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Here’s Why You Need To Be Video Savvy in Your Business

Posted on: May 1st, 2022

Here’s Why You Need To Be Video Savvy in Your Business

Zoom. Google Meet. Microsoft Teams. If you hadn’t used these or other online video services with clients, prospects or workplace team members before the pandemic, chances are you’ve had plenty of experience with at least one of them recently. 

Well, the age of remote online video meetings may be just beginning. Business owners and employees alike have increasingly realized that online meetings can be an easy and cost-effective way to engage with others, attract new business (including clients who are well outside their local geographic market) and boost their brands. Clients and customers like the flexibility of video too. Even when the pandemic is far in the rearview mirror, it’s likely that online meetings will continue to be a key tool in companies’ efforts to grow and run smoothly. 

The upshot: More and more, you’re being judged on your video communication skills by people who are important to your success. If you’re not ready, willing and able to incorporate video-based communications into your business on an ongoing basis, you run a real risk of lagging behind those who do. And if you’re an executive within a company, your advancement potential might be threatened if you can’t successfully harness the power of video.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best ways we know of to use video technology and strategies to build a better business and a better career. 

The importance of video in the business world

Business owners, experts and researchers have been paying close attention to the topic of video-based communication since it exploded during the pandemic. To see how important it’s become in the workplace, consider a survey from last year by Wakefield Research showing that:

  • A full 83 percent of workers have been disciplined for mistakes in company video or audio meetings. 
  • Video communication mistakes can lead to client defections, lost sales opportunities and missed deadlines.
  • Disciplinary steps taken included losing the responsibility of steering a meeting or formal and informal reprimands. One-third of those disciplined were removed from their projects. 
  • Approximately 25 percent of executives have fired an employee for a mistake made during a video or audio conference.

Given the trends toward continued hybrid/remote working schedules and less business travel—one survey of large businesses by Bloomberg found that 84 percent plan to spend less on business travel in the post-pandemic era—video meetings, presentations and conferences are likely to become part of the new normal for businesses. 

Indeed, consider the conclusions of three business administration experts in the Harvard Business Review who argue that, for executives, tech and digital literacy is as important as financial literacy: “These capabilities that used to be nice-to-haves are now must-haves … Covid-19 moved tech from the periphery into the center, and it is here to stay. Although tech and digital trends do not uniformly affect all jobs today, we believe it is only a matter of time before these skills become baseline qualifications across the board.” 

Oh, and if the growth plan for your business or division involves hiring millennials, consider that 67 percent of them judge a company by its tech prowess and 49 percent prefer to work in the office just three to four days per week. Poorly run video interviews and presentations could therefore hurt your ability to recruit.

Be the director

To really shine in online video meetings, think of yourself as a film or television director who has the power to present and switch back and forth between various “scenes”—which, in your case, may mean live video with you talking to your viewer(s), information you write on an e-whiteboard to show participants, and charts and data that refer to and support what you’re talking about. 

With the proper technology, you can have all of these scenes at the ready for your client meetings, job interviews, trainings, team meetings and various check-ins—and be able to present them to viewers quickly and seamlessly. These types of multifaceted video meetings are more engaging than static meetings where the only image on screen is your face.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to get up and running. The tools you’ll need include:

  • Two monitors. One will be for your main scene of you talking live to viewers through your webcam. The other will be for the supporting slides, data, text and other information you want your audience to see from time to time. 

  • A high-quality microphone. Rather than rely on your computer’s built-in microphone, consider an external USB microphone. You’ll be much clearer to attendees, and you can set it up several feet away from you so you don’t have a microphone up against your mouth in the video.

  • A physical backdrop. A pop-up background designed for photography will look clean and professional—and if it has a green-screen feature, you can project high-resolution images on it. Without a green screen—using, say, the backgrounds that come with Zoom—the outline of your head can blend into the background or appear discolored. A pop-up background you install is better even than an office-like environment because it features no distractions for viewers. 
  • Whiteboard technology. Another way to engage online viewers as you might in an in-person meeting is to use a whiteboard—in this case, by broadcasting what you write or draw on a tablet. Zoom’s interface allows you to project what you write on a mobile device, or you can use an AirServer application and the Notability application to do the job. 

  • Stream deck. This is a device that serves as the control center for switching between various scenes in your meetings. It’s smoother and easier than using your mouse, so you can jump back and forth cleanly and quickly. 

  • Video switching software. This software allows you to record and livestream videos while mixing in scenes from multiple sources, such as pre-recorded video or audio, lower thirds, Windows captures, PowerPoints, images, text, browser windows, webcams and capture cards. The software has become extremely powerful and relatively easy to use.

Take these action steps

Some of the best moves to make (based on our experience and consultation with digital video pros) include the following:

  1. Create an agenda. Online meetings are too easily viewed by some as informal check-ins. Regardless of the format, good client and team meetings need structures that are adhered to. Otherwise, you can look unprepared and disorganized to the people you want to win over or influence.
  2. Pay attention to your lighting. If you’re conducting online meetings in a room with plenty of natural light, great. If not, you’ll likely want to buy a lighting kit that includes specialized, customizable lighting such as a ring light. 
  3. Turn off other programs and applications. When you’re presenting online, silence your Outlook reminders, Slack messages, cellphones and other auditory distractions—all of which send the message that you’ve got other things going on than the clients or other people currently in front of you. It also can save you embarrassment if you receive sensitive messages during the meeting.
  4. Wear transparent makeup. It doesn’t matter what gender you are—all of us can easily appear “shiny” on screen. Often a small bit of powder is all that’s needed to minimize or eliminate distracting glare. If your spouse knows more about makeup than you do, ask for help.
  5. Use a hardwired connection. Wireless connectivity is commonplace in most aspects of our online lives these days—but it shouldn’t be part of your online meetings. Wireless is simply not yet dependable enough to ensure the reliable, rock-solid connection that you’ll get with a hardwired approach. 
  6. Prepare and check your background in advance. Your physical background or backdrop should be in place properly—no bulges, no edges showing, no unwanted items in the frame and so on. 
  7. Understand the physical limitations of online meetings. Chances are your audience is watching you on a laptop screen or maybe even their phones. So make any slides, graphs, data or charts big enough to be seen on the small screen. Similarly, use images instead of text to the extent possible—and increase the font size of the text you do include. 
  8. Have a dedicated online meeting space. It does your credibility little good if it’s clear to participants that you’re hosting your meeting in your bedroom or kitchen or a high-traffic area. Devote a specific space to online video interactions, and make it look professional. (This is yet another reason to set up a physical background.)
  9. Stay focused. People in meetings want to be heard and noticed. That’s hard enough in person sometimes, and much tougher online. So don’t try to multitask or turn off your camera to check an email. Anything you do that paints you as distracted or disinterested can hurt you, your business or both.

These action steps aren’t terribly difficult to take—even if you’re a technophobe. But they’re ones that too often get forgotten and end up making people look careless, sloppy and downright unprofessional.

Here’s Why You Need To Be Video Savvy in Your Business

The time is now

The world has changed in fundamental ways in recent years. We believe it’s highly likely that being able to deliver engaging, rich video presentations and meetings will become “table stakes” for business owners and executives going forward. That means the time to get skilled at using video and bringing it to clients, prospects, team members and partners is now. 

This report was prepared by, and is reprinted with permission from, VFO Inner Circle.  AES Nation, LLC is the creator and publisher of VFO Inner Circle reports.

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS.

Fusion Wealth Management is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. https://www.kestrafinancial.com/disclosures

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By Russ Alan Prince and John J. Bowen Jr.
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