Better asynchronous communication with Loom
Remote work is now a cornerstone of the workplace, and working remotely without clear communication is a nightmare. So how do you level up the self-assessed 10/10 communication skills that you put on your resume? I would recommend you try a tool like Loom.
What is Loom? Loom is a product that allows you to record quick video messages of your desktop and camera. It’s as simple as clicking record and sharing a URL. Then, from the link, people can watch your video and comment on their own time.
What I create Loom’s for
- Sharing status updates
- Design feedback requests
- Stakeholder updates
- Team education
- Engineering hand-offs
- Fun pick-me-ups
- New teammate welcome videos
Why I love using Loom
- It prevents unnecessary meetings
- It saves time
- It gives others insight into my work and process
- It opens up the door to share early and ‘messy’ work
- It provides a simple way to voice-over work
- It is inclusive. It works around schedules and timezones
- It invites collaboration
What makes a great Loom video?
They are short and consumable
In my experience, Looms that get the most views and interactions are under Five minutes. Short videos give you time to communicate your ideas while not feeling daunting for your teammates to watch and respond.
They are clear
The person recording the Loom knows what they want to communicate and can articulate it in a way that allows for others to follow along, respond, and provide feedback.
They have a purpose
This goes along with the point above. But the viewer should know why you are sending this Loom. Do you need feedback? Is this just a status update? Are you documenting something?
They are engaging
Looms don’t have to be visual masterpieces, but a great loom will have steady pacing, walk-through content efficiently, and be informative and fun to follow. Don’t just tell, show and tell.
Tips for creating great Looms
Use slides and presentation software to your advantage
If you are trying to drive home an idea, slide decks are your best friend when creating a Loom. They allow you to organize your thoughts and communicate without rambling on.
Note: Rambling isn’t always a bad thing with Looms, but know your audience.
Use the pause button
Loom has a great feature that many folks overlook. Hit the pause button if you feel like you are spinning out of control! Pausing allows you to regroup and collect your thoughts. The pause button can also help break down your video into smaller sections which can be very helpful when creating longer or more complex videos.
Change where your video overlay appears between thoughts
Loom allows you to overlay a video of yourself on your screen, and you can reposition this wherever you want. I have found that pausing between points and moving the position of my video can create a more engaging Loom.
Use the call-to-action button
Loom has a great feature that adds a button overlay at the end of videos. I love to link to the documents or design files I am talking through in the Loom.
Use Loom’s built-in editing
Don’t trash your video and start over when you’ve made a mistake. Instead, take a moment and breath. Loom has simple video trimming built-in. After recording a video you can quickly cut out any moments where you stumbled over words, had a coughing fit, or the UPS person rang the doorbell triggering your dog (this hasn’t ever happened to me).
You are a human. Keep things natural, fun, light, and let your personality come out. Say hello, welcome people to your Loom.
When we are recording ourselves, it may feel that we are coming across over the top. But the reality is a stage or camera will soften a performance. So don’t discount exaggerating a bit; it won’t come across as forced as your think.
Have fun, and be easy on yourself
You don’t have to nail it. The goal isn’t to create perfect videos but rather to improve your communication with the folks around you.
The video platform Wistia has a great article that I’d recommend reading: “The Science Behind Why No One Likes to Be on Camera.”
So click that record button and share away!
I am not associated with Loom and did not get paid for this post. But if anyone from Loom wants to hook me up with some Swag or treats, reach out!