I’ve been experimenting with Soapbox a lot over the past few months with the goal of making the best video possible. As with any kind of software, there’s always going to be a learning curve of some kind. So hopefully this post can save you some time by taking you through the essential go-tos I turn to every time I make a Soapbox video (and as a Principal Video Producer, that's a lot, trust me).
With these 5 simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to making great-looking Soapbox videos whenever you need to.
1. Clean your screen
Chances are your audience isn’t super interested in the links you have open in your browser or what your bookmarked tabs are. Close all of your tabs, turn on “do not disturb,” and hide your mouse so that your screen is looking spick-and-span before you start rolling.
2. Prep your webcam shot
We’ve already covered how to properly set up a webcam shot, but just as a reminder, your audience will thank you for the optimal viewing experience if you remember to put your laptop camera above your eye line.
Also, facing a window will ensure that you're not backlit and dark. Your audience wants to see the face of their presenter crystal clear!
3. Start and end with your face
I like to bookend my Soapbox videos with my face. It provides a warm welcome to start off your video and leaves viewers with a friendly image of the person they just watched.
Remember, most Soapbox videos will understandably end with you frantically looking for the "stop sharing" button, and that’s ok! Just trim that part out and end it with a wave or a smile.
4. Zoom to emphasize your point
Want to highlight specific points in your video or can’t-miss details? Use the zoom feature to hone in on a particular portion on the screen recording.
Find the moment you'd like to zoom in, add a "screen" layout change, and hit the "+" symbol to zoom. Finally, use your mouse to click and drag the video to find the part of the screen you want to show off.
5. Choose a custom thumbnail
While we almost always advocate for showing a human face in your thumbnail, the image you should choose gets a little trickier with Soapbox. Should I show the split-screen format in my thumbnail or not? you might be wondering. It’s a good question! When you can, we recommend showing a human face in the context of the split-screen layout to provide your viewers with a frame of reference (no pun intended) around what they’re about to watch, like in this example of Trevor from one of our emails:
One last helpful tidbit: you might be feeling the pressure of recording a video in one sitting, but there’s no rule that says you can’t do multiple takes (at least that we’re aware of). Try it out as many times as you need—no one’s going to see the “bad” takes other than you, so take a deep breath, look into the camera, and smile! Be yourself, and that authenticity will come across loud and clear in your finished product.