Using senior managers, directors and line managers in video is not a new thing.
And when it works, it works well.
Because managers speak from experience.
They’re frequently experts in their field, with a voice that deserves to be seen & heard on video.
So use them.
Thus runs the theory.
And it’s a good theory.
But in practice, 50% of people aren’t particularly good when appearing on video.
And even the 50% that are reasonable on camera need special treatment to make them shine onscreen.
In recent years, I blame Google.
They brought out a number of short online videos with a few of their own young charismatic managers speaking to camera about one of their brilliant new technologies.
They made it look as easy as falling off a log.
So everybody thought they could do it.
Net result: Uncomfortable managers looking and sounding distinctly creaky.
Don’t get me wrong: Some managers are very good when talking to camera.
I’ve personally filmed some brilliant ones.
But what the public don’t see are the dreadful ones.
I don’t blame the manager either.
Often they’re co-opted into appearing on camera – something they wouldn’t normally choose to do.
Often they’re asked to speak for too long.
Often they feel secretly terrified in front of the camera’s lens, and freeze-up emotionally.
I’ve seen business people who can address a boardroom – or a 5,000 delegate event – crumble when asked to deliver a minute or two to a camera crew.
There are great filming techniques to get around these problems.
But they’re not infallible.
And even the best filming / editing technique can only do so much.
The take-home messages from this diatribe is:
> don’t take your manager for granted and assume they can speak successfully to camera.
> and if it’s you, then make sure your video crew absolutely know what they’re doing.