Video is an incredible tool and can be used to tell a compelling story in a very short time. In today’s world of technology and new media we too often look at video as the answer to all of our problems. If you need to fundraise with a compelling message, create a video. If you need to train your volunteers, create a video. Want more traffic on your website, create a video. The “create a video” mantra is all too popular today. I think it is important that we do not forget that video is a tool that we can use and really only one way of telling a story.
When using a video on a solicitation it is important to understand the reason that you are doing so. If the board member or program staff member has a really hard time telling the story or is not a super compelling person, a video is a great way to guarantee that a story and message is shared. However, in a one-on-one solicitation a video can feel impersonal and become very distracting. If you have a script and a plan, moving from talking face to face to watching a video can disrupt the flow of your presentation. Everyone is watching the individual who is speaking and the conversation starts to grow and then you stop everyone from talking and listening to the speaker to move to watch and listen to a video.
Videos tend to tell a short concise message in a short period of time. Is your audience going to be compelled by a flashy video or will they be confused and try and catch up? Is the video going to be played on their TV or on a small computer screen? Will they even be able to see or hear the video? Can the video show something that you are unable to share using pictures? Would it be possible to bring someone along with you that can tell their story directly so you wouldn’t need to show a video?
What do you think? There is a time and place for video and it can be used incredibly effectively. But there can be a time when using a video produces adverse results. Do you have any stories of when video has worked well for you during an individual solicitation? Has video ever become a distraction?