Management reports can lack personality. Video can transform your reporting making it more engaging. I’m not talking about the video production standards of Steven Spielberg. Instead, it’s about how you can curate your management reports with voice over to give greater empathy. There might be occasions for customers and investors where you engage with a video production company to take your presentation to a new level. For the purpose of this article, I’m talking about self-made screencasts within your workplace. Traditionally, management reports are mostly text-based including PDFs, PowerPoints and other types of slide decks.
This was exactly how we use to report at Webanywhere. Every Friday by 12-noon managers would email their weekly reports. These reports would then be presented in the Monday management meetings. This meant that a lot of the meeting was consumed with talking through the slide deck. Whilst there were often back-and-forth questions sometimes self-explanatory slides would dominate conversations.
Nowadays we’ve changed our approach. Instead of filing static files on a Friday at 12 noon we now send screencasts. Each manager posts a screen recording at 12 noon on Friday. This gives other managers the opportunity to watch the video on Friday afternoon, over the weekend or first thing on Monday morning before the management meetings.
Screencasting your management reports gives advantages to both the recipients and curators. For example, if you’re the finance controller instead of having to type lots of commentary to your monthly management accounts you can stead do a voice-over. This is actually a lot quicker and for people consuming the management accounts, it’s a lot more informative. I suppose is the difference between reading a book and watching Netflix. There is nothing wrong with reading a book the only thing is most people prefer to watch Netflix.
By the time the management meeting arrives on Monday people are well prepared. The conversation has moved further down the value chain. Instead of death by PowerPoint meetings become more conversational. People are given more time to field questions and give answers.
I often use to say a management report is not completed until a conversation has occurred. Filing a screencast means you are halfway through your conversation before the meeting starts. You are now managing by exception. You’ve consumed the video so you are now thinking about next steps and actions.
People who struggle to understand a particular point can playback videos or ask questions as voice notes before the meetings. Again this can help save times in meetings.
Management reports need to look professional. They should also sound good with screencast delivery. This turns the rhythm of management reports into a more cinematic experience. Just like the cinema archives you can playback your management reports at future dates. This is not just good for compliance and governance it’s great for stakeholder management. Think about the opportunities for listed companies and how they could report back to shareholders with annual reports transformed by screen-casting to the masses. It’s time to add audio to your reporting. It’s time to flip your management meetings and make them more conversational. By and large, if you’re on a live video call and you’re sharing your screen there is an opportunity to go asynchronous with a screencast. The only way to validate the usefulness of screencasts for management reporting is to try it for yourself.