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July 2, 2024

The Great Debate: Faceless Videos vs. Talking Head Face-Off

I wanted to talk about a video I saw recently by Lorentz, our amazing Creative Content Producer, about videos without people on camera – you know, the faceless ones. It got me thinking about my own experience making videos, because well, I tried that once!

But before I get started, here is Lorenz’ video.

Not too long ago, I tried to create a YouTube channel, in French, dedicated to teaching Google Sheets. Though the channel didn’t achieve much success, it was an insightful experience in video creation. Looking back, I realize my perspective on faceless videos has evolved. Despite my initial interest, I now have to say that faceless videos just aren't for me.

Why I Dislike Faceless Videos

Most faceless videos I come across feature monotonous voices, making it seem like a content factory somewhere is producing them without genuine understanding. These videos often use AI to generate voices in various languages, leading to poor quality and a lack of authenticity. The creators don’t seem to grasp the subject, and their lack of interest is palpable. As a result, the content feels hollow and unengaging.

Don't get me wrong, I did the exact same thing when I started that channel, and I regret it now. Had I shown my face or even recorded my own voice, I might have engaged my audience more effectively.

So yeah, that's my take. Faceless videos just don't do it for me.

But let’s look at the pros and cons for content creators:

Pros for Content Creators:

  1. Focus on Content: Faceless videos allow creators to emphasize the content without distractions. This can be a plus, as viewers aren't distracted by the person speaking. However, I personally enjoy seeing the speaker because it feels like they are directly talking to me, which I find important.
  2. Convenience and Cost-Effectiveness: It's true that faceless videos are easier and cheaper to produce. There's no need for complex equipment, lighting, or a backdrop. You also don’t need an actor or to spend a lot of time setting things up. This makes the process quicker and more affordable, although it might not always result in the best quality.
  3. Increased Confidence: Many people struggle with speaking in front of a camera. I, for example, tend to stutter when facing a camera. However, when dictating this article using a great app called Draft (on Mac), I don’t stutter at all. Without the camera, confidence issues are minimized, allowing creators to be more expressive.
  4. Privacy: For creators who value their privacy, faceless videos offer a significant advantage. However, I believe that if you consider showing your face an invasion of privacy, content creation might not be the best career choice. Displaying your face is just part of the job.

Cons for Content Creators:

  1. Lack of Personal Connection: One major downside is the reduced personal connection with the audience. Viewers can’t see the creator’s face or emotions, which can make the content feel impersonal. This is similar to online meetings without cameras; they are less effective because you miss out on visual cues and expressions.
  2. Limited Brand Recognition: Personal branding is crucial, especially on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Showing your face helps viewers recognize and connect with you. When they see and hear you, they start to perceive you as a friend or trusted advisor, which is vital for building a loyal audience.

The pros and cons for viewers are quite similar (improved focus, enhanced privacy, reduced personal connection), so I won’t elaborate further.

Anyway, nowadays, I would do everything differently. I spent so much time on recording these videos. And I was also paying a Filipino VA to put together the final recording using Camtasia. I was then uploading everything to Murf to do the voice-over and generate the subtitles.

All those efforts for almost no views... You can see for yourself by checking out my channel (R.I.P., I guess) @appenligne.

So, what would I do differently this time?

I WOULD USE CANVID

I realize the following text might sound like an advertisement, but honestly, I couldn't put it better myself (thanks ChatGPT for this interlude). 

Forget boring screen recordings! Imagine this: you're creating a killer video tutorial, but you don't want to be on camera. No problem! Canvid, this awesome Windows app, lets you record your screen with crystal-clear quality, webcam or no webcam.

Here's the magic part: Canvid isn't just a screen grabber. It automatically zooms in on key areas and keeps your cursor movements smooth, making your video look polished and professional. It's like having a built-in video editor working behind the scenes!

So, whether you're creating a software demo, a how-to guide, or even a faceless explainer video, Canvid streamlines the process and makes your content visually engaging. And the best part? It all happens right on your Windows machine. No clunky software, no confusing interface – just you and your screen, ready to create something amazing.

Faceless Videos Vs. Talking Head - The Match

In the left corner, we have Mr. Faceless Video, hailing from @appenligne. With 1,178 views since October 12, 2022, this video is what I consider a flop. It took me about 4 hours of work to produce a 1-minute video. At a rate of 10 USD per thousand views, this video has a negative ROI in the hundreds of USD.

In the right corner, we present Mr. Talking Head. From spreadsheet creation to video export, all done in about 10 minutes, and I am honestly prouder of it.

So, who do you think will win this match?

Faceless Videos? Not My Cup of Tea (But Here's a Tip Anyway)

Let's be honest, faceless videos can feel a bit… lifeless, right? There's just something about a monotone AI voice droning on that makes me want to hit the skip button faster than a bad pop-up ad.

But hey, different strokes for different folks! If you're intrigued by faceless videos and want to give them a shot, here's a tip: ditch the robotic voiceovers. Authenticity is key! Speak in your own voice, with passion and personality.

Speaking of making your voice shine, Canvid is here to help. Even if faceless videos aren't your favorite (like me!), Canvid can still be a game-changer. Our Windows app lets you record your screen and – get this – it has a feature to enhance your audio clarity. No more fuzzy recordings! So, whether you're a faceless video enthusiast or not, Canvid can help you create clear, engaging content.

Who knows, maybe with a little voice magic, those faceless videos won't seem so bad after all!