Powerpoint Video VS Video Presentations: Which Will Better Serve Your Cause?

   As we move further and further into a new generation, we occasionally find ourselves resisting change and fighting to prolong the usage of whatever processes and methodology we have found reliable in the past. There are times when the old ways are the best ways; however, we must always be willing to adapt to the changes that can be of great use to our cause. Many longstanding businesses have been working with Microsoft Powerpoint for decades, and are resistant to today’s rapidly popularizing standard of digital video. Maybe you’re a business owner or a recruiter who is currently on the fence about whether or not a video presentation for your material is really necessary. So, which is the superior method of presentation? Which one will better keep the audience engaged, is more cost-effective, and communicates data more succinctly? What, if anything, can a video presentation offer you that a PowerPoint presentation can’t?

The very first iteration of PowerPoint was launched by Microsoft in 1990. Since then, it has been used in schools, offices, and meetings to convey important information to large groups. The software was initially created to make that raw information more engaging through interactive bullet points, seamless transitions, and real-time graphics. However, as we move further and further into the digital age, the effectiveness of this tactic is beginning to wane. In the same way that a blade which is frequently used eventually becomes dull, PowerPoint presentations have now become equally as easy to tune out as the original paper printout method. Recent alternatives, such as Prezi and PowToon, have offered further variations and spectacle, but ultimately face the same limitations as the PowerPoint software does. With video, there are no limits.

Motion Graphics

You would be amazed how much a properly animated title or logo snaps your audience to attention. In today’s world, we’re predisposed to hone in on impressive visuals. While more recent versions of PowerPoint do offer some nifty motion options between slides and bullet points, it can never compare to what a trained motion graphics designer can do from absolute scratch. For example, PowerPoint is able to fade in and subsequently fade out a picture of the planet earth. But with motion graphics, you can have the planet earth can bounce into the scene, rotate on an axis, and zoom to somebody’s back yard. There are limits to the technology available; but for the most part, anything that you can imagine, you can create.

Sound Design

Sound design is PowerPoint’s largest area of weakness, as the software can only incorporate sound elements on a slide-by-slide basis and can only use pre-existing sound that is brought in from outside the program. There exists no such weakness in a video presentation. Using professional editing techniques, a production studio can implement music, sound effects, and recorded voiceovers into your presentation to give it that extra ‘oomph’ and snap your audience to attention right away.

 Efficiency

Not only do video presentations help the masses to better absorb and comprehend your messages, but you can also save time and energy by making the switch from PowerPoint to video. Rather than using a laser pointer to target your main points, let motion graphics draw attention to them with impressive visuals. Rather than having a speaker try to recreate the same presentation several times, you can make a single video presentation and have it do all of your work for you. Rather than having a single speaker exhaust himself or herself delivering your message, you can implement the knowledge and presence of four to five speakers using brief video interviews. Rather than asking dedicated personnel to spend hours at a time transcribing information into slides, let the production company carry that burden so that you can better use that time to focus on your business’ needs.

PowerPoint and its sister softwares have been a valuable asset for many years, and have served the population well. However, as of today, there is nothing PowerPoint can do that a video presentation cannot do better. Objectively, the time has come to move on to something more innovative. As we move forward, techniques and tactics will continue to change. As new tactics become the norm, the old tactics become less and less effective. With the right tactic, you can grab the attention and secure the focus of your target audience with a stunning visual experience that will leave a real impression on them. It’s important to continue to be open to change, and to be ready to embrace new and improved marketing tactics as those tactics become available.

Best Practices for Looking Good on Video



If you’ve ever worried about looking good during a video presentation, or shyed away from a video marketing opportunity because you don’t feel comfortable interacting with the camera…look no further than this video blog. Give the above video a quick view to get the inside scoop on our process to help an inexperienced camera subject look their very best on camera.

Transcript:

“At Render Perfect, we’re committed to helping our clients look their very best on video. Let’s face it; nobody really loves the way that they look on video, and it can sometimes be a fear factor that keeps business professionals from taking advantage of all the web marketing benefits that video has to offer. We take pride in our ability to help professionals with very little on-camera experience to feel comfortable and present confidently when being captured on video. Let’s take a quick look at the complete process of ‘looking your best’ on video. First up, Wardrobe. You’ll want to wear something that fits well, and that you feel confident in. Confidence radiates on camera. You want to wear something with color that complements you and makes you feel like you’re on top of your game. Next up, Makeup. Makeup really helps both men and women to look their best on video. It both hides blemishes and highlights the subject’s more pertinent features, such as the eyes and the lips. At the very least, you’ll need the application of a light foundation and gentle dusting of powder to remove the shine on skin that reflects light, and provides an even pleasing skin tone. After the client has gotten the “star treatment”, it is up to the camera crew to do the rest. Framing, lighting, and keeping the subject in focus are all responsibilities of the studio team, and will go a long way towards bettering the professional feel of the client video footage. But, the process doesn’t stop short at video capture! Only half the work is done when the subject leaves the studio for the day. Following your video shoot, the editors will get right to work manipulating the colors, brightness, contrast, and saturation of your footage. We recommend that companies use higher-end tools such as Colorista and Magic Bullet Looks to further remove blemishes, minimize wrinkles, and give the subject a nice healthy color. Keep in mind that a little bit of post correction and manipulation goes a long way….turning this footage……into this footage. So now that you know about the many ways to make you look your very best on video, the rest is up to you! Get your message together and start using video to your advantage. Just think: in minutes, you can record a message or presentation that can be seen by thousands of potential clients. Or, as we like to say around here, Pitch once, share often!”

 

How To Start A Blog & Generate Blog Post Ideas

The key practices of owning and operating a written (or video) blog are (1) keeping content relative, (2) keeping content informative, (3) ensuring that, once the blog is launched, blog content is frequently posted. The first two practices will guide you through your first blog post, but the last of these three steps can quickly become a hardest qualifier to meet, especially at the professional level.

When you are responsible for a blog, you are obligated to conceive at least one publishable idea per week. These ideas translate into blocks of text that ultimately draw clientele deeper into the inner workings of your company. As such, they should be interesting, useful, and easily compressible. But as with any creative position, you may eventually find yourself up against a deadline and locked in a battle with writer’s block. So, where do marketable ideas come from? What are you to do when posting day rolls around on the calendar, and you’re fresh out of ideas for the blog?

To start, you must understand that every idea begins with inspiration. That being said, inspiration doesn’t always work around your schedule. You should never wait until the day of (or even the day before) the blog post to begin trying to conceive of an idea for that blog. The first tip we can offer to help you with frequent idea generation is to keep your ear to the ground all week, to take notes on what is happening in the world around you, and to start compiling data on your topic up to three days in advance of your blog post.

Regardless of your profession, your degree of experience with social media, or the expectations that you (or your employer) may have for your blog content, there is always a limitless amount of interesting, insightful information out there that will suit your content needs. It is ripe for formal adaptation and development, but it won’t always take the form of low-hanging fruit for you to grab within a few hours of your post. It’s important to be aware of what’s happening around you, and to take notes each and every day on what might one day be interesting blog content.

This leads into our next tip, which is to always stay two steps ahead of yourself. For every one blog post, there should have been three or more ideas for a blog post. Though they may not be developed into blogs on the very day of their conception, these ideas can be filed and saved for future blogs. A proper blogger will have a list of ideas for future blogs mounted to his/her desktop; a nest of creative content waiting to be formally crafted.

Tip number three is to build on what already exists. As you’re looking and listening for the relative hot topics to blog about, remember, that there is no shame in adapting or building on a pre-existing blog post that you or somebody else has previously made. Inspiration is rarely self-contained, and fairly often drawn from another person’s contributions. Our own blog post today is inspired by a blog post from the social media gurus at buffer, which was further inspired from yet another source. Progress is achieved through the combined efforts of likeminded individuals, each taking the previous mind’s existing body of work just a single step further. This is true of rocket science, and it is true of blogs.

Finally, we implore you to utilize the age-old tactic of ‘thinking outside the box’. Blog posts are not exclusively useful for keeping your audience updated on your company progress. Blog posts should also push people to be insightful and creative. As your blog was inspired, it should also inspire others. In the long term, this will draw more traffic to your blog, merit more views to your company website, and result in a larger profit margin overall. But in the short term, it will help others to better understand and benefit from the digital ‘think tank’ of information in the web.

At Render Perfect, we make habit of leading by example. Our blog content is formulated, written, reviewed, and re-written before it ever reaches syndication. But before any of that comes the idea. Each and every blog starts with an idea, and each and every idea is inspired by something that we have seen, heard, or experienced, and want to share with you. Find your inspiration wherever you can, and use it to your advantage.

LinkedIn VS. Twitter: Which Advertising Buy Is Better For Small Businesses?

When it comes to buying Social Media advertising for small businesses, there are many things to consider. We took the time to compile the basic information, fill out sample ad campaigns, and estimate cost, and, overall, we have found LinkedIn to be the more well-rounded solution for digital/web marketing. Though more expensive, the interface is cleaner, the environment is more professional, and the campaign is easier to customize. Twitter also measures cost by follower, rather than click/impression (CPC), which costs less overall but makes the campaign more likely to fail.

Above: The LinkedIn Interface for Campaign Monitoring

   LinkedIn also offers two new tools (as of March 2014) called ‘Content Marketing Score’ and ‘Trending Content’; the latter of which is a simple knock-off of Twitter’s trend/hashtag system, but works the same way within the exclusive domain of LinkedIn. Content Marketing Score measures the unique members engaged in relation to the active target audience of your content with a numerical value, giving you a consistent read of how far your current marketing tactics are going to reach your target audience.

Twitter, however, is far from useless. Twitter better serves the need of analyzing and building on trending topics, and is the more widely known (and used) form of media dispersal, both business and social. Written properly and timed correctly, you can tie a business to an already trending topic (or, with slightly more difficulty, launch and trend your own topic) to turn an existing market to your favor.

Twitter is understandably secretive about the specifics of its internal process, but has explained that trends are determined by an algorithm measuring an above average mentions of a topic in a short period of time, NOT an overall number of mentions or hashtags. It is therefore easier to create a trend by releasing a blast of information on a topic when not many other companies or organizations are trending that topic at the time (non-peak timing).

Third party web services such as simplymeasured.com will charge a monthly fee to monitor all forms of social media at once for hashtags (trending topics and mentions) relative to your business, and alert you of the opportune moment to tie your business in to the trends of the day.

Statistics of Twitter Trends:

Top 10 Trend: 1,595 mentions per hour

Bottom 10 Trend: 366 mentions per hour

Facebook, which has recently adopted the trending feature/tool, uses a similar (if not exactly the same) algorithm to diagnose and analyze content within its own domain, which is why third party services like simplymeasured are useful for monitoring several different domains at once.

With regard to ad space, Twitter’s immediate cost is the lower one. However, overall, LinkedIn is the clear winner; offering a more specified market customization and a more direct link to your target audience, as well as a more concise measurement of your tools. Twitter will promote your ads based on your budget, but the bang for buck will not go quite as far. It is more profitable, in the long run, to use LinkedIn for ad campaigns and promotions, and to use Twitter for the micromanagement and incorporation of trends and hot topics into those promotions and ads to further their reach and their impact.

Video Blogging: Why You Need It

 



 

When developing a long-term video marketing strategy, a fundamental tactic is the creation and production of a video blog.  These short, topic-specific videos don’t require excessive production value, and they help your business provide relevant content to a target audience that is looking for that content.  Video blog content can also help your business stand out in the marketplace; influenced by social sharing and organic search results for your products and/or services.

Check out the video blog that we have put together for some further insights into how video blogging can support your business or organization and help you reach out to a wider target audience.

 

Transcript:

At Render Perfect, we recognize that video is power, and we strive to help businesses use it to their advantage. But when integrating video into a marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that not all tactics are equally as effective, and it’s important to apply the correct tactic in order to achieve a desirable result. Let’s take a quick look at a video marketing tactic that serves a dual role to assist you with both enhanced visual communication and search engine optimization. Enter the video blog. These are short, topic-based videos, created to convey specific information to your target audience. As opposed to commercials and ads, video blogs don’t necessarily have to cost a fortune or dazzle with a graphic spectacle; they simply need to provide valuable information without distracting the viewer. Video blogging also allows you to convey information with substantially more fluidity than text, and provides you with the ability to showcase your knowledge, while at same time giving your audience a feel for who and what you’re all about. Additionally, video blogs are viewed by search engines as rich content. When you take the time to keyword optimize the video blog title, and include a search-friendly transcript with the post, you’re well on your way to search engine love and organic ranking joy for your video blog content. And, by the way, video is quite sharable, and works well in mobile browsing environments! Presenting your thoughts and information as a video blog post can go a long way towards furthering your brand awareness, and help you reach a wider target audience via social media. There has never been a better time to utilize video in your marketing strategy. Video blogging is a fundamental step towards developing an overall video marketing strategy, improving your businesses’ organic search, and synthesizing content for social media. If you’re interested in developing your own video blog, but aren’t quite sure how to get the ball rolling- feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help! Message us through social media, send us an email; heck, even call us on that ancient telephone device. We’d be happy to discuss your ideas, and help make them happen!

 

Camera Shy?

       It happens to almost everyone. There you are, in front of the camera, ready to present your material and wow your target audience with a video spectacle; suddenly, the nerves begin to fray. Your hands begin sweating. Your speech becomes garbled. Many clients find that they are initially uncomfortable speaking to or presenting to a camera. This is called ‘scopophobia’, but its more colloquial name is ‘stage fright’. At Render Perfect, we understand that this is a very natural phenomenon. We sympathize with this initial discomfort, and we are more than prepared to help you push past it to deliver a great presentation. Below are some simple steps to help confront and defeat stage fright when facing off with the dreaded video camera.

  1. Makeup & Lighting

Many clients are concerned about how the camera will make them look. But with a light dusting of studio makeup and a unique lighting setup tailored to your needs, you’ll soon find that the camera is your best friend rather than your worst enemy. We can also do a warm-up exercise with you to give you a look at yourself in one of the studio monitors. Seeing and knowing exactly what you look like on camera is always very soothing, and may help you find the necessary courage to begin delivering your actual message.

2.    The Magic of Repetition

Having a great video presentation is one thing; hearing yourself present it is another. The first time that you hear yourself speaking to a camera, it can feel a little awkward, and maybe even a bit silly. But as you repeat your material over and over again, you’ll find yourself naturally beginning to focus more on your own message, and less on the camera capturing it. We are always prepared to do multiple ‘warm-up’ takes with our clients to soothe their nerves and get them more comfortable with the studio environment.

3.      Using A Teleprompter

One final thing that can be jarring about recording a video presentation is memorization. Render Perfect has an answer to this problem as well. Using our state-of-the-art teleprompter, we can feed your script back to you at any pace you choose, and you can read it right off the screen with absolute confidence. You’ll find that you barely even notice that the camera is there!

At Render Perfect, we are committed not only to helping you communicate a message, but also to helping you look good doing it. Remember: the camera is a marketing tool, not a torture device. Use it to your advantage!

Looking Good on Green Screen’s

Not everyone has a studio ready environment to shoot in, and a green screen makes all the difference when it comes to a controlled, professional outcome. By using a green screen to add backdrops and special effects, it can take your video from bland to extraordinary. However, as the talent you must do your part in order to make the green screen shoot a success.

Here are the basics of the “Green Screen Do’s and Dont’s” from our own guidelines:

1. Do not wear ANY shade of green

  • Anything worn that is green with disappear on the green screen including patterns/details on clothes or accessories, hair clips, ties, scarves, pins, nail polish and jewelry.
  • Avoid intricate or contrasting patterns, small stripes and logos.
    • This includes ties for men and scarves for women.

2. Keep hair under control

  • Make sure hair is laying down and flat as possible so there are not green highlights between your fly aways.

3. Make-up is ESSENTIAL

  • Natural make-up is best, highlight key features in-order to avoid looking washed out from the bright lighting.

Its recommended to…

  • Wear bright, soft, or neutral colors like shades of red, blues, and purples.
  • Wear (not too tight) slim, well fitting clothing.
  • Apply make-up.

With the proper grooming, attire, and preparation you can make the most of your next green screen video shoot!!

Five Tips for Video Testimonial Interviews

One of the most challenging aspects of video is interviewing someone for a testimonial. Not everyone has the ability to speak and appear comfortable on camera. So in order to get the most genuine response from the subject (or interviewee), the interviewer has to be adaptive, engaging and inviting.

Here’s five simple tips an interviewer can follow to get the best video testimonial interview for a video or documentary.

  1. Be warm and welcoming when meeting and greeting the interviewee as they come on set. Engage in small talk while they and are being seated for lighting and audio set-up.
  2. Take a second to explain again the purpose of the interview again, re-ensuring the interviewee that all video captured of them will be put to use in positive ways. Remind then they don’t have to say everything perfect. We will be editing and using the best parts of their comments. The goal is to be genuine and have a natural conversation.
  3. Remind the interviewee to try and restate your question within their answer. (Example: What do you feel is most beneficial about having an accreditation? The thing I have found most beneficial about having an accreditation is.….. ) Having them restate the question helps avoid quick responses and provides context to the viewer who will not be hearing the interview question.
  4. Try as much as you can to engage the interviewee in a real conversation, maintaining good eye contact, and providing affirmation to the key comments they are making.
  5. If the interviewee becomes frustrated and nervous, stay positive and be empathetic, letting them know you understand how hard it is to speak in front of the camera. Keep reminding them that we are only using selected parts of their interview, and that they are doing much better then they think. Being patient and kind goes along way to help people feel comfortable. Warm smiles are contagious and go along way.

 

Video Color Correction

Color correction is extremely vital for shooting any kind of video these days. And there are tons of filters and softwares out there that can make this once complicated process an easy one. Color Correction or Grading can really make that average looking shot ‘pop’ and grab the viewers attention. At Render we typically like to shoot things very flat with our Canon EOS 7D SLR giving the image a very neutral and almost bland look. This gives us more range and leverage in post to make the video really shine by increasing or decreasing the color saturation. Luckily there is no right or wrong way to color correcting video for the web because there are no standards like there are for broadcast television. So you can have a lot of fun with this step and really put your creative stamp on your video.

Here are some cool examples:



 

Camera Slider

Every Videographers Favorite Accessory

Having a slider really increases the production quality of your video. They literally breathe life into a shot by adding depth and motion. It’s no longer static and boring, but engaging when the camera tracks from one side of the frame to the other or pulls the viewer closer to the subject.

So here’s some test footage of our Varavon SLIDECAM EX Plus around the office: