I recently had the pleasure of joining Cindy Zuelsdorf from Kokoro Marketing on a webinar to discuss how to get the most out of video interviews.
We covered a lot of ground during our conversation, which I’d like to summarize for you. Let’s take the forthcoming 2018 NAB Show as an example of an opportunity where you’ve managed to arrange a couple of video interviews on your booth. There are a few important questions you need to ask yourself:
- What should I talk about? It’s best to concentrate on what’s new (i.e., a new product or solution). Because the final video will typically last no more than 2-3 minutes in length, you need to have a plan for what to say.
- What is the main objective? What do I want the viewer to do after watching the interview? Should they contact me for more information, or request a demo?
- What are the three key points about my product that I most want to communicate? For example, how will your product help solve challenges for customers? It’s tempting to list all of your product’s benefits and features, but you risk overloading your audience, and the message is weakened as a result.
- Finally, avoid making your presentation an overt sales pitch. People will switch off very quickly. Be concise, clear, and engaging.
Once you’ve decided what to say, it’s time to move on to the very important preparation and practice phase. Here are a few tips:
- See if you can find out in advance whether there will be an interviewer asking the questions or if you will be directly addressing the camera. It’s a good idea to practice both scenarios.
- Get used to introducing yourself, including name, job title, and company name. Also, rehearse delivering a 10-second company overview. Most interviews will also end with a sign off where you’ll be invited to give your web address or other contact details.
- Practice (that word again!) your three key messages so you can deliver them, confidently and clearly.
There’s a few ways you can practice. Use your phone camera or a small camera to record yourself. This is particularly useful for the straight to camera situation where you don’t have an interviewer to engage with. Bonus: If you produce a good practice video, you can post it on your website and social media feeds. Another idea is to ask colleagues to help you. Have them to play the part of the interviewer and/or audience and provide you with constructive feedback on how you’re coming across. The more comfortable you can get talking on camera, the more clearly your message will be conveyed.
Advanced preparation can help you take more control of the interview. Talk with the film crew and interviewer in advance. They will appreciate your interest in getting everything set up and done as quickly as possible, as they often have several interviews to do in a short span of time. Have an idea of how you want the shot to look? If you can stand in front of the product you’re talking about with the relevant signage or a company logo in the background, then great! On that note: Always check what’s behind you before the interview starts. Avoid inadvertently allowing a competitor’s logo or a partially displayed product name into the shot.
It’s also a great idea to have some suggested cut away shots in mind. These can be edited in to the final piece to provide points of interest for viewers. And speaking of editing — if you can remember to allow a few seconds at the end of the interview (a slow count of three in your head should be fine) this will make it much easier for the editor to add your web address and company logo.
With a little preparation and some practice, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you hear the word “Action!”
For additional tips on how to prep for video interviews and all things related to trade shows, please drop me a line at email@example.com.
Neil Howman, Managing Director