Plan a Corporate Video Production with a Subject Matter Expert
When it comes to corporate video production there are many scenarios and video types that require working with a subject matter expert. Training videos and eLearning especially, are often driven by a subject matter expert which makes it essential to be able to work efficiently with one. This is even more prevalent now that so many people work from home.
Communication is Key in Corporate Video Production
Start by establishing a channel and frequency of communication. This is vital when you start working on your script as it will require a great deal of back-and-forth to finalise. There are many modern tools available for collaborating with clients such as Google Drive.
Trust the process
When you start the collaboration process it is important to keep in mind that each person’s role needs to be considered. The subject matter expert is well versed in their subject matter but not necessarily in script writing or video production. As such you need to implement a process that respects each person’s strengths. My preferred process has the following order:
- First Draft – Structure, facts and order (There is no point in writing out a whole script if you do not have your facts and chronology in order)
- Second Draft – Style, tone and theme
- Third Draft – Tweaks and final changes
Corporate Video Tips and Tricks
Tip 1: When criticising a subject matter experts work, it is best to employ collaborative language to ensure you get the most cooperation out of the project. For example: Instead of saying you “Hey, I don’t like this…” say “What if we tried this approach?”.
Tip 2: Justify your inputs. As a subject matter expert you need to assume the person you are collaborating with does not have a background in video, which means you should justify your inputs at all times. At the end of the day, every client wants an effective video, which involves the marriage of multiple disciplines and expertise. For example: If you do not justify writing the script in a style that a voice artist can read, the script will make no sense.
Tip 3: Keep it professional. Sometimes when collaborating with a client you might find yourself sitting and scratching your head at their inputs. The last thing you want to do is get frustrated and respond with one of ‘those’ emails. Once again, stick to the assumption that everyone is an expert at their subject and such there will be misunderstandings and miscommunications. The last thing you want to do in these scenario’s is lose your cool.
Every new video project is an opportunity to learn about other businesses or industries. By respecting each other’s roles you will create an environment that is conducive to collaboration, and that is where the magic happens.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.
Challenges and Solutions in Working with a Subject Matter Expert
Working with a subject matter expert (SME) in corporate video production presents unique challenges that, if not addressed properly, can derail the project. However, with the right approach, these challenges can be turned into opportunities for creating a more effective and engaging video..
1. Balancing Expertise and Creativity
Challenge: SMEs possess deep knowledge in their field but may lack understanding of the creative aspects of video production. This can lead to conflicts over content and presentation.
Solution: Establish a mutual respect for expertise. Encourage the SME to share their knowledge while explaining the creative decisions from a production standpoint. Use examples and case studies to demonstrate how creative elements enhance the educational value of the content.
2. Jargon and Accessibility
Challenge: SMEs often use technical jargon or complex concepts that may not be easily understood by the target audience.
Solution: Work closely with the SME to simplify complex ideas without compromising the content’s accuracy. Utilise analogies, stories, and visual aids to make the content more accessible and engaging for a wider audience.
3. Time Constraints and Availability
Challenge: SMEs may have limited availability due to their professional commitments, which can affect the production schedule.
Solution: Plan the production timeline with the SME’s schedule in mind. Utilise asynchronous communication tools, like shared documents or video messages, to collaborate effectively without requiring constant real-time interaction.
4. Script Approval and Revisions
Challenge: The script may undergo multiple revisions, as it needs to align with both the SME’s knowledge and the video’s creative direction, leading to delays.
Solution: Implement a structured revision process. After the initial draft, categorise revisions into content accuracy (handled by the SME) and creative elements (handled by the production team). This clear division of responsibilities streamlines the revision process.
5. Ensuring Engagement and Retention
Challenge: Conveying information in a manner that is both accurate and engaging can be challenging, especially with dense or technical subjects.
Solution: Use storytelling techniques and interactive elements like quizzes or scenarios to increase viewer engagement. Collaborate with the SME to identify the most critical information and weave it into an engaging narrative.
6. Technical Limitations and Solutions
Challenge: Certain concepts might be challenging to visualise or require specific technical setups for filming.
Solution: Leverage animation, graphics, and simulations to depict complex concepts. Discuss technical limitations early in the planning phase and brainstorm with the SME and production team for creative workarounds.
By addressing these challenges with tailored solutions, the collaboration between video production teams and subject matter experts can become a harmonious and productive endeavour, leading to the creation of high-quality, informative, and engaging corporate videos.
Looking to make a corporate video? Get in touch with our team today!
We are a full-service Web development and Content Production Agency in Gauteng specialising in Video Production, Animation, eLearning Content Development, Learning Management Systems, and Content Production. Contact us for a quote. | Info@soundidea.co.za | www.soundidea.co.za | +27 82 491 5824 |