Video: The New Communication Medium

Video is not only growing exponentially, it’s also beginning to trump traditional methods of communication. For example, according to a QUMU press release, “video is today’s document.” And as Jim Lundy, CEO of Aragon Research states, “video is the new document.”

But apparently, documents are not the only communication medium video is trumping. Video is also becoming the “new phone call.”

When a new American President is first elected, it is customary for world leaders to call and offer their congratulations via telephone. Interestingly enough, when President-Elect Donald Trump was recently elected, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a congratulatory message as one might expect. But this time, he sent the congratulatory message via video (see YouTube video).

The Israeli leader’s video conveyed congratulatory words and tone similar to what a telephone medium could convey (“tele” meaning at a distance). Yet with video, the message goes beyond just words and tone. In just 45 seconds, we see and perceive the leader’s persona and personality, energy level, eye contact, expectations for working together, nonverbal body language, sincerity, and more. And by leveraging video to communicate this message, it can now be accessible worldwide, guaranteeing re-play capability and archiving for future generations.

This is a fascinating trend, and one that we can expect to see more and more. With accessible high quality video equipment and worldwide video distribution systems in place, video is becoming accessible to all, and not just world leaders.

In addition to congratulatory messages, we see video application growing in the field of education, employee on boarding, corporate YouTube channels, live event streaming, and talent development.

What other ways do you predict video will be used to communicate?

If you’d like to learn more about how to create effective video messages where you work, send us an inquiry by completing the fields below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Top 5 Online Video Mistakes

A  friend of mine recently shared how she conducted a job interview with a candidate in a non-traditional way.

She and her team interviewed the candidate online . . . using video.

The candidate used the built-in camera on his laptop to connect visually, and my friend and her colleagues used video conferencing equipment at their workplace. As the interviewer, my friend shared how pleased and surprised she was with how well the interview went using video technology.

But then at the end of the interview, the unthinkable happened . . .

Apparently, both parties had said their “thank you’s” to close the interview. But instead of the interviewee turning off his video, he unintentionally kept the video live and used his hands to half close the laptop while remaining seated to do other work.

The result?

The laptop’s video camera was now directed solely at the candidate’s lap, and suddenly his job interviewers found themselves staring directly at a crotch onscreen.

ONLINE VIDEO MISTAKES

Not exactly how you want to end a professional interview, right? Let’s just say, it was . . . well, awkward.

Because video is being used more and more for video conferencing, job interviews, video tutorials, corporate messaging, e-learning, telepresence conferencing, there is plenty to learn as we move toward becoming a video literate society.

Below are some common mistakes people tend to make when on-camera. Knowing what these errors are can help you avoid them, so your onscreen time can leave audiences with a powerful impact, and not the opposite.

TOP 5 COMMON MISTAKES

5. Long Openings 

Nothing says boring like a long introduction, a lengthy bio, a drawn out welcome, etc. Think about online video as brief snippets of information. Everything you say should be concise and relevant. Remember, viewers can always go back and view it again, if needed. Keep those first few seconds short and to the point, afterall, this is when you make a first impression.

4. Mellow Energy

Even normally energetic personalities sometimes lose their energy when placed in front of a cold, lonely camera lens. Remember, your energy as presenter is contagious to those watching. If you have come across with low energy and no passion for your content, we will feel the same way.

3. Deer in Headlights Expression

There’s nothing like a semi-coma look to energize viewers on the other end of the screen. Facial expression cannot be blank on-camera. Remember, video is all about movement. Natural facial expression and subtle movements keep us interested and attentive. We don’t want to watch a presenter who doesn’t look delighted to be there.

2. Irrelevant Tangents

Although you do want to come across with spontaneity, you want to curb the topical tangents. True, these can be cut in post-production but that requires more editing time and time is money. Prepare your video presentation ahead of time with a script or talking points, so you can keep yourself on topic. Think about talking in sound bites on topical chunks. Your viewers will thank you.

1. Camera Know-how

The most important part is realizing when your camera is on, when it’s off, how to turn it on, and how to turn it off. It’s also about knowing what’s visible to viewers and what’s out of frame. Where is the camera targeted and can viewers see you scratching your belly right now or is the camera really off?

Let’s keep all these common errors in mind, and allow them to inform the success of our future video presentations.

Please let me know in the comments below what memorable mistakes you’ve observed with video users?

What say you?

 

On-Camera Presentation Framework: Technical Quality

You might be a world-class presenter on-camera, but if we can’t hear you or the lighting is poor, your credibility in the eyes of viewers may suffer. Technical aspects to creating an online video play a major role in the effectiveness of your video.

This technical aspect brings us to the last core element of the On-Camera Presentation Framework–“Technical Quality.” There are many aspects of video that contribute to this core element which can include lighting, audio, and camera quality, to name a few.

core_elements_model_final

To begin, audio is one of the most important aspects of technical quality. If the quality is poor, it can turn off viewers. In some ways, audio is even more important than good video. If viewers can, at least, hear and understand you, viewers can comprehend your message. If viewers can see you, but not hear you, you’ve lost the opportunity to communicate your message effectively.

To ensure you have quality audio, avoid using the microphone off your recording device because this can make you sound like you’re in a cave. The exception to this is if the speaker is standing very close to the recording device. Instead, invest in a lapel microphone to record your audio. Test your levels beforehand by listening to rehearsal playbacks with headphones to ensure you are recording at the appropriate  level.

Technical quality also has to do with the recording equipment you’re using. In today’s world, you can shoot decent videos right from a tablet. Mount your tablet on a tripod for steady video. You can purchase adapter parts online to attach to your tripod which will hold the tablet video camera steady. Quality video cameras and higher-end smart phones also do the job well. Be sure to check playback for quality.

When creating video, you’ll need lots of light, and that’s an understatement. Make sure you light the speaker’s face really well in order to delineate it from the background. Watch for hot spots on the forehead or sides of the face. You want to work to balance the light on the speaker. Additionally, ensure the speaker’s face is not in shadows or near a window to avoid sun glare. Even inexpensive LED lights from local hardware stores can light your set well.

If you follow these principles to ensure that you not only have a good quality lapel microphone, that your volume levels are set, and that you have plenty of light directed at the speaker,  you will be more effective communicating your video message, and hopefully, you’ll be able to do so in far less “takes.”

What say you?