Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago · 3 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Renée 🐝 blog
The messaging of an idea... The video critique

The messaging of an idea... The video critique





This is my response to Graham Edwards’ last post about messaging an idea. In his post, Graham showed a marketing video which is a PowerPoint presentation with a voice-over explaining a financial product. Graham was interested to get my feedback, as well as the feedback of others regarding the following:

  • How is the presenter using the slide deck?
  • How are his abilities as a speaker?
  • What is the utility of using a PowerPoint slide deck for a video
  • What about the video itself
  • Et cetera...

The video in question is presented below. As requested, I will attempt to be kind but very honest about my impressions of this marketing piece. Bear in mind that I do have a tendency to be brutally honest about things, but I am never intentionally cruel.

Graham, my friend, this is definitely not your best effort. I know you are working with poor quality equipment and that you are not exactly in the marketing video business, but I feel strongly that this is something that should never be shown publicly. Ouch! Sorry. 

There are several reasons for this harsh statement, but at the core of it is my belief that any marketing or PR work you do for a client must be done in a way that presents the best possible public image. 

This video really fails in that regard. Grab a box of tissue and a glass of cold water and read on as I explain why. 

The slide deck: On the positive side, I like the simple design. Bland is better than overdone, in my opinion. I do find, however, that most of the slides contain too much information. When it becomes necessary to put a lot of information on a slide, I would suggest you have each point slide in or appear as they are mentioned instead of showing them all at once.

The speaker: Scott, bless him, has a lot of trouble with voice inflection, meaning he is a monotonous speaker. Sorry Scott. Low mumbling voices that lack enthusiasm will not get anyone fired up to take action and they will not hold anyone’s attention. Resonance and clarity are critical elements of compelling speech and neither of these are evident in this video. Making matters worse is the fact that he is so clearly reading the script. It’s okay to read your script, but you should not sound like you are reading it. Nobody wants to listen to someone read aloud without expression. That creates boredom.

Video: The video is too long to hold the interest of any viewer. One and a half minutes or less is optimal for social media marketing videos, although sometimes you can get away with two minutes. The audio is garbled, making Scott’s expressionless speech even more difficult to listen to. You must remember that an obscured message is a lost message. The whole point of marketing is to not become lost in a sea of sellers. The essence of the message was lost because I really had to struggle to keep watching the video. In fact, I only did so to please my good friend, Graham. 

PowerPoint for video: I have used PowerPoint for video and it is certainly an inexpensive alternative to professional video. If you need something affordable, short and sweet, it can be helpful. The key is short and sweet. This video is a bit long and tedious.

Alternatives to PowerPoint video: The good news is that the content doesn’t need to be lost. I would suggest repurposing the information in multiple ways (blogs, infographics, e-booklets or shorter videos). If Scott could practice speaking with passion about his product and services, then he could arrange to be interviewed for a podcast, or participate in speaking engagements. If your work doesn’t light your fire, then the unspoken word is that you probably aren’t good at it. I know Scott has the talent, but he needs to sound like he has a genuine passion for his work. Passion sells.

Not to engage in a pissing match, but here are two examples of low budget marketing videos I did for one of my clients. One uses all still images and the other is the CEO speaking about the difference between structured and unstructured data. Are they perfect? No, but I think they speak clearly about what the company does and are able to hold the interest of the audience.

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Graham Edwards
Graham Edwards is a seasoned sales and marketing leader with over 25 years in the biotech
industry. Graham is an accomplished leader and visionary with a reputation for effective
strategy, creative problem solving and execution. Well recognized for his ability to drive
growth, Graham brings a wealth of cross-functional skill sets in sales and marketing, strategic
g and execution, business development, process improvement and succession


Graham is especially passionate about working with start-ups but loves to drive results for any business in
need. Well known for his strategic excellence and problem solving, Graham's tendency toward creative
thinking allows him to develop some rather interesting and effective solutions for his clients.

Renée Cormier

Few public relations & communications specialists have as diverse a background as Renée
Cormier. Add published author, employee engagement specialist, sales and marketing
— strategist, entrepreneur and educator to her list of accomplishments. In her career Renée has
Ie leadership roles in sales and marketing, developed and implemented national marketing
4 © Kirategies and was responsible for teams as large as 28 strong. She brings a wide range of
experience and talent to her work.
Renée really shines in communications. She is known for developing and implementing comprehensive
communications strategies and generating results through flawless implementation. With such strong
business acumen, passion for her work and a natural talent for business strategy, Renée is definitely
considered an important resource for her clients.


Graham🐝 Edwards

5 years ago #11

Thanks for the feedback Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier It's very much appreciated !!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #10

Thanks for the share, !

Jan 🐝 Barbosa

5 years ago #9

"closed captioning should really be added to all videos" agree in SO MANY WAYS !!!! most videos are watched at work, while commuting and you don't simply want others to hear.. Either you mute the video or use a headphone jack.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #8

I wondered about that, too. Thanks for checking.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #7

Thanks for participating in the discussion, Harvey. My thinking is that if you want to produce video for your business and you don't have the vocal skills to pull off a compelling message, then pay someone to do the voice-over. If that's not an option, then just rely on captioning. If you have a nice visual, that works very well.

Harvey Lloyd

5 years ago #6

Tough review but your honesty was pleasant to hear in such a flowery world. Video is a tough medium, you engage 30% of the brain with the eyes, throw in the ears and you have quite a lot of the brain online observing and hearing. Steven Spielberg and others have escalated what it means by great video. This is your audience. They are willing to compromise to some level but they are compromising from Star wars not the latest episode of Leave it to Beaver. If i could be so bold. Audio has become very cheap to produce these days. For less than 500 bucks you can have a audio studio. Its well worth the expense if video is medium you wish to penetrate. Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards was very inspirational a few months back with his post of prototyping to add visual expectations to a presentation. We render services not products but has really changed how we present in our videos. Prototyping if we bend it a little is what i saw as the difference between the two videos offered in this post. The slides were informative but not engaging, the comparison video offered prototyping styled visual aids that made the words come alive within the graphics. Voice inflection is something i am challenged with. It's a practice thing and heavy feedback from listeners. I really have to engage my mind in the benifits and the need of the product service and speak like you can't live without it. Role playing i guess. But i am all about the information. When i comes to selling the sizzle instead of the steak, i fall way short in the voice area. This was a great exchange of online collaboration. Thanks for each for sharing at this level.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #5

Good policy, Pascal!

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #4

General rule of thumbs: videos need to be sick sleek or I think there should not be broadcasted, same of FB directs or similar you can do more damage than good by channelling a half baked thought or a badly rehearsed demonstration. Personally I stay away from them unless some pros are involved :-)

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #3

Thanks Paul. My next post will have more written content. Yes, closed captioning should really be added to all videos, including mine because you don't always want the audio, and what about making things accessible for the hearing impaired? They buy things, too. Good point about the 140 seconds for Twitter video.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #2

Scott Leckie, sorry, buddy.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

5 years ago #1

Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards I know you will have something to say about this post.

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