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Archive for March, 2013

Does My Demo Video Suck?

Friday, March 29th, 2013

5261224409_f932eebaabTelling a keynote speaker that their demo video sucks is not an easy task. It’s almost like telling someone they have bad breath. You would be doing them a favor telling the truth, but how do you bring up the subject?

Over the last 29 years the Primeau Team has produced hundreds of demo videos. We understand from experience what sells and what boosts egos.

Standing ovations help sell but more importantly boost egos (for speakers). So, rather than tell your speaker buddy that their demo sucks, have them answer the following questions:

  1. Is your demo video more than five years old?
  2. Are there any technical problems with your demo? For example, is your demo aspect ratio 4 x 3 instead of 16 x 9?
  3. Do you look different today than you look in your demo?
  4. Does your demo video lack energy?
  5. Do you cringe when you view your demo video?
  6. Do you hate how your demo video begins? (the first 60 seconds is the most important part of your demo)
  7. If you had the chance for a ‘do-over’ would you choose different music for your demo video?
  8. Have you lost more than two speaking engagements in the last 30 days? (holds cancelled or client has chosen another speaker)

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then your demo video probably sucks.

For less than your earnings from one keynote speaking engagement you can update or re-do your demo video. So why do so many professional speakers procrastinate about completing their demo video?

Most always, we find keynote speakers who do not keep their demo video current hate the way they look on video. Others claim that their referrals are good enough to keep them in business without a demo video.

You don’t know how many speaking engagement opportunities you are missing out on if you are guilty of either of the above scenarios.

Professional speakers who present on the main stage must have a current, professionally produced demo video in order to become, stay and feel successful in today’s market.

Competition is fierce and those speakers who keep their demo videos up to date experience more speaking engagements, success, referrals, word of mouth advertising and overall great feeling of accomplishment than professional speakers who procrastinate with the demo video production process.

So, where do you being to turn around your sucky demo video circumstances?

Get great live speaking video footage before anything else. Ask the production company who recorded your video to give you full quality digital video files on a thumb drive or external hard drive. Full quality digital video files are much better than DVD copies of your speaking engagements. Invest in a couple of large thumb drives or external hard drives and ask for these high quality video files after your speech.

You need at least one great video recording to create your demo video. Then choose a professional production company to help you with the rest of the demo video production process.

The time and money invested will come back to you tenfold once you determine that your old demo video sucks, and decide to do something about it.

photo credit: Dan Monick via photopin (license)

Are You Losing Business Because of Your Demo Video?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

6355318323_4c41d3ef76It’s no secret – professional speaker demo videos that are not updated and competitive based on current market conditions will help eliminate you as a candidate for a speaking engagement almost as often – if not more often – than your demo video will qualify you for a speaking engagement.

When a meeting planner watches your demo video they have three choices. They can continue to watch it; they can stop it and move on; or they can use it to qualify you. If they stop it and move on you have been eliminated from consideration for that speaking engagement. And you have to ask yourself, why did they watch it in the first place? Not always do we know that we’ve been eliminated from a speaking engagement, but let’s assume, in this case, we do.

Why did they watch it in the first place? Well, probably because you were referred to them, or something in their search criteria brought your website up on the Internet. But when they watched your demo video it turned them off, or it was old footage or the editing appeared out of date. In this highly competitive professional speaking industry it’s crucial to update your demo video on an annual basis.

When you think about it, the cost of a demo video is, more often than not, less than you will earn on one speaking engagement. Why would you not invest money in the number one marketing tool that you have on an annual basis, in order to keep your content fresh, keep the look of your production current and keep you in the running more often to be considered for keynote speeches?

The process of updating and revising your demo video is very simple. First, you get good footage. More meetings, conferences and conventions are recording their keynote speakers today than ever. And that footage that is being recorded is most often high definition digital footage. It’s recorded onto a digital video recorder, right there on the spot at the conference. When the production company brings that digital video recorder back to their studio it’s very easy for your production company to ship an external hard drive to the conference or convention production company to get a copy of that original full quality digital video recording. This has become one of our main practices at Primeau Productions – to ship these hard drives to production companies in order to retrieve the highest quality digital video recording for our clients so that we can use that footage to update their demo videos.

I have seen firsthand how the number of speaking engagements goes up for our clients when their demo video has been revised. And a revised demo video is useless if it isn’t distributed properly. That’s the publishing part of the produce, publish and promote that Primeau Productions follows for our clients. You get the new footage – high def, high quality – revise the demo video. That’s the ‘produce’.

When you complete the editing and revision of the demo video you distribute the demo video to the appropriate places, such as:  your website; your YouTube channel (which is the second largest search engine in the world, and where a lot of meeting planners look for professional speakers for their events); your Vimeo channel, which we encourage our clients to use for embedding their demo video on their website, because many organizations are blocking social media networks, so if a meeting planner works for an organization and they want to hire you and they go to your website and your video is embedded from YouTube there’s a couple of problems. Number one, they may not be able to watch it because it’s been blocked from their server. Number two, there are going to be competitor ads or other videos that come up at the end of your video that could take them away from you as a consideration, to somebody else that has a catchier title or a more interesting thumbnail. So we recommend to our clients to use Vimeo as another publishing opportunity for you.

Other publishing opportunities that are available for you are to distribute your revised demo video to the speaker’s bureaus and ask them to update your demo video that they have on their website or Internet channel with the current revised one. Then, once that video has been revised, it’s necessary to do some promotion.

Promotions could be in the form of social media; newsletters sent out to your database; notifying speaker’s bureaus and past clients that you’ve updated your demo video. You could even explain to them that you have created a follow-up program to the one that you previously delivered to clients that will help their people take your message to the next level.

All of this marketing and promotion can be built up around this revised demo. So not only have you made your demo video more current and improved because of the fact that your message and your performance has gotten better since the last time you created a demo video, you also now have a reason to contact people – past clients, meeting planners, speaker’s bureaus – to let them know that you have a new video that demonstrates your more in-depth message, the follow-up portion to your message, or any other elements that you’d like to use from that new demo as a reason for contacting them.

Professional speakers who don’t update their demo video start to see their number of speaking engagements decline. I see it happen all the time. Speakers that revise their demo video on a regular basis have an increasing number of keynote speaking engagements because of the activity that’s involved in the produce, publish, promote process of revising that demo video.

But it’s very important to wait until you have good footage, that was recorded in a good environment in front of an audience, that has fed energy to you, and that you are at the top of your game delivering that message.

photo credit: Dollars via photopin (license)

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