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Archive for the ‘Speaker Demo Video’ Category

Ed Primeau featured on NSA Chat

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

5042764163_15405340feBy: Bradley Finegan

Last Tuesday, Gina Carr had Ed Primeau as a guest “tweeter” for her weekly NSA Chat. #NSAchat is a weekly live chat via twitter created for keynote speakers. These chats provide a Q&A session with experienced members from different aspects of the industry.  For those who missed it, I’m creating this blog post to lay out some of the highlights of the chat.

The first thing Ed asked his fellow tweeters was: “How many people hate themselves on video?” Many speakers don’t like the way they come off on video.  Speakers begin to second guess themselves, which leads to questioning aspects of their performance; aspects such as their own vocal quality, movement, energy, etc. Ed’s advice for those people was simple:

 “If you embrace the video recording process, you will love yourself on video.

Becoming comfortable in front of a camera is not an easy task for some, but it is a skill that is very crucial for speakers.  As with all things, practice makes perfect, so Primeau suggests that speakers video record themselves before hiring a professional.  This will teach speakers how to remain comfortable in front of a camera before they invest in the real deal.  No one wants to be unprepared!

Another question that was presented during the NSA Chat was regarding the audience texting during presentations.  With the expansion of smartphones and cellphones, people like to stay connected at all times (and they love distractions!).  Ed suggests that speakers take advantage of this opportunity.  Prohibiting people from using their cell phones is near impossible these days, so Ed recommends guiding your audience to tweet during your presentation.  Encourage them to share your wisdom with their followers.  Tweeting drives traffic to your site, and optimally, to your purchasable content.  Get used to your audience using their portable electronic devices during presentations; it’s not going away!

To see the rest of Ed’s tips from the NSA Chat session, follow this link to check out the transcript.  For more information/more NSA Chat sessions, follow @NSAChat on Twitter.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at brad@primeauproductions.com

photo credit: Twitter Bird Sketch via photopin (license)

How to Dress and Act for High Definition Video

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

9944082524_4456f8628cNot only have I experienced being recorded on high def video, I have consoled many clients who were shocked after the experience. They were shocked because they did not realize how BIG and magnified high definition video is until they saw a playback of their performance.

Everything is Magnified

Not only will your beautiful blue (or brown or green… or bloodshot!!) eyes be large and magnified on the high definition video, so will your imperfections. Rather than list them all, I’ll be polite and let you use your imagination. Think of wrinkles in your clothes, as well as on your face.

Consider having a wardrobe rehearsal and hiring a professional makeup artist and wardrobe consultant (often the same person) who specializes in preparing clients to be recorded in high definition. Yes, there is a process to high def makeup, and yes, it has become a specialty.

Men, if your shirt collar is a bit tight and you run the risk of the top button taking out an audience member’s eye, better get a larger shirt. That stretched collar will look ten times worse in high definition video than it does in person. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if not me, who will tell you? Nobody. You will see for yourself after it’s too late.

Ladies, carefully check your hair before going on stage. A few ‘flyaway’ strands that are barely noticeable in the mirror will look like tree branches on high def video.

I always encourage our clients to have a rehearsal before going on stage. Record some video of your rehearsal and watch it before your formal performance. As painful as this sounds, it’s less painful than missing a perfectly good opportunity to get new demo video footage.

During your rehearsal get used to the stage and how you move about during your presentation. Spy where the cameras are located and remember to periodically make eye contact with the cameras. Remember, these cameras represent the viewers at home.

The bottom line is high definition video is here to stay. This process is like any other process. You either adapt and embrace it or you will miss out and regret your mistakes. Evolve your performance into the new era of high definition video and business growth will follow.

photo credit: Dança via photopin (license)

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.

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Professional Speaking Video Production Mistakes

Monday, November 5th, 2012

3137026754_4126848ec1With over twenty years of experience producing professional speaker demo videos, we have come to realize the most important ingredient in producing a successful speaker demo video is the clip selection process. I know of many successful professional speakers who spend one, two and three times their fee to put together a demo video. And I often meet both “seasoned” and beginner speakers who say “I’ve heard your name before – I’ve never worked with you because I’ve heard you’re expensive.” Professional video production can be expensive – however, it can also have a high return on investment. Of the professional speakers that I know who put their own demo videos together, very few can claim that their video brings them an adequate amount of business.

A high percentage of the professional speakers who we’ve worked with over the years like to be involved in the clip selection process. That is good because their eyes and ears see and hear from their public. As a video producer, I do not see and hear that feedback. Because of this, the professional speaker input in the clip selection process is very important. However, the biggest mistake professional speakers make is that they try to dictate what they feel are the best clips and the best clip order when putting together their demo video. Why do I say that’s a mistake? Because you wouldn’t have one person running a successful business or corporation – you have several. People influence you as a leader when you make decisions, just like focus groups are used to get a public opinion about a product or service and the way that the marketing is going to be packaged and positioned.

Now, professional speakers pretty much decide on their own what their price should be. But when it comes to picking clips, you’re really dealing with your package, your product and your position. And when it comes to marketing, decisions should be made by multiple people, especially people who are experts at understanding how to put demo videos together.

I believe it is very important to consider the big mistakes that I have seen professional speakers make by dictating their clip selection and clip order in their demo video and instead of allowing the video professionals to do their job. The mistakes are big because the single most important ingredient in the professional speaker demo video is the clip selection process. The clips that are picked and the order that they’re put in have to tell a story that the public gets by the end of the demo video. The public should understand what it is that you do and how you can benefit your marketplace. Your demo video is now a porthole to your other video content on the Internet: your Vimeo channel, your YouTube channel, your Facebook page, your Pinterest account, your LinkdIn account.

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Tom Hegna – Retirement Keynote Speaker

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

100_1860I have a great job because it gives me opportunities to meet some of the best professional speakers, authors and entertainers in the world. My company, Primeau Productions, produces marketing video to help these people gain more visibility on the Internet for their speeches, performances and products. Sure, the income is great and our company is very successful, but the bonus that I did not expect is the learning experiences that I’ve gained while working with these great people.

One such encounter occurred in the summer of 2012 while producing a conference here in Detroit for NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors). One of their keynote presenters was a man named Tom Hegna. I had never heard of Tom and was looking forward to his keynote because so many people on the NAIFA board were excited to have Tom coming to speak to their conference. They had told me Tom had spoken several times for the Million Dollar Roundtable, and, based on my experience working with professional speakers, I knew that getting on the roundtable stage is a huge accomplishment. Tom had spoken for the Million Dollar Roundtable several times around the world, so I knew this guy had to be something to see. When Tom took the stage he was absolutely dynamic, attention-getting and entertaining, all within the first sixty seconds of his presentation. I took notes and learned so much while producing the show that I had to go shake his hand after his keynote was complete. He was doing meet-and-greet at his table where he had his new book displayed, “Paychecks and Playchecks.” I shook his hand and complimented him on his presentation. I had to qualify my feedback, mentioning that I had been working with professional speakers for almost thirty years, producing audio and video marketing and product materials for the professional speaking industry, as well as being on the board of the local National Speakers Association chapter and having served on several committees for the NSA. Tom had mentioned that he always wanted to get into the professional speaking industry so we connected again after the event and I gave him some suggestions on what he needed to do, one of which was to put together a great demo video.

Primeau Productions recently completed Tom’s demo video and you can see it below this blog post. Throughout the production process, my creative team and I selected all of the ingredients in Tom’s presentations and put together a script outlining some of the best sections from the many video presentations he had available for us to pick clips from. The Primeau team learned from the production process of working on Tom’s video just like we learn from all of the video productions that we create and develop. The team not only has the opportunity to earn as a result of our work, but also to learn. I jokingly tell my team that we get to earn while we learn by working with these great people. It is certainly a gift to have this opportunity with so many talented people.

I anticipate Tom Hegna to become a very sought-after keynote professional speaker because of his knowledge in an area that I suspect there is no competition in the professional speaking industry. Every single organization can benefit by giving the gift of Tom’s presentation to their people. Tom speaks about retiring the right way and how to live “happily ever after.” It’s not just about anticipating the outcomes of 401Ks and it’s not just about anticipating what your income needs to be in order to survive in your senior years. Instead, Tom speaks about strategies that you can implement immediately to avoid mistakes and running out of money, which a lot of people fear, including myself.

So I hope you enjoy this demo video, which Primeau Productions recently produced and learn from Tom just like we have, so that you can retire the right way and live “happily ever after.”

Tom Hegna – Retirement Speaker – Speaker Demo Video from Primeau_Productions on Vimeo.

photo credit: 100_1860 via photopin (license)

Employee Motivation with Steve Rizzo

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

14220539866_fc2c817ce8_nOne of the biggest problems facing companies today is employee motivation. Whether we like it or not, employees bring all of their problems, situations, experiences and personal relationships from home to the office. One of the things that long-time Primeau Productions client Steve Rizzo does as a motivational speaker is to teach people how to look at life from a different perspective. Steve refers to this as “the humor perspective.” Now, this may make some of you reading this blog post angry because you think “yeah, sure, this smart, bald Italian guy from New York is gonna tell me what I need to do to make my life better?” Well, chances are the negative attitude that you have already is what is holding you back most from achieving all the successes that you want out of life. This lack of success is extremely demotivating.

The psychology of motivation began a long time ago with some of the great writers of our time: Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale. The basic concept here – which isn’t mine, nor is it Rizzo’s – originally came from Earl Nightingale when he created the recording “The Strangest Secret.” That recording is still available today and I highly suggest that you listen to it. The concept behind “The Strangest Secret” is that what you think about comes about. That is one of the building blocks that I’ve used throughout my entire career.

Rizzo shares his experiences and helps the audience learn via stories that are sometimes serious and other times incredibly funny to help the audience learn. It’s a fact that people will learn more when they’re having fun. So not only does Riz create a fun environment when he does his keynote presentations, but he also teaches his audience – once he’s earned their trust and respect – what it takes in order to have a positive attitude and how to use humor to maintain that positive attitude from day to day.

I’ve even seen the result of his message in the forms of letters and emails from audience members as well as people on his staff.

Take a look at the video below and I think you’ll understand the value of a positive mental attitude and the way it can affect employee motivation.

photo credit: Wells_Fargo_05P via photopin (license)

Professional Speaker Demo Videos Copyright and Permission Use

Friday, October 5th, 2012

file0001646331361Any video recording–including professional speaker demo videos–must maintain integrity on all video footage, music and other prerecorded media that is used to create the demo to avoid copyright infringement. This now includes audience faces as well as music, pictures and video footage.

For the record, I am not a lawyer and my motto when producing demo videos is “when in doubt, leave it out.” In the following post I will share my experience with copyright permissions and video production integrity.

When Primeau Productions produces a demo or promo video, most people know you cannot use a copyrighted song or picture downloaded from the Internet. I know from experience not to take chances using anything that you do not have permission to use and that is not licensed in your demo or promo video.

The above facts and observations are now trumped with another copyright issue that was not an issue until recently: the faces of your audience members.

For years we always used client approved audience shots in our professional speaker demo videos.  Today however, we are more careful than ever before because we have become a litigious society.

I was recently contacted by National Speakers Association member Jolene Brown, CSP for my opinion on video recording a live event and including her client audience in the product videos. Her video supplier in Iowa, Andy Small, had reservations and did not want to film the audience faces. Great job, Andy– professionals must always use caution when recording people without their permission. Audience shots have been a huge dilemma over the years and here is what resulted from our conversations.

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How To: Get Great Video Footage with Image Magnification

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

139159238_b05ddb2acb_nTake Advantage of Image Magnification Screens.

One way to avoid the expense of hiring a crew to record video footage is to tap into image magnification screens. If you perform live at an event and there are more than 500 attendees, there is usually a large screen image magnification system so the people in the back of the room can see you. The image magnification is accomplished by hooking up a video camera to a projector. IMAG systems appear in many performance situations, including rock concerts, conventions and conferences, sporting events and illusionist performances, to name a few. If these systems are present, many times there are video recorders in the system, too. Ask the producer if you can have a gratis copy of your performance, or negotiate it into your fee.

Keep some blank tape up your sleeve.

It’s a good idea to carry an external hard drive with you when you speak or perform, just in case the venue you perform at doesn’t have any spare hard drives. It would be a bummer to have a killer opportunity to be video recorded in front of a great audience and the only thing stopping you is the lack of something as simple as video storage.

 

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How To: Get Great Video Footage with a “Tape-In” Method

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

13885876624_51f737675e_nThe traditional method for acquiring video footage is to hire a crew and pay their cost plus expenses. I hope to shed some light on alternative low-to-no cost methods of having your performance videotaped. “The Tape-In” is one of those ideas.

“The Tape-In.”
This method is used most often. Professional speakers and performers can organize an event with several of their colleagues and conduct mini-seminars or performances, invite the public and split the cost of the video crew to get footage. This works for bands too. Organize several good bands in your area and put on an event. Hire a video crew and split the cost with the other bands. You’ll all get professionally shot video at a fraction of the cost.

You might want to charge admission for the tape-in to create higher perceived-value. People see little value in a free performance. Unless, you have already made a name for yourself and the show is at a high-profile location.

Play to a crowd that loves you.
Use a gimmick or hook to get a large audience together for the tape-in. For example, I once knew of a couple of bands that organized a “battle-of-the-bands” event. They printed flyers and distributed them at gigs prior to the event and hired a video crew. Each band had twenty minutes to play, and the audience “voted” by applause. All the bands got great stage footage, and when it came time to vote, they had great footage of dozens of clapping, screaming fans (and the winner had their share of the video costs split between the losing bands).

These showcase events work for comedians as well as other performers. In fact, if your marketing is on-target, the organizer can make money off these events. When I was younger we used to get three bands together on a Saturday night and put on a Hall Party. We charged ten dollars at the door for the event, which included music, beer and one food item. We sold additional food and the bands sold their tapes and T-shirts. We recorded the show and closed when the beer was gone. And we actually made a profit! People had a great time and the bands got to perform, sell products and gain visibility that often turned into future gigs.

Get a little help from friends.
If you are having trouble marketing your “tape-in” event, you could require each participant or performer to bring 5 to 10 people for their admission fee so that there is a sizable audience in the video. It’s a good idea to invite prospects for future business to the tape-in so that you have a better chance to get future bookings.

But don’t limit yourself to these people. In the speaking business, these people are meeting planners and bureaus. In the music and entertainment world these people are booking agents, club owners and record companies. They tend to be more analytical and less enthusiastic about your performance because they have to anticipate what their customers want and will enjoy.

It’s also nice to have your greatest fans and supporters there. These people will help energize your performance. You might even hand pick the audience from your mailing list for a special invitation list and create an “invitation only” event. Then, you need the general public to help make this all affordable and profitable. I recommend the following to market your event:

1. Make flyers and pass them out everywhere (be careful not to litter). Do not put them on auto windshields because people will be annoyed.

2. Create press releases and send them to all of the local media. Newspapers have a “what’s happening” section they need to fill, and radio stations often have a spotlight for local events.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: GuerillaBeam via photopin (license)

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