A demo video is crucial for prospects who have not heard the speaker speak. Many buyers who pay speakers will not make a decision without a demo video, unless they have heard the speaker live themselves.
These videos are usually a short compilation of various speaking engagements to show the speaker at his or her best. Whenever the speaker has a major engagement he or she should arrange to have it videotaped. This is usually part of the contract negotiations for fees, etc.
Sometimes the event will be videotaping all the sessions and part of the contract will be for the speaker to have a non-exclusive and non-commercial (speaker can’t sell the tape, but use it only for promotion) use of that videotape. The speaker will always need to get permission for getting footage ahead of the speech.
The other possibility is for the speaker to hire a videographer and to have the presentation videotaped independently. Often speakers will hire production companies with multiple cameras and professional sound recording. You will need to get permission to do this from the meeting planner, preferably stated in the contract.
It will be important to communicate to the video crew the kinds of footage the speaker is looking for: a combination of close ups (from the waist up), longer views with the audience (assuming audience permission) and interaction with the audience.
What Speaking Buyers and Meeting Planners Look for in Demo Videos
Event planners and others look at hundreds of speaker demo videos when they are choosing speakers, so the first minute has to really stand out.
1. Similarity of Presentation Type – If a prospect or a decision maker is looking for a keynote speaker, they will not select a speaker whose footage is of a training session.
2. Similarity in Audience – If the planner is looking for a speaker that can handle large crowds, they are not going to hire speaker with footage that shows small groups.
3. Similarity in Topic and Style – Some events look for humorous presentations, others don’t. If the speaker has a variety of topics, he or she may need to create multiple demo videos for different topics.
Creating a Strong Demo Video
- Make the video 2-5 minutes in total
- Make it professional quality and high energy
- Start with the speaker demonstrating audience benefits over the first minute
- Show the audience and audience reaction and interaction
- Toward the end of the video, add video testimonials about the speaker and a small segment on the speaker’s books or other products
- If the speaker is represented by a speakers bureau, don’t put the speaker’s contact at the end of the video (have them get in touch with the speakers bureau).
The Role of the VSA in the Process
- Secure permission to get the footage through the event coordinator (or make sure it is in the contract).
- Find out if the event is being videotaped and if the speaker can get the video for a non-exclusive, promotional use OR arrange for a production company to get the event videotaped.
- Work with the speaker and video editors to put the video together. Once the raw footage comes back the speaker has to choose the clips to be used.
- Assist in storyboarding the video. Storyboarding means planning for the order of the clips and may be done by the production company. There will be an opening, clips in a good flow to really show the speaker in the best light and then an ending with contact information.
- Some speakers use a voice-over for their introduction and to talk about their books or other products. Usually the video production company will write the script or help in the process.
- Upload the finished video to the speaker’s website and in some cases, to YouTube.
Because of the availability of small hand-held video cameras the speaker can often get interviews with thought leaders on the fly at events. The speaker should also consider opportunities to get video testimonials after his or her events. This should be part of the promotional planning for each event.
To do your own video productions from still or video images already taken, many people use an online program called Animoto. If you want to learn to edit video on your own, there is software such as Roxio Video Lab (about $70) or Pinnacle Studio Plus (about $100). There is also iMovie for the Mac.
A simpler type of video and the easiest way to make a book or product trailer (video) is to create a PowerPoint presentation with some special effects, record some audio for each slide (or leave it with no audio or just a musical background) and then to save it as a movie file.
Many speakers are promoting their speaking by uploading a variety of videos to YouTube which may show a funny moment or a very visual presentation. Since these are meant to be seen by as many people as possible, the VSA may be asked to link these to Facebook or send out a Tweet to drive traffic.
You can find many samples of short speaker videos on www.YouTube.com.
Podcasts are short, free audios that can be downloaded and listened to as MP3. The speaker could interview someone or have someone interview him or her—or just pontificate on a subject that might interest the listeners. Podcasts can be created using a hand-held digital recording device, or they can be recorded over the phone or through the computer.
A simple way to create audios, including teleclasses, is to use the telephone conferencing and recording services of Free Conference Call (www.freeconferencecall.com). They will record the call and make it available to you via an MP3 file format.
You can also have the speaker record audios and make them available to others using Audio Acrobat (www.AudioAcrobat.com) and then use a free program to edit them – Audacity (www.audacity.sourceforge.net). The resulting MP3 file can be posted to the website or added to iTunes to be downloaded by subscribers. Past radio interviews can be repurposed as podcasts as well.