Over the years, I have witnessed managers make the same mistakes when playing videos at important meetings. Whether you buy, rent or commission custom videos, you should avoid these 6 mistakes to maximize your investment.
1. Starting the day or the meeting with a “talking head” video
Talking head videos are usually long and boring. Ask yourself: “if I had a choice, would I watch this video for more than 30 seconds?” you should also ask yourself if this is the most exciting way to kick off your meeting or if your team will be deflated after watching it? Your CEO may have recorded a message for the troops, but shouldn’t you frame the meeting with your vision, agenda and objectives first? How could an opening video help you reach your objectives and set a positive tone for the rest of the meeting, whether it be for a few hours or a few days?
2. Playing a video you found on YouTube
Free online videos can give you great value but they are often not on message. You also can’t control the ads and you don’t want your competitor’s ads, not to mention objectionable content, to play in front of your team during your meeting. Most YouTube videos are cheaply produced so you won’t make your team feel valued and the quality will reflect badly on you. Last, videos often disappear from YouTube without warning so you could end playing the dreaded snowy screen.
3. Creating a custom video without looking for a generic one first
Ok, It may sound strange to tell you to go on the Internet to look for videos after I encouraged you to avoid YouTube, but the reality is that you can find good professionally-produced generic videos online. Ok, I have to warn you, I am about to make a shameless plug: providers like Motivideos rent or sell videos at a fraction of the cost of producing an original video. So doing a little research could save you and your company quite a bit of money.
4. Investing in a meeting video without investing in the AV
Ok, this one sounds obvious to most people, and yet I have seen videos my team and I produced play with ballroom lights on. While the message may come through, any visual impact will be lost. And the visual people in the room will focus on the bad projection quality instead of the message and you’ll end up loosing 50% or more of your audience. The bigger mistake is to play a video that people can hardly hear: your message is then truly lost. So do not underestimate the importance of the AV equipment and the AV team in your meeting.
5. Not playing the video full screen
The team who made the video you are planning to play designed it thinking it would play on a big screen. Playing it on a quarter of a screen will not do it justice. Watching a video on an iPad is acceptable because your face is glued to the screen, but imagine trying to see what is going on the iPad if you are sitting 10 feet away? There is a reason people still go to movie theaters to watch movies: Movies look a lot better and are more exciting on big screens.
6. Ending the day/meeting with a “Talking Head video”
You are probably starting to see a trend here: Talking Head videos can put your team to sleep so you have to find the right time for them. Yes, you want them to hear the recorded message from your Senior Management team, but don’t do it at the end of your meeting either. Your team is probably looking forward to going home at this point so unless your video adds something important or exciting to the meeting, don’t play it. Just summarize the key meeting takeaways and your team’s marching orders and cut them loose. At larger corporate events, my team and I used go play short meeting highlights to close the last session because we knew employees would want to stick around and watch themselves on the screen. It’s a nice way to thank your team for staying the course and being away from their families for a few days.