Stand Out With Video
By Barbara Seymour Giordano
An exciting and unique way to make your club’s website stand out is to produce a club video. You can share your club's story and visually welcome potential members to your meetings.
While club members are initially excited about the prospect of creating a video, many find the thought of the production process daunting. Dan Cossack of the Latin Leaders club in Santa Ana, California, experienced that feeling. But with some encouragement and creative input from fellow club member Cesar Vargas, they created a brief video of the club’s Table Topics™ session. “The entire shoot took us about 20 minutes ... and our video is getting positive reviews from club visitors,” Cossack says.
As a former TV journalist and corporate video and film producer, I'm thrilled to share with you some simple secrets of creating a winning video. Here’s the process in three phases: preproduction, production and postproduction.
Before shooting, designate two key positions: producer/videographer and writer/director. For the first video, it's best to keep the team lean so the process will be simple and fast.
Brainstorm the Key Message
To help you pinpoint the message, here are a few questions to consider before writing: What problem are you solving for the viewers? How is your club uniquely positioned to help the potential new member? What action do you want the viewers to take after they've watched the video?
Story / Script / Idea
Your script should reflect a short promotional video; either 30 seconds (approximately 65 words) or 60 seconds (100 words).
Open with a "hook" by asking a question or stating a problem. Dedicate the body of the script to the answer: your club. Then, leave the audience with a memorable tagline, a catchy phrase that should be no more than seven words in length.
Once you've decided on which story to tell, recruit a couple of club members to fill the starring roles.
"Know what you want. Planning is everything," emphasizes Cesar Vargas, who wrote, directed, filmed and edited the Latin Leaders’ video. "By knowing what you want to shoot and mapping it out in advance, you save a lot of time and effort." Create a shot list – a planned chronological series of video scenes that will correspond to the script or idea. Writing down each scene to be filmed will save time on the day of the shoot and during editing.
If you’re using a Flip camera, you’ll need to use a tripod to avoid shaky-looking scenes. This means your camera will have to remain stationary. Your sound will be recorded by the camera, and so you won’t be able to record someone speaking clearly from a distance.
With the location set and the production crew and talent in place, it's time to get filming!
The shot list will be the director's guide to help keep the videographer and production on track and running on time. Vargas advises making sure to film reaction shots: "If you're filming a club meeting like we did, remember to film audience reactions, such as clapping and facial reactions.”
Videographer / Camera / Sound
When filming, consider the background. Does a flagpole appear to be sticking out of the talent's head? Don’t forget to do sound checks and make sure your equipment can record what the script describes.
All of the video has been shot and now it's time to upload the footage, do the editing and add the finishing touches!
If you don't have the latest version of FlipShare, you'll need to download it. Once it's installed, you can import the footage you've shot and begin editing and arranging your video in the sequence you desire. A great Web tutorial is available on FlipShare Editing Software Training.
When adding music, choose tunes without lyrics or heavy drumbeats so that they won’t compete with your speakers.
Uploading for Maximum Exposure
A club video is a phenomenal marketing tool that works for your club 24 hours a day. Search engines offer video as a part of integrated search results, which can then drive traffic directly to your website and in turn get the word out about your club.
This is a condensed version of an article appearing in the January 2011 issue of the Toastmaster magazine.
Barbara Seymour Giordano, ATM-B, CL, is an executive communications coach with a background in television, having worked for CNN and E! Entertainment. She is a member of Irvine Toastmasters in Irvine, California.