75%……………….. That’s the percent of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. No one can deny the meteoric rise of our consumption of video.
What started in the consumer space quickly crossed over into the corporate space as large organisations recognised and attempted to leverage the power of this most engaging media with varying degrees of success. As business leaders, politicians and the electorate knows with power, comes responsibility.
A cursory glance at YouTube will show you the many ways video can be used. The variety and the quality varies enormously. If you want to show how to do a perfect cartwheel , the quality doesn’t really matter. But if you are CEO delivering a Results or Investor presentation, it is quite a different thing. Even interviews, Town Hall meetings and promotional videos have all got to be a high standard if they are going to be truly credible and more importantly, effective. Personal and organisational reputation is at stake which in turn impacts investor sentiment and the share price. So it is crystal clear that you must do a professional job and it is not something that can be cobbled together by your internal team. But there is a tension here that needs to be resolved – while your communications have to be professional they also need to be natural. All those cartwheel demonstrations on YouTube have changed our expectations, even when we are at work. Nowadays we expect all video to be natural and human – if we don’t feel we are seeing the real person we don’t believe it.
So how can we match up the need for message control with the requirement to not look like we are on message? Currently what typically happens, is a third party agency will get brought in to produce a video. A time consuming and expensive exercise and the results are……OK but nothing special. Let’s look at the time and expense factor in a bit more detail. Precious executive time is spent doing endless retakes to get the perfect ‘grab’ that is half decent for public consumption. Footage is then taken away and then many more hours are spent desperately editing average content. Anyone who has commissioned this sort of work will know that agency hours translates into a bigger invoice. Before you know it your marketing budget has been squandered and the lacklustre results don’t reflect the amount of money spent. That’s the bad news. The good news is, there is another way – one which takes up less executive time (and so costs less money) and is more effective.
Good executive coaching can go a long way to solving the problem – and it is, of course, a vital part of preparing key executives for all types of communications – but there is more that can be done when it comes to pre-recorded video. The trick is in understanding when to concentrate on being natural and when to focus on message control. Doing both at the same time is very hard so you need to break it down. In effect that means filming and engaging with senior executives in a way that lets them be themselves but also produces enough high quality content to be able to concentrate on message control in the edit. Executives aren’t then overburdened with remembering lines and delivery and can relax into being themselves – the key to engaging and persuasive video.
Of course all of this is easy to say but hard to deliver. It means working with people who understand you, your language and your messages, and who can engage with your senior executives in ways few production companies can. Not only will it save you time and money and hassle in the long run, it will mean your speakers are more confident and engaging, and you’ll have a high quality video – a video that not only makes a great impression but also enhances your brand and the speaker. Isn’t that what you wanted in the first place?
To give you a flavour of what we can do, watch this video:
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