I finally did it. I made my first video.
To be honest, ever since I hired the videographer and scheduled a date to shoot this two minute video, I have been extremely nervous. It is hard to put yourself out there every week when you write a blog, even though you can somewhat hide behind those black and white letters. But a video is a whole new ball game.
In a blog post, criticism is often a result of the writing style or even the specific content. Disagreements are due to a difference in opinion. A video, however, is the real deal. If someone doesn't like your video, they are saying they don't like you. They don't like the way you talk or what you have to say. Video criticism is very easy to take personally and that is why it has been difficult for me to put it out there.
One of my long-term strategies is to use my speaking skill-set I have developed over the years, and this includes using more videos on my site and in educational products. While I enjoy writing my blog posts, I know that one of my natural strengths is in oral communication. At least, speaking comes more naturally for me than writing. That said, I have not done videos before as they are actually quite different than speaking at live events, which I do quite a bit.
The Benefits of Video.
The truth is that videos have their perks. For me, I feel that I am a better oral communicator than I am a written communicator. This means that a website full of black and white communication is only my second best work. Videos give me the opportunity to bring my "A" game.
Videos are also more effective at capturing the attention of a website visitor. In a day where there are literally millions of blog posts available for one to read, capturing the attention of a reader can be a challenging task. Just today, I again heard the quote that a video is worth a 1,000 words. And that may just be true.
Finally, videos are extremely valuable on a website as they allow the viewer to connect intimately with the brand. In my case, I am the spokesperson for my site - I am the brand. Without a video, I am a faceless person of black and white (second-rate) words. I may have valuable content to share, but if my audience can't connect with me, then I am not going to be as effective as I could be. Videos allow me the opportunity to connect with my audience.
The Challenges of Video
But videos are also challenging on a number of levels. First, it is very easy to want to perfect a video. As a recovering perfectionist, I understand this perfectly. Perfection is never really an option in a live setting, but on video, a shot can be done over and over again. And over again. This reality becomes extremely difficult for us perfectionists who have an inherit need to do things perfectly.
Another challenge with video recordings is that you must look at one single point of view - the camera. In a live event, you are able to move around. You can look up or over to the side. You can even turn your back to the audience to check your zipper. But a video doesn't allow that. You have to endure the uncomfortableness of looking at the camera during your entire presentation.
The final challenge with recording videos over speaking at a live event is that there is no energy from the audience. One of the best parts about public speaking is the ability to interact with the energy of the audience. You can tell when they are getting board and need a story. Or you can reiterate a point and even expand on it when they are obviously intrigued. But in video, you don't have any of that instantaneous feedback. You are all by yourself in a video, literally talking to a wall.
I knew I needed to start testing the waters with video, so I hired my friend Taylor Fredricks. Taylor was fantastic and even got me the final cut the same day we shot the video. He made me feel right at home and had an assistant who even held a white-board for me in case I needed a prompt.
I was aiming for a 2 minute welcome video and the final product came in right at 1:40. To me, this was the perfect amount of time and I was actually able to get my final cut in just three takes.
I really enjoyed making the video, but it definitely was new territory for me. As I begin to get more comfortable with video, you will start to see more and more on my site.
What do you think of my first attempt at video?