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Walkthrough Wednesdays

Making Business Video Real


Today, it is hard to throw a virtual stick in the social media world and not hit something about video. Everyone is talking about it: The Cisco Channel blog starts with a video in every post, Flip Video promotes video submission by fans on Facebook, No Jitter talks about video-conferencing, and Robb over at TechWiseTV blogged about how to do video better.

Everyone is talking about it and doing it so video must be simple. In concept it is:

  • Old adage: "A picture is worth a thousand words"
  • UCLA study shows 55% of how we understand something is from non-verbal (visual) cues
  • Research shows we remember up to 60% more of content when visuals are added (vs. audio alone)

The problem is taking the concept and making it reality. There is a difference between capturing video of your dog playing on the beach and sending an all-hands update to the 125 team members in your organization. What is the difference? AUDIENCE. That adorable video of your dog frollicking on the beach was made for you. You love your dog and you want to share that video with all your family. They may not want to see it, but you are gonna try to share it anyway. At the end of the day though, it doesn't make or break anything if they don't see this video (though it may hurt your feelings).

However, with the video update to your organization, things could be made or broken if your employees don't receive your message. You need strong audience attendence and you need them to absorb the information. So how do you make this happen?

One of the key things about video is you MUST know and understand how your audience wants to be engaged. Do they prefer live-streaming video so they can ask questions? Do they want on-demand so they can watch it later in the evening? Will they sit through a 3 minute video? 10 minutes? An hour? More importantly - one size isn't going to fit all, so think about how your video can be provided to different audiences. Here is an example of how to get the most out of one video event:

  • Live-streaming video provides the value of asking questions live for the attendees.
  • Packaging up live the video afterwards and provide it on-demand for those who had schedule conflicts. Use technology like the MXE (Media Experience Engine) and Cisco Pulse to tag the video, make it searchable and provide a good experience no matter what end-device from which they watch.
  • Write about it. On TechWiseTV we provide the show notes to the broadcast along with a few of the key visuals (usually slides) on our blog.
    If your team is still dependant on email, advertise your video event using a communication method they use frequently.

So I'm betting a few people are reading this and thinking this is all great for one-way video updates, video blogs, internet TV and so on but doesn't apply to video-conferencing when there are 2 or more parties interacting. After all, it is a meeting and everyone is participating, right?


Wrong. Same rules apply for video-conferencing, whether it is desktop video calls, WebEx video and web meetings or a high-end immersive experience like TelePresence. Are your co-workers comfortable on video? How do you capture the meeting for someone who didn't attend? Were you all so worried about how you look on video that no one took notes? Did you communicate (in email or in the meeting invite) that this was a video event? In a video meeting, it is still about your audience - the people you invite to your meeting.

In the end, it is always about the audience. Now - who wants to see a video of my dog running on the beach? :-)

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