It is true that Multi-media presentations are worth more than pictures, and even more than just plain text. On this week’s post, I will first reflect on the video making experience, and then about our client and his need and our solution put on tape for him ;).
In my belief, an effective presentation of this kind should be dynamic, clear and motivating. For instance, an animation, a traditionally-shot movie or a recording from the point of view of the main character with a Go-Pro cam in his or her head are different valid techniques. Of course, depending on the issue of the video, the technique that will be chosen: has is to be impressing? Funny? Or is it more related with being practic and easy to record and edit? These are all things that must be taken into consideration.
It’s all about communicating and getting the viewer to think or do something, like making him or her aware of climate change or do something about it. During the video, the “Why” should be always clear. The viewer is just one click away of watching something else, so every single second of the presentation should remind him or her of the reason why it is important to pay attention to the content. Again, key words: clarity, precise and straight to the point information and a reason to believe…and to watch ;).
So, what’s important to conceive a video that covers the previously mentioned? Good images/takes, clear sound and/or voices, a proper story line, good animations (if used), and as stated before, a “Why”.
Regarding to the content, the story should go smoothly. The message should be clear and innovative, and the conclusion as well. To me, just as with good ideas, the viewer should be able to define or summarize the presentation’s main idea in one or two lines in his or her head after having seen it.
During the workshop given by Shahab we were shown different techniques and ways of conceiving a good video. However, I understood that the only way to deeply get all this is to do it and experience it yourself. Only while shooting, editing, recording voices or finding the music that suited the narration the best, I kind of understood the importance of the storyboard, for instance. Having a well structured plan is very important to have a coherent presentation that will catch the viewer’s attention.
Also, the feedback was essential. I asked a friend for help to shoot and she gave me awesome ideas: different takes, angles, even a different approach on the meaning I wanted to transmit. After editing, or during it, some students watched my in-process presentation and pointed out some interesting things regarding its length, the scenes that could be included or taken out, the music, and of course, and most importantly, what they felt. I was really happy to hear that from them, since I think that is leading me closer to having a stronger reason to believe, which is the key in all this.
Last, but not least on this, I had a Skype meeting with Nancy. Even though it was not related to personal branding, she gave some good tips (I am reflecting on the making of the personal branding video, as we have just started with the one for Project Communities). She advised us not to try to convince the viewer at last (in the conclusion-like part of the video), but instead from the very beginning, and remind him or her of this all the way through. This was an awesome insight, since I hadn’t thought about this at all! This is why feedback is so good!
Related to the blog prompt, and as a conclusion and closing to this part of the reflection, I think that the themes that will be of the most use towards the goal of solving the unmet need of the NGO could be condensed or summarized in one: the key to success in this process will be to truly reaching the viewer. To convince, to clearly paint the situation and express the “WHY”.
Everything, specially a website (the issue our group has to tackle) is about communicating. Even though it goes both ways (the visitor gets information from it and can also contribute or participate), and a video only gets feedback with a video response or in the “comments” section, the message must be clear and friendly, and must allow feedback to be given without thinking twice.
Our client’s site (childrenofmexico.net), should specifically need to work in 3 or 4 things:
Being more interesting and less tiring visually…even for those willing to stay and read all the content, it is only in English (and some in Dutch, but not in English!!!) and no Spanish at all. Also, when browsing, the social media links are found (yes, finally!) at the end of it…), but when you check twitter, for instance, well… it’s kind of sad. Only 23 followers; and poor activity. Discouraging to say the least.
Communication, next. What about the newsletter? Could it work better? Are people receiving emails and actually read them? Would it be easier to use only facebook? I know some other NGOs that understood that people tend to be on facebook most of the time, so they send information through this canal instead of boring mails, which people just half-read with the false promise of doing so later; apart from that, they make their website less packed with info. I guess, the director of Children of Mexico never thought about the importance of getting his page Liked…
Is the website’s goal clear? Communicating the “Why” effectively is the key, as said before. It was pretty useful to me to find the 5 words that describe my brand on Personal Branding; what are Children of Mexico’s ones? Being clear is important…could the NGO make an introductory video explaining their mission and vision? I am sure that would trigger more donations.
Of course, this can take time…but what about crowd sourcing? (Yes, 2 weeks ago theme!). People who can´t help with money can help with time and knowledge, and that could be even more useful. Having someone to help having a better website, videos, better social media, etc., would get more people to donate or contribute differently. Either way, this is a virtuous cycle.
Considering we are in the last 100 meters to the goal, we should put our best effort in producing a presentation that will hopefully make a change. I don´t know if we will make it, but I´m sure we’ll put our best effort and get the best out of it. By now, I should be already sleeping…Good night!