092. Idea – Expanding Industry Knowledge with Video Transcript
You know Chris, I have a saying right here on my desk, it says, if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself. And I know a lot of people have heard that or said that maybe, but to us, that means, if you can simplify the message to a six-year-old, then you can explain it to anyone from six to 106.
Welcome to EECO Asks Why, the podcast that dives into industrial manufacturing topics, spotlights heroes to keep America running. I’m your host, Chris Granger. And on this podcast, we do not cover the latest features of benefits on products that come to market instead. We focused on advice and insight from the top minds of industry because people and ideas will be how America remains number one in manufacturing in the world.
Welcome to EECO Asks Why today we have an idea episode and we’re going to be talking about expanding industry knowledge with video and walk us through this we have Dan Carnovale, who is the Power Systems Experience Center manager at Eaton. So welcome Dan.
Hey, thanks, Chris.
How are you doing today?
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.
Absolutely. You guys are just absolutely crushing it with your videos. Every time I go on LinkedIn, it seems like lately, and I’m seeing one of your videos out there on a new topic, and I just think it’s doing a phenomenal job. So I’m excited to have this conversation with you.
Well, thanks we’re having a lot of fun with it.
Absolutely. You began really pushing a lot more educational video content out there that’s really helping the industry across the board. So maybe get us started. So why do you think it’s important to make this shift to help others via this means?
Chris, I think the main thing is, and we learned this through the Experience Center where I work is that, obviously people are visual learners. So anything that we can do visually is ideal and as the number two search engine is YouTube. So if we’re looking for something important, we’re going to go to Google probably and then YouTube. Video really works well. And the content that we’re explaining some of the more complicated ones that we’ve put out recently, like reactive power or even current transformers, medium voltage switch gear, those kind of things, they can get pretty complicated. And then the other part of it is the industry is really shifting to this, through this energy transition.
And I think the things like the renewables and micro grids, things like that, that are being installed, that the understanding of how the power flows through those pieces of equipment and systems gets pretty complicated. So video makes it really tangible and with right B roll and background, pictures and other little video and animation clips, it really can be explained in a really succinct way.
No doubt. I think it’s become even more important Dan with COVID and the way that, everybody’s they can’t travel anymore. Speaking to the folks that can’t get around and how are you creating that virtual experience for them? And when you’re designing this video, what’s most important?
We’ve been doing videos, really in three basic categories.
One is the, I’ll call them more highly produced videos or professionally done videos. And when we do those. With a company out of Virginia called Metro Productions. And they’ve been our partner for more than about 10 years to do. We’ve done probably more than a hundred videos with them on different things like transformers and reclosers and solar and that kind of stuff.
They’ve been a great resource for us on the web, but also to supplement like our in-person training. So even before COVID like, I would create a video maybe on power quality or surge protection. And if I was teaching a class on power quality, I might pull out that video and use like some of the clips out of that video itself.
In the past year, we’ve also so done a tremendous amount, with COVID we’ve done a tremendous amount of virtual type events. So we’ve done anything from five minutes to eight hours and honestly we’ve done pre recorded stuff. We’ve done live stuff. We did a training class, one of the more interesting ones was for a class for a power systems, power quality class for a group of students in India.
And they were 12 hours difference in time and we did it virtually live. So that kind of thing was pretty cool. And then we’ll typically record those and post them so that they can watch them afterwards as well. And then the third part in saying that you’ve probably been seeing more on LinkedIn recently are these short videos that we do just on different pieces of content. One of the recent things we did was we did a frequently asked questions on harmonics and I posted, I think, 27 videos on that, anything from line reactors to face shipping transformers, things like that, but we have another 50 or so in our pocket that we’re going to work through and film.
And we found that those kinds of videos that are not the overly, highly produced ones are really effective as well. So we’re trying to balance. Those three levels of videos and production and give them to people that really can consume that content,
No doubt, for that second level, is that all in-house on with you and your team directly outside that production company?
Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve outfitted our rooms with fixed cameras that we can use. And then we’ve we have a mobile cart. It’s interesting cause it’s mobile, it’s very heavy, but it has couple ups is on, we have cameras with ups. We can literally completely detached from everything’s wireless.
And we can follow around through our substation, the micro grid and all the way down through the rezzi room. Really give a full-blown tour of the experience center and it’s been great. But about Erik Hurd who works here and Santino Graziani, and they on the other side of it really to help be the production with them.
That’s very cool, man. And you mentioned, I think you said what he has 50 other topics that are in the background right now. I’m curious. How do you come up with those topics? Are you getting feedback from previous videos as helping determine where you need to go and what you need to work on?
Yeah, for the harmonics ones, I typically use questions that I get asked a lot of when I do in-person presentations, normal times we get seven or 8,000 people a year through here. So when those people are here, when we have regular groups in, or even when we have the virtual ones, we get a lot of questions.
So we keep track of those. And our team here will have brainstorming sessions and go through the kind of the frequently asked questions and talk about them, and we have a master list that we add those questions to so that we keep track of them. And then we film about 15 or so of the professional ones every year. And so they’re like, we’ll do five of them. We’ll be doing five in March on residential type, discussion for contractors and people like that. And then we’ll do the shorter ones in between kind of more off the cuff. And I don’t know if you saw recently the one we did on the fan wall, but Santino had just created a fan wall was a tic-tac-toe thing.
So we did that one and that was, more like just a quick one, but again, those are the ones that we would record and then. Because somebody had a question about it then do some editing on, but some of the most fun we’ve had when we’re sitting around trying to create these things is really coming up with the ideas.
So the over current protective device games, one, for example, when Tom Domitrovich ,and Eric and I were sitting around me and we’re talking about filming videos on fuses, breakers and contactors. So each of us had, Tom had the fuses cause he works for that division. I had breakers and Eric had contractors.
And then it became like a competition. Mine’s better than yours kind of thing. And Tom’s what if we had the over current protective device games, and we could compete in like the little animation thing. So all of a sudden we just, it was just so fun cause we were talking about things like, that we never thought we would address, but then honestly, like the story that came out of there was really relevant and how each piece of equipment works.
Yeah. You guys are making it fun. I think that’s what I got from that. That one video series you mentioned that was just a fun one to watch.
It was educational, but you could tell, you guys are having a lot of fun while you’re doing it. I think there was another one I saw with Eaton about like a game show around PLCs?
PLC one. Yeah. That they had a lot of fun with that one as well. And they got a lot of and then they had live sessions after that.
And what’s good with those ones was that they actually had, the content that they built and had little learning episodes. Even though it was fun and there was a learning piece in there, and then they had a Q and A session after that, and they had, it was really well attended 30,000 people attended or something like that.
So there’s lots of stuff that you can do, to do these short little learning things and then make them into something bigger.
No doubt. And you already mentioned that you’re seeing where some videos do better than other. What metrics are you measuring? How do you know what’s working and that you’re reaching that you’re the target audience that you’re going after.
And that’s a great question. Obviously metrics that people think of with videos is views. So when you go on YouTube and you see the number of views, Everybody would like to have the 3 million view kind of number on there. And that’s definitely one of the metrics that we look for, but ours, any part anywhere near that yet, we’re hoping to get somewhere near, in the hundreds of thousands, eventually with some of these, but we’re.
Yeah. Some of them like the CT video, current transformer video, that has 50 or 60,000 views. And it’s been out less than a year. What we’re trying to do is try to get views, but also try to get the right people to find these. So our target now is to really get to make them again, a learning thing for the people that need this information.
So if it’s on, reclosers obviously it’s a targeted audience, with people in the utility industry and people that are setting up these systems. But also, maybe from a from an understanding of, who needs to understand how a recloser operates, maybe the hospital, that’s trying to understand why the lights were blinking and stuff like that.
But of course we take the feedback from LinkedIn or YouTube as constructive criticism, and we’re always trying to make those better. So our metrics are ongoing. And we’re always trying to like, enhance to make them better each time. And when we get a lot of, “Hey, don’t try to be too goofy,” and sure that’s fine. Some people say be more goodfy.
Yeah. You gotta have fun with it. Cause I you’re also trying to ask for what I get a lot from your videos is you’re encouraging people to come to industry. And if you reach that next generation with some funny antics or things like that, Hey, that’s that’s just, I just think it’s a good, it’s a good strategy.
And hats off to you. I am curious, COVID shifted everything. We’re on teams. We’re on zoom all the time. Now people’s cameras on, but being with your camera on in the teams meeting is a little different versus being comfortable in front of a camera for that, you’re making a video along, and you’re fortunate you have the face video.
I have the face radio, so
I don’t know about that, but yeah,
So how do you get everybody comfortable being in front of that camera, man?
The funny thing is some people will never be comfortable. When you think about it, it’s just, it is what it is. And you have to deal with that.
But you also have to think about so let’s say we were creating a video on a specific application. And I’ll say that in a way that, it’s important that we talk about applications, maybe not so much specific products. So if I’m going to do an application on a circuit breaker or something, I might take somebody from the circuit breaker division or the transformer division to do theirs or whatever, if they’re not comfortable on it we’ll coach them through and we try to make it fun for them.
The group that we work with to do the produced ones. They are really good at making people relax in front of the camera. It’s very low stress. We’ll use a green screen if we need to and stuff like that, and really try to really make it more relaxed. But I think for my team personally Santino, Erik, Arianna the people that you’ve seen in some of these videos multiple times.
When you think about it after one or two times, I think it becomes pretty good. And I’ve felt that myself I feel like I’m getting worse rather than better, but some of them are getting a lot better. So I let them do more. But it’s funny, when I first started doing them, everybody hates to see their first cut of the video and I was like, “Oh God, do I, did I really do that? Or say that or act that way on the camera.” The advantage that we have here though, I think we do training in person. Oh, every day or the year when we’re here. And so basically a lot of what the videos are, is just a repeat of the stories that we’re telling, the things that we’re doing here.
So it’s a very comfortable and natural thing for us. And I think that helps a lot.
No doubt. For me, it’s just reps, first started the podcast and I was nervous just going through the question, the format, but the more reps you get at anything, I think the better we get.
So just that. That reps being in front of the camera and just being comfortable. And then the nerves go away, plus you always know if it’s terrible. And I have to, I’ve had that feedback from our marketing team before too. You can always just redo it, so that, that is out there.
How about, you mentioned something that I wrote down you focus on applications, not products.
And I think that’s probably one of the most salient pieces of advice to that work, because that’s definitely where we’re at with a lot of our content that we’re trying to create. It’s not about the product. It’s about the problem we’re trying to solve. Any advice that you would have for others that are wanting to try to find ways to support industry that you’ve learned along the way.
Yeah, I think that’s a key one. Again, I’ll reiterate that, which is basically, if you put a product video out your team will watch the video, your company will watch the video. They’ll give it all great marks on all the YouTube and LinkedIn and all that. And but when people that are trying to use that product are looking for it, they’re not looking for it as the product itself.
They want to see how it’s applied. They want to see what works, what doesn’t work, how it works with other stuff. So that’s a big point, but there’s a lot to share here. I think there’s the best advice that I can say this, if you’re going to do a video is if you’re going to do a video, you have to have a hand in the writing or at least editing of the script because you want to be able to use the words that you have in your mind or or what you want to say, because really I’ll ask my team to take the ones now that they intend to record and I’ll work to edit the story, put it together. But I used to actually write all the scripts and then, like they would come and they say can I say it a little differently?
And it would become out a lot more natural if it’s your own words. Frankly, it’s more believable when you do that. So I think that’s number one. The second thing that I would focus on is like, when we started, we used to memorize everything and I just, I kept telling him, the guys from Metro, I’m like I don’t believe in teleprompters.
I don’t think it looks as natural and all this kind of stuff, but honestly, I’m a huge believer now. The reason I am is because it takes a lot of the stress out of you and it also you don’t get that roll back in your head, “what was I going to say,” like your, I, eyes always come off the screen and you’re literally trying to read it out of your brain.
But honestly, the really good teleprompter operators are key, right? So you can have a teleprompter and do a horrible job at it. But if you have somebody that really knows what they’re doing and this is probably one of the learning lessons goes back to how do people get comfortable? We teach them how to use a teleprompter, and you probably know that’s one of the harder things to do.
But if you have somebody who knows how to run it and you’re not chasing them there, they’re following you the right way. It works really well. The third thing I’ll say is make it the right length and I can tell you that there’s everybody to ever talk to and they say your videos are too long or, you shouldn’t do a video more than two to five minutes because nobody will ever watch it. And then I show them we’re getting views on them. And here’s why it has, if it has the right content, people will watch them. Any of the electrical videos that I’ve found that I watch, personally from contractors or from electric boomerangs, other guys.
I mean they’re 10, 20 minutes long, but they’re teaching something. So if you’re learning something and you’re engaging, the right length will come naturally, it doesn’t have to be this length or, too long or too short. The fourth thing I’d say is get somebody who’s done it.
And I think it goes back Chris, to your point where you said, you got some feedback and said, “Oh, I should redo this.” Don’t focus on perfection because you’ll never get there. So start getting them done refine, refine until you get the right recipe, once you do that, then I think you’ll find that that there’ll become a lot better videos.
And then finally breaking the video down at, 25% of the work is having a solid script. So we worked very hard at getting that script, and sometimes we’re writing it the day of shooting, but that’s just more because everybody’s so busy. But the second thing is, 25% is filming and if you have the right crew, the right equipment, everything, it goes smoothly.
Good camera 4k. And we’ll talk about those kinds of things maybe later, but 50% is really in the editing and B roll and the extra pictures and the equations, the texts, the stuff that really, goes on screen and the stuff that really tells the whole story that fills in the detail.
If we don’t have that done like we do three major iterations on every video, the highly produced ones, I’ll say. And if we would show somebody the first cut, they would say it’s horrible, and I think it’s not great. But what we do is we wait until we get to the point where we know that the right stuff’s in it.
And then you show, how it looks, but you have to have the right vision to know what it looks like at the end, before you can get there. So that those are some of the main things that I would say if someone’s going to try to do these videos
Man that’s great stuff. This stuff that we’re learning right now scripting having your subject matter experts have a big piece in that scripting is important, and you’re right.
Cause that can set a good pace and it makes sure, the video goes where it wants to go, but there were just some really excellent areas right there. I don’t worry about length either. Dan, I think the length is what it is. If you’re providing meaningful content, if that’s you managed or if there’s 30 minutes so long, if it’s helping serve someone to me, that’s what it’s all about.
I am curious because I got a chance to go to the experience center and you guys have some just, it blows you away when you’re up there. But with what I can remember the most that were all the analogies, the visual aids, you have something like that water graph thing on the wall to show us how power works.
How do you come up with these ideas and really tie that to information that helps people.
You know, Chris, I have a saying right here on my desk. It says, if you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself. And I know a lot of people have heard that or said that maybe but to us that means, if you can simplify the message to a six year old, then you can explain it to anyone from six to 106.
Let’s say we use the surge demo as an example where we blow up the light bulb. I can turn on the light bulb, plug in a surge strip. Put 7,000 volts on it and the light bulb stays on. Then I take the surge protector off and I do the same thing and the light bulb blows up.
And so a six year old can understand that. Now, if it’s a, very technical engineer and they want to understand, the ins and outs and surge protection, we can go on and talk about it for three, four hours after that. But we start there with the demos. So that’s probably. Why we start with the simplification of the demos that a water analogy, one, the, the demos that we build out of fun frankly, are the most, most interesting because, you get some like the water analogy we started from a squirt gun story, that we talked about and you say, every time you pump up a squirt gun, you build up pressure and, pressures like voltage, and then you pull the trigger and you get current, we said every time we tell that story, every time people come in, why don’t we just build an analogy like that? And we build it on the wall and it was really cool. And then the pump storage demo we built out of the microgrid discussion where you talk about pump storage from utility system, a Lake at the top of the hill and a lake at the bottom of the Hill and those kinds of things.
And then the one we talked about earlier, the fan wall, we needed a three-by-three fan matrix or fan wall. And we were looking at it. We’re like, “Hey, that looks like a perfect tic-tac-toe board.” So we got to, a few lights and next thing we ended up having a little demo based on that, but that’s honestly, Chris that’s like some of the most fun is dreaming up these things.
It really feels like you’re really allowing yourself to be pretty creative and then flows into the videos that we created around them.
I love it, man. I think it’s great. And also loves, I’ve seen some of your videos. I believe you have your daughter involved with some of them. Is that right?
Yeah. Kendall. She was in the water analogy one. That’s probably still one of my most favorite ones, just because it just was fun with having her in there. And actually, all my kids have been in one of the videos or the other along the way. So yeah, it’s been fun.
That’s cool, man. That is so cool.
And how about for the technical listener out there who wants to get started and really start creating more of these types of videos to help people. Any tools, processes, things that you found helpful to, to get going?
Yeah. I Like I said, we use, the professional group to do some of the stuff, but we’ve been doing a lot more on our own. And so when we do our own, we use Adobe premiere pro for like our own editing and stuff like that. And if you’re using iPhone or something, some of the phone cameras are awesome. And so you could really do well, but I will tell you, this kind of thing, and you can see that on there, a gimbal or like this kind of gimbal.
Those things are invaluable. I For a hundred dollars or $200, you get really good quality. As far as walking around and making sure your camera’s not bouncing. Cause those things just become a distraction. And the last thing you want to do is what I’ve found by doing this for a long time is the more distractions you have in the videos, the more complaints you get about this or that, or whatever.
And people are quick to just judge you based on, what you did wrong, but the fact that you created something is just so try to do it the best you can. I think teleprompter I mentioned that earlier just large printed prompts, you should have something in front of you to be able to figure out what’s going on.
And it’s really more important. So you don’t leave something out, especially if you’re talking about a very specific thing and you say I didn’t want to leave that particular part out. Like some of the notes that I wrote up for today, I want to make sure that I hit certain things, to make sure that we didn’t leave things out.
I would say use a microphone, always. Sound is super important, and it can make or break it just like the camera bouncing around then there’s again, inexpensive microphones that you can hook up to almost any camera. You won’t be, you won’t be disappointed if you have a little bit extra in and you can blend some of this stuff with Adobe and things like that to make it better.
I think when you’re in the editing process and you miss something in recording, that’s probably one of the worst kind of feelings. Cause now, you have to go back and think about how you created all that stuff. So thinking ahead about what you’re going to do is really the technical part that I would most guide people to is planted out so that, they don’t miss things and things along the way.
No doubt. We use premier pro ourselves and I know for that’s a great software platform. I am curious on the promotion of your videos. Do you guys use any software to help promote, like through your social pieces or is that done through marketing?
Our marketing group, which I’m somehow attached to and in a good way. So we actually are able to promote through our marketing group, through our PR thing, social media, through Eaton pages and stuff like that. So, we do our own promotion through, as you’ve seen a lot of stuff on LinkedIn and everything.
And then some of the other pages that we do with video content. We post through our social media channels. Software wise I am not sure exactly, what they’re using specifically to do that, but we use Brightcove internally to house our videos, which is our internal method of, like mimicking what’s on YouTube.
But basically it’s been great, hosting the videos internally and externally. And when we do something quick, the nice thing is that we can post it quickly on our own with a big company. A lot of times it takes, there is a process behind posting things.
So we want to, when things need to be timely, we were allowed to post on our own personal LinkedIn things or whatever. And that’s the way I do it.
That’s cool, man. That is very cool. So what’s been the most fun, like you look back at all of it. You can get so much videos you’ve done. What stands out?
Yeah. You mentioned it earlier, but I think the water analogy is probably the most fun, here’s Santino, who’s a PhD student in kind of a long-time intern working here. And my then nine-year-old daughter Kendall, and his goal was for him to explain, starting with the squirt gun analogy, how does electricity work?
And, so if you haven’t seen it at the end, basically, you go through and, Santino explains all the different parts, resistors, voltage owns law, this and that, whatever. And in it Kendal, just” okay yeah, it makes sense, makes sense to me,” kind of thing. But at the end she also does gymnastics.
So we’re like at the end, why don’t you do a Cartwheel? When you’re done with Cartwheel flip over, get the squirt gun and squirt Santino on the face. And she was like, I could do that. So what you didn’t know though, when we were making the video to make it really dramatic, we actually had, three of us there with squirt guns.
So when she was squirting him, we were just drenching him with the squirt gun. So it made it so much more fun. But, Honestly, even since then, we’ve done things with like dinosaurs and they the maintenance video, hospital scenes, hockey practice, zoom meetings on the recent kvar video.
That, that was fun. Cause everybody’s stuck on the zoom meeting. So we did the kvar one with the zoom meeting at the beginning and even had Erik on mute, talking and, Santino was like, Erik, you’re on mute, take yourself off and be like, so there’s so like again, it just needs to be natural and that’s the part, So it’s now part of the challenge, that we have and, writing descriptions come up with a really creative theme.
And it’s not always just about being funny. It’s sometimes you’re just trying to create something, creative, so
No doubt. The creative part is what you guys are just doing a phenomenal job of. I remember the the Jurassic Park one, that was just so funny, man, but it was a great piece of educational content. It just, it had that piece to it that just was very entertaining.
Cool man. Well It’s been a lot of fun, man. I think you helped a lot of people out there through this conversation think through how they could use video. And we call it EECO Asks Why, we save the why to the end. And so if you, if the why behind educational video, why do you think that is?
Why do you think that’s going to make such an impact on others that want to learn and come to this industry?
Chris, if I think about it, we’re all in the same boat, right? So if you’re you live in a world where if your lawnmower is broken or if you’re laying under your car, how many times have you ever been like laying under your car?
Trying to move the oil drain plug. And you keep looking at it is that the oil plug or is that the transmission fluid? And you’re like, I should probably look that up. So you’ve got to YouTube, you find it. And then, a couple minutes later you’re like, okay, that’s the right one. Yeah.
Cause I know people that have done the opposite and it’s always be like, Oh crap. But I’d say in the electrical industry, we’re losing our mentors left and right to retirement. That’s the key, right? So when you think about we have to train the next generation. And, they are trained.
They learn by visualization. There they’re multitasking. They’re doing all kinds of crazy stuff all the time from the internet. Like I’ve had tons of interns here and so many times I’ll be sitting there talking to an intern and they’re looking down at their phone, and I’m asking them a question and I’m like so distracted by them looking at their phone, but here’s the problem with that. Is They’ll literally pull out the answer to the question I just asked them that might be a pretty complicated thing, but they’re looking it up while they’re talking to me and answering it, and so that’s the way they learn. So I think we have to think about why they’re learning that way, how they’re learning and how we’re going to supplement that, to make sure that that, like the first couple of times it happened to me, I almost lost my mind.
I was thinking it’s a lack of respect, but that’s the reality is that’s how they learn and, multitasking and stuff like that. The, the most recent series that we’re working on. I think in this kind of goes to the Y also is for underprivileged kids. So we’re working with these, this group called M-PowerHouse in Pittsburgh, th the guy there, Terry Smith he’s been a great kind of friend of the program here, like for the Experience Center.
He’ll bring in eighth graders to, kids in high school that are usually from, some of the areas in Pittsburgh where these kids have doesn’t, they don’t have anybody that’s ever gone to college, in their family. So this is a new thing for them to really experience something around a technical industry and the STEM programs and stuff like that.
So we’re happy to work with them. And the why also is to really give them a sense of, they could be an electrician or an engineer or somebody in the STEM field or somebody even that just works in a facility that makes solar panels or could, perhaps, do accounting for a firm like Eaton, and so really to have that knowledge and that understanding of what’s out there.
Is why we’re doing these videos. So the next five videos that we’re going to put together for them are really gonna highlight what’s available in the electrical industry and why these kids might want to consider that so that they can go out and make a good career and a good living at it. And really, we need to do that for the next generation or we’ll have a problem.
We will. You guys are doing a great job, Dan and thank you so much. We’ll put for the listeners out there links to all the areas to reach you Dan. To go to the Experience Center, check those things out, but definitely the YouTube channel and any different areas that you want to share. We’ll make sure those in the show notes for sure.
Great. Thanks. Thanks a lot, Chris. We really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you today.
This has been a lot of fun. Thank you, Dan. Thank you.