At this point in 2020, we’ve all figured out how to replace in-person meetings. We use Zoom. Great! Article over.

Or not.

We’ve also all been using Zoom so much that we’ve figured out its flaws and gaps. As much as we want to pretend that there’s nothing lost when we hop on a Zoom call, it’s just not the case. A piece of humanity and “realness” doesn’t come through the webcam. (And “Zoom fatigue” is real. More video calls aren’t the answer.)

As we look into a winter where in-person meetings and events are still not coming back, what can we do to bring some humanity back into our meetings?

This article will discuss how we can enhance our Zoom calls with video to bridge some of what’s lost from an in-person meeting. This article is not going to get into job interviews or conference/large events. Plenty has been written already about those topics. I’m going to focus on three specific gaps our clients have been seeing:

      • Recruiting
      • Talent retention
      • Sales/pitch meetings

Recruiting videos

A lot of smaller organizations, be it companies, colleges, or healthcare systems, rely on in-person recruiting. Because those smaller teams don’t have the name recognition or the budgets to compete with the name brands, they sell themselves with their culture and tight-knit teams.

Without being able to bring people into your space to show that off, what’s an organization to do?

A pre-recorded video, when paired with Zoom interviews, can be a great way to express humanity and culture from a team. A great video can capture some of the elusive qualities of a great workplace, such as teamwork and dedication.

A great culture video elicits emotion from the viewer. A pre-recorded video doesn’t have some of the noted downsides of a Zoom call, such as having to stare at someone’s face or nerves about your kid making pterodactyl sounds in the background. It can generate excitement and show off a wider variety of people on your team.

A great recruiting or culture video doesn’t have to be an expensive commercial production, either. In fact, some of the best we’ve seen, like the example above, simply let people talk honestly about their experiences. Something like that can also be shot relatively safely during COVID, because it doesn’t require big crews or people standing within 6 feet of anyone else. With the right support, it could even be shot on iPhones and edited together.

Talent retention videos

Early in the pandemic, we all decided to have Zoom happy hours and other related social events. For many of us, those have tapered off significantly.

As we head into the end of the year, organizations need to think about how they celebrate the year without the traditional holiday party. If you’re planning a virtual year-end town hall, consider opening with a heart-felt video featuring your people.

Think about the video like the opening monologue at an awards show. Since Neil Patrick Harris might not be available to host your event, opening with a video can set the tone you want. Is the focus gratitude? Hope for the future? Celebration, even?

The effectiveness of a video like that is compounded when you show it live, even remotely. Emotions are contagious. We’ve all noticed how much more we laugh out loud when watching a comedy with a group than alone. Watching an inspirational video as a group will leave people feeling more inspired than if they are only listening to prepared remarks.

Think about the video like the opening monologue at an awards show. Since Neil Patrick Harris might not be available to host your event, opening with a video can set the tone you want. Is the focus gratitude? Hope for the future? Celebration, even?

The effectiveness of a video like that is compounded when you show it live, even remotely. Emotions are contagious. We’ve all noticed how much more we laugh out loud when watching a comedy with a group than alone. Watching an inspirational video as a group will leave people feeling more inspired than if they are only listening to prepared remarks.

Sales meeting videos

When you’re doing a sales or pitch meeting over Zoom, an effective video is your wingman — setting you up to look good so you can close the deal.

We recommend opening sales meetings with video. The video can effectively show that you understand your prospects and introduce them to the product. It sets the salesperson up as an expert there to answer questions, rather than someone running through a canned pitch.

There are lots of tools out there now that allow salespeople to create individualized videos for prospects that can be sent out ahead of the meeting as well. Vimeo and Loom are the best options in this space. Sending out a video before the meeting keeps the Zoom call for only the essentials, reducing that Zoom fatigue moment.

Ok, so I’ve convinced you to add more video to your Zoom meetings. I anticipate your next thought is, “Can I even make a video right now amid *waves hands* all this?”

Short answer: yes! We’ve written extensively about how to make a video when you can’t shoot in person and how to do video production safely during COVID-19.

If you want to talk about options, hit us up at [email protected] or find me @hopemorley on Twitter.

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