We’ve finished our five videos and have learned three essentials for producing videos. If you have been reading our blogs on video production, you know that we listed a total of 13 lessons that we learned across the stages of production. It’s time now to pull it all together and share with you the deeper lessons. The team here really hopes that you will benefit from our insights.
- Define your message. There is a reason why you are producing a video. If you are unclear about it or want to accomplish several objectives, the message can get garbled. Think it through and let your purpose define and refine your message so that the viewer is always receiving information consistent with it. I decided that my purpose was to supplement the material in my books to reflect changes in the technology and approaches that had occurred since publishing the book. That meant that the videos did not regurgitate the material in the book. The viewer knew they were always receiving new information in the videos that would amplify what they needed to know to build their Riding the Current plans. It made it so easy for me when deciding what was to be included or not. I didn’t realize how important this was until Andrew, the summer intern who is now a member of the Pelerei team, said that one of his greatest lessons from our work together was seeing how the content of a book could be presented in a new way without losing impact in the editing process of moving from text to script. Even though I was bringing in new material to the discussion, he could see how I reflected the concepts of the framework in simple phrases so that the new material would fit easily in place.
- Know your material. You’re probably thinking, but of course, Madelyn. Let me explain a bit further. Knowing your material means that you can write scripts that viewers can understand the first time they hear it. The language has to be clear and simple yet contain the necessary points. If you find it easy to just talk about your subject, that’s great, but your audience needs to feel they understand it as they hear it. Knowing your material well allows you to craft language that is understood on first hearing. Often, I found that even after scripting my pieces, I knew it wasn’t going to work as I spoke them into the camera. That’s when it was critical to know my material so well that I could restate the information in a new way that was clearly clearer! The second reason to know your material is that you can speak it with confidence. This is as important to the viewer as clarity. Your confidence gives your viewer confidence as well.
- Test the means. We have reported in other blogs the many lessons we learned as we struggled to create quality videos on a limited budget. We reported the initial list of technology and the added teleprompting capabilities. Once we had tested the options, we never had to change the final selections. That said, when the first video came out grainy, we had to redo it as we learned about features. When the second video lacked sound, we had to add a checklist to each session to assure the recording was clean – sound check, turn off any equipment that made quiet but real white noise, etc. We had to add time to the production when the real steps took longer than anticipated. Much of the hype of video production says it can be done fast and easy. Well, in fact that is true, compared to earlier or more sophisticated approaches. Even with the latest technology, it still takes time to create a clean video.
I set our quality standards a bit high for a small budget production which added to the time. But the team here is so proud of what we have done. We’re not afraid to try more videos, and you shouldn’t be either.
By the way, our production was preceded by some serious exploration of our audience. So for those of you who are thinking, “But you have to begin with your audience!!” You are right, and we did.
Please take a moment and give us some answers. Thanks in advance.
- What lesson from our work was most important to you?
- How might you use video in your work?
- So, what will be your next video?
Last, but not least, we’ll continue blogging on our videos as we are now in the process of actually posting them so folks can see them. We’re all sure there are many lessons to be learned. Stay tuned.