noise: the air conditioning, the strip lighting, computer fan, fridge etc. These can make a buzzing sound in the background.
  • If you’re using a microphone make sure that it’s not too close to the speaker’s mouth as this can cause a horrible ‘popping’ sound, especially with words beginning with p or b. 20-30cm is probably a good distance.


  • Try not to record in a room that has a lot of echo. A room with carpets and curtains is better.
  • Recording outside is fine, just make sure there’s no disturbing background noise like traffic or people chatting. The speaker will probably need to talk a little louder.
  • The speaker should be as natural and relaxed as possible, so practise a lot before starting. Speaking fluently is better than worrying about being accurate.

Have fun doing this!

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Macmillan Dictionary

Free pragmatics lesson plans brought to you by Macmillan Dictionary as part of the Macmillan Year of Life skills.

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