The Do’s of Video – What Makes Some Clips More Watchable?

As we continue to manage working through COVID-19, we’ve seen a sharp increase in use of digital platforms that include video.  The trend in this type of remote connectivity is not new; video provides tremendous opportunities for brands and businesses. It’s a simple and easy way to reach and connect with customers and employees. Although there will always be value and a need for in person interactions, using video, especially in our current situation, can be a powerful alternative to lengthy presentations or emails. But it takes some effort to make video work for you.  We put together a short list of tips to capture your audience’s attention and deliver messages that stick.

DO. Make your video message as clear and compelling as possible. 

Ask yourself the important questions:

  1. Who is your audience? 
  2. Have I connected with them previously?
  3. Is the information I’m sharing relevant? Engaging?

Like any type of presentation, a video needs to be well planned and executed.Will it be a headshot only of you talking? Will there be other “scenes”? Creating a “shot list” of the clips that need to be filmed to create a finished product will keep your video on a clear path. You don’t have to over engineer a video. You can use clear visuals with voiceover to add some dimension to the video.

DO. Make Your Videos Phone Friendly.

You can almost guarantee that a majority of your viewers will be watching from a mobile device. If you are filming a video via iPhone (this is great quality for a low cost) make sure it is being filmed horizontally at all times to ensure a full-screen video. When editing the video, ensuring all text, charts, & photos added in the overlay are large scale to allow viewers on small devices to appropriately see all information. 

DO. Invest in a few low-cost tools to enhance the quality. 

You’ll want to look good in front of the camera, but audio quality is just as important.  You can order some affordable tools online to enhance your video.  For example, a tripod to hold your camera or smartphone steady—or a small microphone to pick up your voice clearly can greatly improve your video. If you’ve written a script, you can even download a teleprompter for your iPad to deliver your message evenly and on message.

DO. Add a thumbnail.

Think of your thumbnail as your video’s packaging, it needs to be click-worthy to engage your viewers. The thumbnail of your video should include a clear photo or image that illustrates your topic and invites views to listen and watch. Using free websites such as can allow you to edit your image while adding text over the photo to get your videos point across.

If you want to reach employees and you cannot be face to face, consider adding video to your communication channels. What tips can you share about videos in your communication plan?

Listen and Learn: Now’s the Perfect Time to Find a Podcast to Love

As we all slide into yet another week of our new COVID-19 working from home  reality, lots of us are finding—or needing—a break. One way to take a break that isn’t a total time suck is to catch up on business reading or listening. If you’re a podcast fan, you know that you can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours hours to learn something new about your industry, an industry you don’t know very much about, employee engagement and culture or just business in general—the good, the bad and the ugly. 

There are almost 30,000 APPLE business podcasts per the chart, so there’s certainly something for everyone. Here are 5 of our faves. 

  1. The Tim Ferris Show: Cited as the top business podcast on Apple Podcasts for the past three years, host Tim Ferriss interviews world-class performers across industries (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics and routines listeners can use in their daily lives. Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”
  2. How I Built This: NPR’s Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies by weaving a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists. Check out the story behind Ben & Jerry’s, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Birchbox, EventBrite, JetBlue, Panera Bread and many more.
  3. GirlBoss: Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso interviews boundary-pushing women who’ve made their mark. Listen to solid advice from the lessons these trailblazers have learned along the way, including Tulsi Gabbard, Alyssa Milano, Valerie Jarrett and Tina Brown.
  4. HBR Ideacast: Sarah Green Carmichael, an executive editor at Harvard Business Review, hosts the HBR IdeaCast podcast, featuring leading thinkers in business and management. Sample topics include Adjusting to Remote work, Real Leaders: Abraham Lincoln and the Power of Emotional Discipline, and Rules for Effective Hiring and Firing.
  5. My Wakeup Call.  Everyone has wakeup calls but not everyone wakes up. In this podcast, Dr. Mark Goulston speaks to people who woke up and were inspired to change their lives.

Don’t have the time or energy to decide what to listen to today? Say “Alexa, play me a top podcast.” When I did this, I got to hear one of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. Easy.

What are YOUR favorite podcasts? Share in the Comments!