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This Week’s Video Tip: Using a Strong Video Opening

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By Stephen Schweickart

If you want your on-line video viewers to hang around for more than a few seconds, don’t waste any time getting their attention.

Too often we make the mistake of spending a lot of time on flashy openings or special effects, forgetting that the attention clock is ticking. YouTube’s Creator’s Handbook says it’s better to cut to the chase as soon as possible, preferably with words. Let viewers know fast and up front what the video is about, without forcing them to guess or connect the dots. If possible, you can use a voice-over to open your presentation while your glitzy opening plays in the background.

YouTube also suggests that you include teasers to let the viewer know of topics that will appear later in the video, such as special instructions or items of interest. Experts also say a brief summary at the end helps viewers re-focus on your main message. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, don’t forget to include a call to action, such as leave a comment, mark as a favorite, or share with someone. Using few simple techniques like these can empower your video—and maximize its impact.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit http://vscreen.com.

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