Get Your Message Out: How to Make Videos On Your Laptop With No Editing

Using only email or websites to get your message out is a mistake. People skim, they don’t read. Instead, make simple videos to get your message out. Your audience is more likely to watch you explain details than to read your explanation. In this article, I’ll show you how.

My 2 minute video announcement of our new coaching training programs.

I just announced major changes to our coaching training systems. I made a series of videos to share about the changes. Simple videos are a much better way to clearly communicate complexity and cast vision. 

Each video had a different audience and a tailored message and follow-up. Here are the four that I did:

  • Our team of trainers got a 35 minute video. It covered a lot of the why, what’s next, and how they fit in to the new system. We followed this up with a conference call a few days later.
  • Our licensed trainers received an 18 minute video explaining new opportunities for them in the new system. I shared my vision for training 10,000 leaders in coaching skills over the next 5 years and invited them to join me.
  • Previous training participants received a 13 minute video. Even though the program they took will no longer be offered, I communicated which of the new training programs would be good next steps for them.
  • Finally, I made a 2 minute video for our whole customer base. It provided a high-level overview of the new system and invited them to visit our website to see all the changes. (That’s the video posted above.)

Take a look at a couple of the comments I received:

“I watched the video. Well done. It spells things out clearly and walked me through step by step what’s coming.”

“Just watched your video. Not only was it great to see your face and hear your voice again, it was so good to hear of all the work you have been doing to develop CRM. It was great to see you share the vision and paint the big picture. I am super impressed.”

Communicate Visually

The media richness hypothesis argues that face-to-face communication is the richest and most effective method for gaining understanding. The reason is that tone of voice and non-verbal communication are stronger communicators than our actual words. Written communication doesn’t include all this important information. Conference calls have their own challenges, as this popular video exposes.

Communicate more thoroughly. The changes I announced were large and complex. By using video combined with webpages I was able to talk people through the complexity. I explained step-by-step and referred to specific webpages and even held up a chart that is on one of those pages. (There are ways to capture the screen and drop it into the video, however, my goal was no editing.)

Communicate emotion. Email doesn’t transmit emotion well. For excitement you can use a couple of !!, but there are no punctuation equivalents to communicate compassion, sincerity, or confidence. Video communicates emotions especially well.

Communicate at the listeners pace. On a conference call, people have to keep up with the speaker. Watching a video, people can stop the video, read the corresponding webpage, and rewind the video to hear something again. They can choose the pace and the timing they receive your information.

Save time. Here’s what one of our trainers said, “I like the video methodology – giving information by video allows people to process, and then following-up with the conference call. Maximizes the call. The effort you put into preparing the video saves so much time for the rest of us. Thank you.”

Use multiple communication channels. Change strategists tell us to use as many communication channels as possible. I used video, email, webpages, and conference calls. I made myself available by asking for comments and questions. I provided my personal email address.

Tips On Creating No-Edit Videos

I simply used the camera and microphone that are built into my MacBook Air. These days your smartphone or point-and-shoot cameras have the same quality of a $3000 video camera from 10 years ago.

I didn’t want to spend time editing my video message. Editing might have increased the overall quality and shortened it a bit. But I wanted a more personal, chat-over-coffee feel for my message. Plus, I don’t know how to use those video editing programs.

Here’s some tips on shooting a quality video that won’t require any editing:

  1. Prepare your talking points. I don’t suggest creating a script. You want your message to sound natural and friendly, not too rehearsed, or worse, read. It’s okay to include awkward sentences or corrections. That’s the way we talk when we’re sitting over coffee.
  2. Position the camera at eye level. No one wants to see up your nose! Set your computer or camera on something to raise it to eye level. Also, sit back far enough that your head don’t look oversized because of the wide-angle lens.
  3. Look at the camera. This is tough for me. I want to look at my notes or the image of myself on the screen. People notice when you shift your eyes off the camera. Maintain eye contact with the camera to keep eye contact with your audience.
  4. Add front and side lighting. Most buildings cast light from above. This is fine if you’re shooting a horror film and want to look like Frankenstein’s monster. Instead, take the lamp shades off a couple of bright table lamps and put them in front of you on the right and left.
  5. Go for sound quality. My built-in microphone was good enough for my videos. Since I shot in my living room, I turned off the house furnace, my cell phone, and made sure no one would walk into the room during filming. If your sound isn’t good enough, purchase a clip-on microphone that will plug into your recording device. Note that Apple products need a special adapter.
  6. Measure the results. I uploaded the videos to Vimeo for streaming. This saves storage and bandwidth space on your servers. It also gives you statistics on how many people viewed your video. With these statistics I knew how far my message had gone out.

So there you go, simple videos to communicate more personably and with greater clarity. How about trying one this week?

Question: How could a simple video help you get your message out? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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    5 thoughts on “Get Your Message Out: How to Make Videos On Your Laptop With No Editing

    1. Keith, I found you on PlatformU, and the video you made is really good. I’m getting ready to record a few videos this summer, and your no-fuss tips are priceless. Thanks!

    2. Keith, Thanks for this practical advice. I am gearing up to offer a training program online using video and I suspect I have “stage fright”, looking for the ideal equipment rather than getting on with the recording! You have inspired me to get moving! (PS Also found your link on PlatformU)

      • Gavin, I can empathize with you! If nothing else you can make a few “test” videos with your laptop. You might be surprised at the quality you produce. More important than gear is to start, or “ship” as Seth Godin says.