If you want to present fitness videos or launch an on-demand workout channel then this blog post is for you.
If you’re used to teaching to a room full of participants, presenting a fitness class alone to a camera can seem ridiculously intimidating.
Preparation is key. Without the visual feedback from people in front of you, there’s more to remember and less help to trigger teaching points.
With this list of tips, you can present world-class fitness videos that you can be proud of and deliver the best exercise experience for your audience so they come back for more.
REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE
Let’s get the most obvious tip out of the way at the start. Rehearsing pays of massively. The more familiar you are with your workout the more confident and natural your performance becomes.
Making mistakes can be frustrating and time consuming. If you want to bang out your workouts quickly, then take the time to rehearse so you’re more prepared and less likely to make mistakes.
When you know your workouts instinctively you can focus more on your performance and connection though the camera to your audience.
AVOID THE LONG INTROS
Keep your intros short and concise and aim for no longer than 10-30 seconds. People want to workout not listen to a lecture, so if you’re not saying what people want to hear they may not stick around.
If you’re workout warrants further explanation and back ground information, make a separate video. This provides a more appropriate opportunity for you to connect with your audience on a deeper level at a more appropriate time and doesn’t frustrate your audience if they want to get into the workout quickly.
A good intro:
- qualifies your audience by need, ability or objective
- gives a name to your workout and highlights the benefits
- highlights and equipment requirements
- tells them how long the workout is.
Anymore than this will overload the viewer with too much information and cause unnecessary delay to the workout.
Remember, you ability to deliver confidently to camera without ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ demonstrates your professionalism and ability to communicate.
If you’re using videos to bring more people into your live classes, then it’s in your best interest to make the best possible first impression.
Here are some good examples of workout introductions:
MOVE AND TALK
There’s no reason why you can’t intro your workout while your audience is moving.
If you’ve planned your workout correctly then your warm-up moves should be low impact and easy to follow making it possible for you to maximise the workout opportunity.
DON’T SELF SABOTAGE
Without the right preparation you’re more likely to make mistakes and say the wrong things on camera.
If you’re new to filming your workouts, relax, it’s OK to make mistakes and you’ll get better with experience.
If you do something by mistake in your video it can be hard not to show your disappointment,. But don’t stop and ruin what could otherwise be a perfectly good video.
Always film your workouts by imagining that they’re LIVE! What would you do it you made the same mistake teaching in a club?
You correct yourself and move on. You don’t have to be perfect, just be prepared to deal with mistakes in the most professional way.
When it’s just you and your camera, silence can be deafening and one of the hardest things for fitness instructors to be comfortable with is being silent.
If you want your audience to get the most out of the workout then you need to give them a reason to listen. If you’re talking all the time, it’s difficult for them to tell what’s most important.
If you find yourself talking too much, train yourself to coach in as few words as possible. Think before you speak and be economical with your words, review the phrase in your mind before sharing it.
This will help you to cue better and give any music the room to breathe for a better exercise experience.
FUTURE PROOF YOUR COACHING
Present your workouts so they’re suitable for returning fans. You audience will only be first-timers once, so coach for progression instead of introduction.
When you present your workouts, imagine your audience have already done it 10 times. This will help you to create workouts with a longer shelf life that will appeal to returning fans as well as first timers.
If you want your participants to repeat your workouts, then you need to coach and deliver in a way that doesn’t frustrate the experience or slow them down.
If you teach in a way that assumes everyone is doing it for the first time, then the pace of the workout could be interrupted by explanations or demonstrations that are unnecessary to a more experience audience.
BE APPROPRIATELY DESCRIPTIVE
Sometimes following along to exercise videos becomes an audio only experience. When you present fitness videos you have to rely on more than visual cues.
If participants are adopting yoga poses or exercise that make it difficult for them to see the screen, you’ll need to change your coaching style to be more descriptive.
When visual coaching cues are compromised you’ll need to rely on strong verbal cuing. If you can pace your cuing with moments of silence, then it’s easier for your audience to follow your coaching cues when they need them the most.
AVOID NEGATIVE CUING
Making your workouts a positive experience for your audience will encourage them to return for more.
Rehearsing your workouts and paying attention to your teaching cues can help you to become a better coach.
Avoid negative cues like ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’ and set objectives instead.
Warning people what they’re doing things wrong takes up valuable coaching time and doesn’t help your audience feel good either.
Here are some examples of negative cues and alternative phrases.
NEGATIVE: “Don’t let your knees fall inward as you squat down.”
OBJECTIVE: “If your knees are falling in, keep you them inline with your second toe as you squat down”
NEGATIVE: “Don’t bounce the barbell on the chest”
OBJECTIVE: “Are you smooth and under control as you lower the bar down?”
NEGATIVE: “If you can’t keep your speed up, drop your bike’s resistance”
OBJECTIVE: “Keep moving and drop your resistance if you need to, then when you’re ready take it up again”
END WITH A STRONG OUTRO
Just like your intro, you need to script your outro. The last thing you want to do is fluff up the ending when your workout has gone so well.
Preparing your outro in advance is the only way to wrap up your video with confidence and avoid waffling.
The secret is simple here, just figure out the last think you want to say (word-for-word) and work towards it.
So what should you say as your outro?
- Congratulate your audience on completing the workout
- Empathise and let them know that you know how they feel.
- Repeat the workout name and focus.
- Tell them what to do next e.g. “if you like’d this workout , next time try this one…”
Remember at the end of the workout, your audience will be tired but they’ll also feel great, so it’s the perfect time to ask something of your audience.
That could be a request to subscribe to your YouTube channel, follow a link to find out more about your local classes or take advantage of a promo you’re currently running.
So now you know how to present fitness videos that will deliver your audience the best exercise experience.