YouTube videos are a critical part of our expert-positioning efforts. But many of us are one-person shows and don't have professional crews at our daily beck and call. Nevertheless, our videos can be high quality if we take the time and trouble to learn some simple techniques, even if you're shooting them on a smartphone, as I do. 

I've long wanted to raise the standard of my own YouTube videos, and to that end, over the past few days, I've been studying the topic. 

I'm well aware that my own videos are not yet at the standard I desire, but this past week, I learned how to solve one simple problem: sound-quality. Here's how... 

Improve your sound-quality: 

Keep your old phone - don't give it away. It's now going to be your sound-recorder. Purchase a simple lapel microphone, or, if that's too expensive, buy a cheap 'hands-free' kit for your phone (in particular, the ones that come with a little clip for your collar. You can actually cut off the two wires that split outward from the mini-speaker toward the ear-phones. With that, you're left with a decent lapel mic).

Plug the lapel into your old phone and affix it to your collar. Start recording (either with the old phone's video camera function, or using a sound-recording app). Then drop the phone into your pocket, out of view. You can then start your main phone recording the video. One handles sound, one handles picture. 

Clap Twice:

To make it easy to align the sound-tracks afterwards, clap twice, loudly before you begin speaking. Once you're done filming, you can then import the footage from both phones into a simple editing programme on your PC (I use the 'iMovie' app that came with my MacBook). Look for the 'peaks' in the soundtracks from your loud claps and line them up. Now your lip-sync will be perfect and you will have dramatically improved your sound quality. (I then delete the sound-track from the main phone, which was situated further away).

I have included one of my newest videos below, which was shot against a green-screen in my home (which is literally a wall in my house painted green). The black background was edited in afterwards. My own criticism of the video is that the lighting still needs work, but I'll tackle that problem this week. The sound, meanwhile, is crisper than usual, and contains less of that awful 'bathroom echo.'

With a lapel mic and an extra phone, you can be as far away from the video camera as you'd like. You can even shoot outdoors and from a distance. You are limited only by your own creativity. 

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll share with you all the tips and tricks for better video that I learn in the course of educating myself on the topic. This week, try out this technique for improving your sound. 

Raise the standard of your videos, and you will raise perceptions of yourself as an expert brand. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He specialises in disruptive innovation and expert-positioning, helping brands to become more memorable than their competitors’. See him in action, or sign up for his motivational newsletter, at Book him to present for your leadership team: email