TWIN: The Foolproof Video Plan

 In Comms Hacks

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Last week, I introduced our TWIN strategy, a nearly foolproof way to shoot quick, short, and authentic CEO communication to employees using video. TWIN is a simple storytelling structure that helps you stay on track and focus only on the most essential material, ensuring employees stay informed and engaged. This week’s installment will help you cut the fat and efficiently communicate your message. Now, let’s break it down, section by section, so you can see how it works.

 

If you missed our second article in the Video Like a Boss Series, we dove into the TWIN strategy, highlighting the basic four elements: covering the topic, the what, the impact, and the next steps.

Greeting

Say hello. State your name and title and tell folks where you are. Think of it like the start of a phone call.

Hi, this is Jim Phillips, VP of Sales and I’m holed up in my hotel room for our national sales conference here in beautiful Tallahassee!

Topic

Don’t belabor it—just say what you’re going to talk about up front. Be direct.

I just wanted to share a few things I’ve heard so far at the conference that I thought you’d be excited to hear.

What you’re talking about

Break it down into three (or fewer) points and make it relevant to your audience.

Number one—Elizabeth Markovitz from HR said that we will double in size this year! That means we’re going to have to learn to collaborate like champs. Number two…

The impact

Summarize the main point of the video to help it sink in for your viewer.

Okay, the point is…we’re going to feel some growing pains this year, but that’s because we’ve been doing the right things. Let’s welcome our new team members with open arms and give them a big culture hug!

Next

Don’t try to cram it all into one video. Keep things brief. The less you say, the easier it will be for people to understand and recall what you actually said. Send them off to learn more on their own time.

I wrote a blog post about this in waaaaay more detail. You can find the link on my profile page.

Close

End your video with a strong, clear, and optimistic ending. It’s always best to end on an upbeat note.

Thanks for watching, and I look forward to an exciting and prosperous year working alongside the most talented people in the industry!

Your turn

Create an outline for your video based on this template. This should truly be an outline and not a fully written script. A script is intimidating because you feel like you need to memorize the exact words. If you stick to just an outline, you can ad-lib and your words will come out naturally and seem more authentic.

How long?

We’re often asked for advice about video length. Our answer: Make it as short as possible. How short is that? Based on our experience and trends in online viewing habits, here are our guidelines.

3 MINUTES

Important or serious business topics that require a lot of explanation or backstory. You’ll probably only do this a couple times per year.

90 SECONDS

Your bread and butter weekly video. And 90 seconds is pushing it. It’s absolutely okay to go shorter. Most of your videos will run about this long.

45 SECONDS

The quick update or off-the-cuff reflection. Try to cover just a single idea rather than three points.

Loosening up

After six months, once you’ve mastered the basic format, start branching out. Live event. Unscripted interview. Prepared interview. On the road. Day in the life. Don’t be scared to share a personal story or your own hopes, fears, failures or foibles. Just remember, it’s not about your fabulous life as a boss—it’s about connecting on a personal level and keeping everyone on the same page.

As you get more comfortable on camera and with making these videos on the fly, you’ll develop your own personal style.

 

In the next post, I’ll teach you how to be comfortable on camera, and some best practices to connect emotionally with your audience (employees). And watch our Video Like a Boss webinar for more tips and FAQs from other communications leaders.

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