You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”
In the case of the majority of speaker marketing videos, it’s true!
According to research by VCC and Tagoras, meeting professionals consider the speaker marketing video the most important sales tool available. More than a book, social media presence, blog or one sheet.
Note: this post is about meeting professionals using speaker marketing videos to hire that speaker. Not videos used to market the conference or event.
Get The Popcorn, It’s Speaker Video Friday
In one of my previous jobs, I used to receive 30-60 speaker marketing videos and proposals a week. Yeah, there were a lot.
At one point, I stopped taking cold calls from professional speakers because it became so overwhelming and annoying. It was just too much. There were too many people vying for a few coveted spots at our ten events.
Once every two to three months, my team would gather for Speaker Video Friday. We would spend the entire day watching as many videos as possible…as quickly as possible.
We would stop for lunch and talk about the worst videos we’d seen. We even made fun of them. Then we’d come back and have popcorn while we watched the remainder of videos.
How long did we spend watching each video? Max, three minutes. Then we’d do thumbs up or thumbs down vote.
We had it down to an art and could tell very quickly whether we thought the professional speaker would resonate with our audiences. Typically we could tell within 30 seconds whether the speaker had the delivery style that we wanted. We were not as concerned with content at this time.
We rarely, if ever, watched the entire video. We were thrilled when the video had a “table of contents” so we could jump to where we wanted in the video.
Once we were finished, we dumped all the videos in the trash.
Every once and a while a speaker would captivate us and we would watch as much of their presentation as we could. That was rare though and happened less than a dozen times during my seven years on that job.
Did poor lighting or audio annoy us? Rarely. We weren’t looking for professionalism. We were looking for authenticity.
Speaker Video Fails
Here’s a list of the things that we hated about speaker marketing videos.
1. The In-Your-Face-Here’s-Why-You-Need-Me-Speaker
It’s like the bad used car sales advertisements. Every ten seconds a new “Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am” reason to hire this speaker popped on the screen. It was nothing but a poorly edited fast paced pitch of how this speaker would make your audience swoon.
Our response? Not a fat chance! Listen, we hear your theme song, “Desperado.”
2. The Direct Fireside Chat
Reminiscent of the Presidential fireside chats, the speaker would look directly into the camera and launch into one of her presentations followed by why we should hire her. It came across flat, insincere and like a bad sales push.
Our response? You must fail a lot if you are afraid to show us a real presentation in front of an audience.
3. The Podium Evangelical Yell
I don’t like it when a preacher yells at me at church, why would I like it when you yell at me in a presentation? When a speaker works him or herself into an emotional frenzy, there’s a deeper issue at hand. And you showcased this in your marketing video?
I’m not sure why speakers think that raising their voice provides emphasis and gets heard. It actually does the opposite and makes us question if you are sane.
Our response? Trash it!
4. The Faux Speaker Pose, Smile And Point
Also known as let me cross my arms, turn my head and look at you in the camera pose. YUCK!
Are we watching a national dog show? Stand, smile and point.
Really? Come on. Show us who you really are when you are on stage and off. We don’t want to see your stage persona, as if you are acting. We want to see transparency, authenticity and the real you. If your presentation includes a character, that’s different.
Our response? If you act like that on stage, do you act like that in real life? We’re assuming you do because that’s what you showcased. Pass!
5. The Who’s Who That’s Hired Me List
When the video highlights a laundry list of who’s hired you in the past, we dump you. If you lead with your hired list as a way to show credibility, we automatically dislike you. Save the list for the end of the video, if at all.
Oh and by the way, we are calling two or three of your references to see if they would hire you again. If the answer is no, you’re out.
Our response? Leading with references says you must be really proud of yourself. We’re not!
6. The Slick, Jazzy, Infomercial That Actually Feels Slimy
These videos are slick and professional. They show just the right clips….when the speaker makes the audience laugh, when the audience stands and applauds, when the audience is sitting mesmerized by the speaker’s words and more. It’s nothing but a poorly done trailer of the high points of the speaker’s presentations.
Our response? Where’s the beef? Why all the editing? Why can’t we see a real presentation? Not a spliced and diced edited version to show off your buzz words and audience’s reactions. Must be all you got. Dump it.
If you hire professional speakers, what turns you off in their marketing videos? What do you normally look for in the speaker marketing video?