Vol. 10, Issue 5, March 10, 2012
For the past couple of months, I have been in the throes of giving my website a makeover — moving it into the era of social media, etc. It should be “live” by the next e-news issue in two weeks, and this e-news will have a new format, as well. The photo at right is a sneak peek from our new home page — that’s Zonya Foco in the blue (back to the camera) — enthralling an audience at a healthcare conference.
I’m excited to birth this baby, if you know what I mean — and if you’ve ever worked on a website, you probably do. It’s definitely labor, a labor of love and it takes a lot of deep breathing and pushing (in a good way), creativity, tenacity and partnering. Yes, it’s a labor of love and I can’t wait to share it with you. One of the assets, is that it will be much easier to access preview demo videos for most of our speakers right on the website.
And today, in Installment 2 of my Meeting Planner’s Hot Sheet series, I’m sharing my inside scoop on what to look for in speaker demo videos. Read on . . .
Meeting Planner Hot Sheet:
What’s Hot (and Not) In Speaker Demo Videos
One of the reasons I go to great lengths to experience speakers in person, is that it gives me a good gauge as to whether or not their video is a good representation of them. I often observe that a speaker is much better than her video — and occasionally I observe the opposite. Now, you might be thinking, why wouldn’t the speaker want to show up in the best light possible? Well, for various reasons, in my observation, a video can be an imperfect representation. One factor is that some people just don’t translate well on camera. For instance, I remember one experience where the live event was laugh out loud funny, but the video of the exact same program didn’t have the same effect on me. The long pauses that punctuated her humor turned into empty air in the fast-paced world we’re accustomed to in video. Another factor is that the energy in the room simply can’t be captured by a camera focused on one person. If the videographer gets some good audience shots, they may capture a hint of it, but it’s not the same as being there — that’s why we have LIVE events! (Thank goodness!)
I have watched (and critiqued) literally hundreds of speaker videos. My biggest pet peeve would be the Voice Over, when there’s a narrator telling me all about the speaker; there are pictures of the speaker and her mouth is moving, but I can’t hear a word she’s saying because the announcer is telling me about her. I always tell speakers that what I want to see in a speaker video, is speaking. A demo video is not a speaker brochure; that might include a lot of other information — media appearances, client roster, testimonials, books, etc., etc., etc. Leave all that, I tell her, in the brochure and let the video do the speaking. If media appearances are an important piece of her repertoire, I advise her to do a separate demo video with those clips. As for audience testimonials, I don’t mind one or two, just not a whole reel of them. Let the speaker speak for herself, that’s what I want you, the meeting planner, to see and hear.
On my website, you’ll find a range of approaches – from a well-produced video, to a news clip, to a fairly rough video clip, unedited. Of course, I love professionally produced pieces that showcase a speaker well — it makes my job easier. I include the ones who have only rough cuts, however, because I feel it’s better to have something than nothing. My hope is that you can see past the technical inadequacies and into the soul of the speaker and what she would bring to your audience. This is especially true with a speaker I may believe in but who doesn’t have a big reputation yet, and who might be a good fit for clients with modest budgets.
Obviously the speaker wants to present herself well in her video. But like life, making a video is complicated by many factors – in video, the physical attributes of a venue, client permission, the audience, the lighting, the topic, the weather, hair, and, of course, the outfit. All of these factors can add to the expense of filming, recording and editing. And even the best result is temporary; videos always need updating. Another challenge with speaker videos, is to respect your time. Knowing that you may be previewing multiple videos at a meeting, we endeavor to keep them short. I used to recommend under 10 minutes. Now I’m more in favor of 3 – 5 minutes. Although that’s short, I think it’s enough to give you the gist of a speaker’s appeal. If you want more, we often can provide more, sometimes even a whole program that we can share with you on request.
Unfortunately, for as heavy as we lean on them, I think demo videos are an imperfect marketing tool. I would always encourage you, if you have doubts or questions about a speaker you’re previewing on video, to give me a call. I’m here to help. I know that you, like me, love seeing a speaker at a conference and knowing that’s who you want for your own meeting. I think we’re all looking for that same “Aha, that’s it!” response when we view speaker demo videos.
If you ever just want to browse through speaker videos, please visit our youtube channel where my favorites are located: http://www.youtube.com/speakwellbeing. And then, if you want to follow up, call me in person to talk over your impressions. I may be able to shed light on the difference between the speaker’s video and her real-life performances.
That’s the inside scoop. I’d love to hear your experiences and feedback. Email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 503-699-5031.
SPRING — Planting Planning
Ahh, spring, it’s on everybody’s minds. The crocuses are up here in Oregon and I have daffodils blooming in my yard, although they got snowed on earlier this week. What an insult! It’s encouraging nonetheless, to look out and see their perky yellow heads.
My husband is also anxiously anticipating gardening season – maybe over-anxiously. He planted peas the other day. A friend (who is a Master Gardener) told me there’s a rule about that — never plant peas before St. Patrick’s Day. When I told him, he just shrugged. He’s got bigger things to think about — like the three huckleberry bushes he brought home the other day.
We live among the Big Trees (very tall Douglas Firs) in a neighborhood known for good reason as Lake Grove. So sun is a problem. Now, we all know that sun is necessary for growing most produce — you know that, right? Frustrated that he hasn’t been able to grow vegetables in the shade, somewhere he heard that huckleberry bushes grow well in among the trees. Considering where to plant them in the yard, I asked if he could show me a picture of what they’re going to look like when they grow up. He said he couldn’t find any pictures on the internet. Turns out the pictures are all of low-growing shrubs forming ground cover in clearings in the woods — like up on Mt. Hood. He expected tall, full blueberry-type bushes. Oh, I said, they grow in the forest (meaning not our suburban yard), so they should be left in the forest. He replied, “Yeah, well, we live in a forest.” Hmmm. Can you tell me who came out on top in that discussion?
Oh, and then I read the planting instructions. “Plant in full sun or partial shade with well drained soil.” So it is true, they need sun!!! I’ll let you know if I’m looking for huckleberry recipes by the end of the summer.
Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.