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Communication Using Video – Why It Matters

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In our non-working lives, video is now a ‘go to’ tool for many.  It helps us to troubleshoot home appliances, research real estate or a new car before we purchase or to get some background on key staff members of an organisation we hope to work for.  Whilst our domestic and home lives are dominated by video, many organisations have been slow to adopt video as a means of communication, training or marketing.  In this blog, we will explore communication using video in our working lives, and why it matters.

Why video matters.

Generational change

In 2016, Millennials began to dominate the workforce.  Millennials live and breathe video.  If you have teenagers at home this will come as no surprise. But check out these statistics on just how important video is as a marketing tool.  60% of millennials prefer video over text based newsletters and 80% find video helpful in making purchasing decisions.

For much of their working lives, the millennial generation has had the benefit of stable internet, video streaming and ease of moving video from one place to another. Whilst video has been around for a long time, it has only recently become easy to create (smart phones), easy to share (cloud sharing such as Google Drive) and easy to access (cheap internet on the go).  So for Gen X and their predecessors, video still feels like a new phenomenon and we have been much more likely to rely on more traditional modes of communication. Think of the amount of text based communication you consume in your working life and the prevalence of live training sessions where video based training would be more convenient and accessible.

Whatever the motivation, video is now embedded in the lives of this generation and those to follow and organisation ignore this cultural shift at their peril.

Video is a natural way to communicate. 

Written communications enabled early human societies to spread information beyond the local communities. However, verbal communications and the non-verbal signals such as facial expressions, voice tones and physical movements are where humans communicate best.  It’s the first thing we do when we are born and in the years before we learn to read and it’s how our earliest societies communicated before books and printing. So perhaps there is something innate in our human makeup that draws us to video the technological equivalent of being together in a room. If a CEO sends his or her employees a welcome video, viewers are able to get a sense of who this person is and what they represent. Is she approachable, modern, conservative or a strong leader? How a person stands and speaks all conveys important information which we as humans are designed to absorb.

Video allows us to create an ‘image’ of what our company or product represents. It is the reason television advertising has been so successful and is so expensive. A chocolate ice cream manufacturer will always prefer a video of someone eating their ice cream over a text based alternative. Video is a great vehicle to communicate a lot in a short time using the verbal and the non-verbal cues. It is an information rich medium and need not be expensive or difficult to produce.

Show, don’t tell. 

In some instances, text based communication is ideal. This blog post is an example. You can scan this information as a reader in a short time, take the information you need and skim or skip that which is not relevant to you. However, if I wanted to explain the best way to manoeuvre a forklift through a warehouse, video is going to be by far the most effective way to communicate. Video has the flexibility to have voiceover explanation with a physical demonstration, a range of ‘views’ such as close up, distance and slow motion and importantly, the ability for the user to stop and repeat to ensure understanding.

Video as a resource.

Video as a learning tool and as a resource for learners to revisit is critical to staff safety and understanding. If an organisation runs a live training session without the ability for learners to revisit that content on demand then safety may be compromised. Some staff members may feel uncomfortable about asking questions in training feeling that it may be viewed as a weakness.  Others may speak English as a second language and need more time to absorb information. Whatever the reason, using video to record live training or to create learning resources means staff can always revisit training at a later date.

Remember video takes many forms.  From a simple iPhone video, capturing a Zoom meeting or presentation to bringing in a professional film crew to create high end training or marketing content, video is easy to create, easy to access and a great way to communicate.

Why not check out some of other great resources on using video to create great training content for your staff.  Read more here:- VidVersity Blog 

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