Top Tech Tips: Video – So Easy to do Badly
The very ease in which one can produce video these days once led pundits to predict that this democratization would threaten TV and Hollywood studios with the abundance of content and options. This has happened to a certain extent, but as we all know, most of what is created these days is not that great and thankfully continues to languish in obscurity. This may be fine for all the people vigorously uploading to YouTube and umpteen other locations…but your a business person. Or, you are at least creating with a purpose. I certainly hope you are anyway!
PowerPoint made visuals so easy to create that we would be lost without this tool in almost any meeting these days…but the blame is not on PowerPoint. People make bad presentations, not the software we love to blame. Enough has been written on that subject – my focus here is on using video to deliver a message and how we are at risk, as business communicators, of letting ‘ease of use’ allow us to pump out sub-par visuals communications once again and as such, we will get sub-par results.
This clip is one of my recent rants on the subject as part of our larger TechWiseTV show we produce twice per month. The main show, Business Video: Mastering the New Change Agent involved a look at the complete workflow from creative inspiration to production and formatting to distribution. This is just the rant, but check out the rest if interested – Cisco is doing a great job making video easier for ‘the business.’
When it come to our business communications, a couple of things become much more important and need to be distinguished from our personal communication. We still want to be personal but we all need to pay attention to our objectives (what do we want people to do after watching) and our ability to communicate. So many things can either get in the way (be a distraction) of good video communication or enhance it. The counterintuitive notion that ‘sound’ is more important than the video is certainly one…but, in a nutshell, taking the time to eliminate anything in the shot, the sound or the message that detracts from the objective.
If I were to make one single plea for all of us out creating stuff – Do the one thing nobody does enough of …re-editing. Refine your creation. This really goes for just about anything in life really… we are all in such a rush…but the true genius lies in the re-edit. And when if comes to video, the re-edit will not only polish your creation to a brilliant luster but you will learn invaluable lessons for doing a better job in the earlier parts of your production such as interviews, camera work, light, sound, cut-away shots you missed or did not hold long enough, etc. Don’t overlook this!
Brevity is the hardest thing to pull off. The shorter and more concise you can be the better – but the more compact you want your creation to be, allocate 2 to 4X as much personal time to making it happen. The cool thing is…your viewers will thank you. No hard and fast rules about how short a video should be (within reason)…but make sure your points come across efficiently and energetically as appropriate…get rid of everything else. Leave nothing that does not contribute to the communication goal you established.
This short video was a segment pulled from full, one hour, TechWiseTV show where we brought in a number of different experts within Cisco that helped us to not only work on the ‘performance aspects’ referenced here but also the latest Cisco technologies that are re-shaping how Cisco is bringing consumer driven ease of use to the corporate world. (Remember when business got all the toys first?).
More opinions and tips like are also found in the shownotes we blogged on this episode.
Follow us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ciscocin and if you were not already familiar with our show, I hope you check it out.