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Over the last six months, we have all received a crash course on how to use video to engage prospects, clients, and coworkers.
I’ve talked in the past about how to use video to engage with a video handshake. I encourage you to read this article to refresh yourself on the importance of video and the options available.
I recently saw a post where an insurance agent was describing presenting a $300,000 proposal to the Board of Directors of a large company using the Zoom video platform. Another agent commented on LinkedIn that he initially thought his free Zoom account would simply be a temporary need but has now realized Zoom has become an essential business tool. I suspect there are many of you reading this who feel the same way.
That’s why I want to encourage you to upgrade your video insurance proposal process.
The expectation for the level of quality for virtual meetings today is different than it was just a few months ago. I have included some thoughts below on how you can upgrade your capability to meet these changing expectations better.
As you know, there are multiple platforms available for video meetings. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting are common platforms in use today. All this activity is also spurring the development of new video meeting tools and options. I’m not going to do an in-depth review on these platforms, as you have likely already chosen the one you think works best for you. However, I do want to highlight some areas where you can improve the quality of the final product.
High-quality audio is one of the essential elements you need to get right. People will forgive lower video quality, but if they can’t hear what you’re saying, you will lose their attention fast. Here are some options for upgrading the quality of your audio:
Use an external microphone. While most webcams and laptops have a built-in microphone, the quality of the sound is generally not high. An inexpensive external microphone (probably USB-based) is a worthwhile investment. You will want to make sure you understand how to choose the right audio input device on your preferred platform.
Another option is a lavalier microphone. You see these most often used when a speaker is presenting from a stage.
Most of you are likely using a webcam as your video capture option. Most webcams today do a good job of capturing a good quality video. I just purchased a Canon Vixia HF R800 video camera ($250) to use as a second camera in my virtual presentations. I recommend you consider adding a second camera for your setup. Why? A second camera would allow you to switch to a whiteboard that you could use to transition from a “talking head” view to a whiteboard presentation seamlessly. Zoom does support multiple camera inputs and allows you to select which camera feed you want participants to see.
You want to make sure the lighting enhances your presentation. Natural light generally works the best. Simply placing lamps or other lights to fill in shadows can significantly improve the viewability of your presentation.
I recommend you consider setting up a simple video studio either in your office or at home if you’re working remotely. And don’t let the word “studio” overwhelm you. A studio can be a corner in your office where you have audio, video, and lighting already set up.
If you want to take your presentations to the next level, then you should consider adding software capability to overlay images and text onto your video stream. While there are several options, the two most popular seem to be Ecamm Live for Apple systems and vMix for Windows systems. If you’ve watched any live streaming and wondered how they were able to add graphics to their live stream, it was likely they were using one of these systems.
Because I am doing more virtual presentations, I am working on adding this capability soon. The software is not expensive but does take a commitment to learning a new way of presenting.
Everyone’s expectations for what a virtual presentation should look like has changed over the last six months. I hope these suggestions will prompt you to consider what you can do to upgrade your ability to create an engaging virtual presentation that can help you win that account.
What have you done in your office to upgrade your video presentations?