Here are some tips to help you record the best possible videos to save and share with your family and friends!

Dress for success: Very bright, very dark, thin-striped or white clothing doesn’t always look so great onscreen. Try to wear something in a muted color.

The eyes have it: Position yourself to look either directly, or slightly upward, at your camera. Adjust your camera location (some people stack books underneath to raise their lens!), or adjust or switch your chair.

Quiet on the set: Avoid recording when there’s substantial background noise. This can be anything from a TV show in the background, to thunder or wind, to a lawnmower two yards down!

Light it right: Natural daylight is best, but if your setup isn’t window-friendly, place a lamp behind your camera, if possible, or diagonally from where you’re sitting so it illuminates your face. Avoid having a window or other bright light behind you; this will “backlight” you and produce dark videos as a result.

Background check: Give your recording area a quick visual scan before you begin. Remove anything you wouldn’t want seen or recorded for posterity (yikes!). A simple backdrop is best.

Focus, focus, focus: Be sure to maintain eye contact with your camera. You don’t want to appear in your video as if you’ve been watching a fly buzz around the room!

Practice makes perfect: Although you don’t want your video to seem “scripted,” you may want to try out your answer by answering the prompt a time or two before you start recording — or at least think about how you’ll answer so you can make the most of your recording time. And we recommend recording a test video before recording your first “real one,” just to be sure both the audio and visuals are okay.

Finally: Speak at a normal volume, at a steady pace, just as if you’re telling someone a story (because you are!). Not happy with how it’s going? Don’t be afraid to stop recording and re-record your answer.

Break a leg!

(Wait, on second thought: Please don’t. That seems like it could cause a lot of trouble for us.)