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Episode 35: Video Tutorial Part 2: What to Say in Your Video


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Welcome to Part 2 of the video tutorial series!

If you’re just getting on board now, I want to remind you about our last episode, Episode 34, where we went over all of the nuts and bolts of the technical part of recording a video for Facebook or Instagram. That was Part 1 of this series, and now that we’ve talked about things like lighting, angles and sound quality in video, we’re going to build on that and discuss what to actually say in your video.

It’s great to know how to hold your phone to record a video, and have awesome lighting, but it’s all for nothing if you don’t have anything meaningful to say. When you put some thought into your videos, you can build your audience and your relationship with them – not to mention, it’ll make your time in front of the camera much more enjoyable!

In the last episode of Unlocking Your Nonprofit Potential, we talked about why we all need to get better at video – it’s quickly becoming a vital way to get the message out about your nonprofit and your mission. 

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, as opposed to remembering only 10% when reading it in text, so you have an extremely powerful tool at your fingertips with video. You can introduce people to your organization, and your video can help them retain clearly who your nonprofit is and what you do.

It’s so important to not just slap a video up on your nonprofit’s Facebook or Instagram page – because you can leave the viewer with a bad impression and that’s not the reaction you wanted. 

When you put some thought into it, you can build your audience and your relationship with them and that’s what we’re talking about in this episode.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you know every single type of Facebook or Instagram post, email, or blog post should only have one topic.

It’s no different with video. Before you start recording a video for social media, take a few minutes to sit down and think about that one topic for your video. What is the point of your video? What is the one thing you want people to learn from watching? 

Jotting down some notes ahead of time will help you stay focused in your video on one topic and it will help you remember the valuable things you want to say in your video, too. You won’t ramble.

A little behind-the-scenes trick to help you stay on track with one topic is writing down two or three bullet points or keywords on a little post-it note. Stick the post-it on your phone so you can look at it without breaking eye contact with the camera too much. It’s a handy little trick that keeps you looking natural, and on track with what you want to say – like a makeshift cue card!

Another thing you can do to warm up before you start recording or going live on Facebook and Instagram is to video chat with someone you are comfortable with – a friend or a family member. 

This is a great trick to getting comfortable talking on camera and talking to your phone! Plus, talking to someone you like can release endorphins in the brain, making you feel good. This good mood will continue after your video call ends, making it a great time to record a video.

Click here for my cheat sheet about all the different types of video 

Your personality is so important in a video! Yes, your video is about your nonprofit, but you are acting as the face of the organization when you go live or record a video. It’s important for you to feel relaxed, confident and smile, so getting those positive endorphins going in your brain is going to help you.

The endorphins in your brain aren’t the only bit of chemistry you need to keep in mind.

Studies show that great stories release oxytocin in our brains. Oxytocin is the chemical that leads to feeling bonded with someone or something. This means, when the person viewing your video watches you tell a story, they feel more bonded with you and your nonprofit. 

It makes sense if you think about it. Your friends and family that you share stories with are the people you feel most closely bonded with, right? Parents read to their children and bond through that experience. About 65 percent of our daily conversations have to do with us telling stories. 

If you’re trying to think of what you’re going to talk about in your video, try thinking about how you can tell a story.

If you have a professionally produced video telling the story of someone impacted by your nonprofit, that’s wonderful, but not every organization has that available to them. So, think about how YOU can talk about your organization in the form of a story.

Here’s an example to get you started:

Let’s say your nonprofit is a healthcare clinic – you can share the facts about your organization’s services in the form of a story. Take that deep breath, smile, hit record while you’re still smiling, then:

Say hi, introduce yourself and create some context. I always like to say something like, “Hi, I’m Lauren Creagan, host of the Unlocking Your Nonprofit Potential podcast and I just want to share with you_________________” or something close to that. Say your name, your title and follow it up with an “AND.” Let that “and” lead the viewer to why you’re talking to them. Get to the point quickly though – you don’t have to spill the beans on how long you’ve worked there or what beautiful weather you’re having. Remember, they’re thinking, “What’s in this for me?”

Then, get into the story. Your “AND” could be “and I just wanted to share with you what it’s like when a new patient comes into our office.” As if you are telling a story, walk the viewer through step by step what happens next. By telling them about the experience, you’re storytelling, which is great, and you’re also making them feel comfortable and confident in your services because they can imagine what their experience will be like with your organization.

Keep it short. Until you’re feeling VERY comfortable and you feel dialed into what you have to say, try to keep your videos less than a minute. If you feel good, go longer - but most of the time, you’ll want to go no longer than about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. 

Click here for my cheat sheet about all the different types of video 

Bring it home with a call to action. No matter if you’re telling a story or just sharing information in a straightforward way, always have a call to action with your video. Tell your viewer what to do next – you’re not bossing them around, you’re telling them where they can learn more! Direct them to make an appointment on your website. Sign up for a class. Tell them what to do and how to do it. It’s OKAY to tell people how to take the next step after watching your video – it’s not “salesy”. It’s just clearly sharing information for people who are interested. If you don’t tell them how to take the next step, then who will?

One last thing – don’t get distracted! Take care of all those little things that might happen…Put your phone on silent. Close the door to the room where you’re recording. Put your pets in another part of the house. Things like that…limit interruptions. 

The more times you have to start over, the more frustrated and defeated you’ll begin to feel. So, prepare what you’re going to say, practice, and shut out as much of the outside world as possible.

Bonus tips for you:

Storytelling: Another great way to use storytelling in video is to show your donors how they are making an impact. If you have a conference room table full of donations or things you were able to purchase with donated funds, or if you have new equipment that was purchased with fundraising dollars, tell a story about it. What does their donation do? How is it helping? How has it improved your services? 

Tell your viewers about how people are being helped in your community, or what an improvement their donation or gift has made in the operation of your organization. By sharing this type of story, you are letting your donors know you are responsibly using their dollars, and as a byproduct, letting the people you serve know about your services. 

Another way to leave a lasting impression using video is to show people the “personality” of your organization by letting viewers peek behind the scenes. Let the outside world see your volunteers weeding the flower beds outside your building, assembling care packages, or unloading a car. These types of short, informal videos can help build your nonprofit’s identity and build trust with your viewers. 

Just be sure you don’t overdo it with this type of content – only dip into this pool every so often. Remember, your videos need to be focused on serving the viewer, not focused on yourself and your staff.

Let’s talk about going live on Instagram and Facebook - LIVE, as in you don’t get to edit what you say, what you look like – there is no blooper reel, it’s LIVE. Everything you say and do goes out into the world.

If you are going to go live on Facebook or Instagram, I just want you to be a pro at recorded videos first. Once you can handle recorded videos without messing up, and you feel super comfortable, then try doing a short live broadcast. There are no “do-overs” live.

When I first started in radio, I had a recorded show that would air on my drive home from work. I would listen to that show on my commute and I realized what I needed to edit, and what my strengths were. Try doing that for yourself – watch your own videos and learn from them too. 

Don’t we wish we would be able to turn on the camera and have a wonderful natural presence and a great message? But it’s not as easy as so many famous people and celebrities make it seem. 

It’s work. It takes practice. It’s not going to be perfect right away, but the more you practice, the more comfortable you will become and the better you’ll get. Don’t get discouraged. Just think if you practice in front of the mirror every day for 60 seconds after you brush your teeth, you could become your best self on video before you know it!

It’s perfectly OKAY to never go live and only post recorded videos if you’re not comfortable with it. Recording a video takes the pressure off being live.

Give them advance notice. If you are passionate about going live and it’s something you really want to do, I highly recommend letting people know that you’ll be live days ahead of actually doing it. 

If you want people to watch your live video, it’s best to build excitement around it and build momentum before you go live. Let people know what day and time you’ll be going live, why you’re going live, and if you REALLY want people to show up for it, give something away while you’re live. 

Some great ideas for live content are hosting a question and answer session, where people can ask you questions and yes, you answer them live! You could also try giving a live tour of your facility – if you follow any realtors on Facebook or Instagram, you might have seen this a time or two already. And again, you can give things away during a live session - always a popular option with audiences. 

Here’s what I want you to remember above all – YOU CAN DO THIS! Start by taking one small step and now you have some tips to get you started! 

Take a tiny baby step forward! Try creating a video. Wade into the water, and you’ll find it’s not as intimidating as you think. You will feel comfortable with a little practice. You can do it – and you need to do it. Video is quickly becoming the preferred method of how people are taking in information, especially on social media.

I would LOVE to see your videos! Tag me in a comment on your video post on Facebook or Instagram and I will go watch your video and I promise to be your absolute BIGGEST CHEERLEADER EVER!

If you have any questions – I’m right here for you! Ask away! Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram or send me an email and I’ll happily write you back with an answer!

Do you know what would really make my day? If you left me a review on Apple podcasts or on Facebook, or tell a friend about this podcast. It really does make a difference and it helps more people find this resource.

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