Unfolding plans 145 – Video kills

Video was never my medium.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I fluff my lines and get all tongue tied.  I’m more nervous on video than with any other format.  I don’t know why, perhaps it is the permanence of it all.  I think I get hung up on how I’m coming across rather than what I am saying.  I need to get over it as I do know though that video has so much to offer.  This is the video age and I should be using it more than I am.

OK, so I do use it a bit.  We use it at the presentations that we do to the whole team every other month.  Here we use it for two reasons, one to reinforce the points that we are trying to make through the narrative and two to mark the start of the presentation.  Starting with a video allows us to lower the lights and move the audience from expectation to reception.  It is like a sort of prologue.  They have made a big difference to what we are doing since we’ve introduced them.  Video has turned them from a presentation to more of a show, something to look forward too and something more entertaining.  At least I’d like to think so.

We also produced one for a security conference we did in the summer. I couldn’t be there but wanted to open the event.

So what more can I do with them.  Well, firstly with the presentations we could start using our own content rather than borrowing something from the intranet.  There is a lot out there to choose from but YouTube videos don’t always portray the exact message that you need and are not always of the right quality.  There is a lot of good stuff out there and quite a lot of detritus that you need to sift through.  Making our own videos would mean we control both the content and the quality.

Perhaps a more important area though would be in the use of instructional videos, where we show people how to do things.  There are so many ways in which a small amount of instruction or help could improve productivity or understanding across the organisation.  Self-help is the way to go.

But what makes a good video? It should be engaging and filled with passion, just like a good presentation but where video pulls ahead is that it can be cut and rearranged to make the outcome better than reality.  All those things that you wish you had said after the event can be added in to make it look spontaneous.  All those things that you wish you hadn’t said can be taken out.  As much as ninety five percent of it is going to end up on the virtual cutting room floor.  You can add music and imagery to make it rhythmically and colourfully interesting.  You can frame your message in your own image to make it informative and entertaining.

And of course you can rework it until you are happy and the viewer can replay it until they get the message.

I really would like to make more of the medium and so need to get over my prejudices.  I need to get into the video age.

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