My Love Affair with Video Updates 📺

Feb 24, 2023 3:01 pm

Happy Friday,

Some time ago, I was reading a book on consulting, at there was this little nugget in there where the author suggested having public status update meetings. Now, these public meetings were different than the normal status updates that come along with a part of a product. These meetings were more about helping the wider organization see, at a much higher level, the good things that are happening and network a bit.

I loved the idea, but there was a problem with it.

I hate making slide decks.

Some people have a knack for creating slick-looking templates and all of that, but not me. If I want to make a nice deck, I could spend 10 hours on it, and it'd still look like hot garbage. Also, I think decks are odd in that there are basically two kinds of decks, and they don't tend to play nicely together. One type is good for live presentations, and the other is good for reference.

A presenting deck is built to compliment what you say, so they don't have slides with lots of dense text on them or lots of bullets. Reference decks are the opposite. They have smaller fonts and lots of bullets which are better for reading at your computer.

Either way,e I hate decks, but I wanted to be able to provide updates to folks quickly.

So I started experimenting with video recording software. More specifically, screen recording software. I believe Loom was the product I started with.

I would make these short, 5-minute videos explaining what is going on and coming up next and a few thoughts and observations I had. I'd grab the URL and email it to whomever I thought would appreciate an update.

I then learned that it helps to tell people what the link is and how long it is. Otherwise, people think it'll be a hassle or even that it's a phishing attempt.

Later, I began making short videos that were not for those kinds of updates but rather explaining a product or a feature or something like that. Far more targeted but born out of numerous meetings where I'd get asked the same thing.

This has paid off better than I could have hoped.

Now, when I get questions from various groups about my work, I can send them one of the videos I recorded. In a series of interactions with a client's legal team, they said those videos probably saved a few months of back and forth because the videos helped them remember things and were a great reference that a deck never quite lives up to.

So I'm pretty well convinced that for me, short videos are the way to replace the dozens of boring decks that a typical client sends around, but they're not perfect. First off, videos are abnormal to how people catalog information in most companies, so you might have to remind them it was in the video. Second of all, it's hard to know what content is in which video, and good descriptions or transcripts help a lot too.

So anyway, let me know if you've tried this before or want any advice on how to get started!