Having a Speaker Demo video is as important as having a Speaker OneSheet. Planners want to see you in action so they can connect. They want to see how you interact with the audience and how the audience reacts to you. It can lead to an immediate hiring decision for the planner.
Today planners are looking to watch you before making a decision just like in the “olden days” when you sent a VHS or DVD to a planner in your media kit via snail mail. You don’t see this very often anymore, unless requested, and in its place is online video.
If a planner goes to your website they will look for a video 1st and the 2nd, your OneSheet, or vice-versa. The OneSheet has everything they need to make a decision all wrapped up in a nice little package in 1-2 pages. There is no need for searching from page to page to try to find different the information the planner needs to make a decision. Right alongside the OneSheet they are also looking for your video, which should be easily found on your website.
Here is a handful of tips when putting together your speaker demo video:
- Have a short 3-5 sec intro.
- Have a nice piece of music playing in the background (not too loud) and be sure it fits your brand and message, this makes you stand out.
- Record using different angles. If you don’t have anyone recording for you and you’re using a tripod have a couple different cameras at different angles set up. This will allow the planner to see you and the audience from different viewpoints. It will create a better chance of capturing the audience clapping their hands, laughing, asking questions, etc.
- Use a lot of nice cuts. Use cuts the planner will want to see, not the ones you want to see. Put yourself in the planner’s shoes when editing. Show cuts that will make you unique and stand out from the rest. These cuts are most important; take your time with it.
- Your video demo should not be any longer than 4 minutes tops. That’s about how long you will hold their attention.
- The first 30 seconds needs to pop to really grab them. Make it good and be unique and creative.
- Use jump cuts to keep the viewer’s eyes moving which keeps them involved. So, an angle of you close up and on the left and then next scene your farther back and on the right, etc. Be careful not to overdo these. A disjointed and quick-cut video that jumps all over the place is disconcerting and gets turned off – so will the planners.
- Try and use cuts that will make them “feel” as well. Although they are looking to see the reaction of the audience, if you can make the planners react or “feel” when watching your demo, that’s all the better for you!
- At all costs, avoid profanity
- Don’t show any selling on the stage
- Have good lighting
- Have a call to action in the middle at the end, a short one and a gentle one
- Just have the video moving fast, don’t have long drawn out cuts, the video needs to be moving from scene to scene capturing crucial and important parts of your speech as well as the audience. Be careful of your pace, though, do not be too “jumpy”.
- Add colorful props if you can. Some stages are about as dull and unwelcoming as they come. Try to add some foliage possibly or something that fits your message. This will add a lot to your video and will set the mood for your audience
- In your video (and always as a matter really), dress to match your audience. It’s always important to meet your audience at their level and not above or below. If it’s very casual, dress as such, no fancy suits, etc. If you’re at a high school or college, no suits or formal wear. Dress to their level because you will make a much better connection.
- Do not worry about your “uhs” and “ums”. You know you will be recording so it may make you a little unsettled. Not to worry, that’s what editing is for! Same with any other mistake, these can be easily edited out. Truly, if you do not make it a big deal, the audience probably will not notice either.
- Add a QR code on your Speaker OneSheet that goes to your speaker demo video on your website
The above is enough to get you started. Take the tips to heart and get set to make a fabulous, memorable and stand out speaker demo. With a great OneSheet and an attention-grabbing demo video, you have the keys to unlocking booking success.
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