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July, 2010

Creating In-House Videos

By Michael McKibbin, DC

Imagine you are going to drown, coming up for air the third and last time. You have one sentence left to tell the world your most important message about chiropractic. What will you say?

That sentence could be the foundation of your next video.

Video education has the potential to assist patients to make intellectual decisions about future chiropractic care for themselves and their family members. Your personalized video may help your patients better define your version of chiropractic to ailing relatives and friends.


Do you want to reach a large audience to introduce personalized information that the mainstream media ignores? Could your video be the key to having a full-volume practice composed mainly of decades-long, satisfied persistent maintenance patients? A good script is the first step toward these goals.

Begin with a script concept. The topic of your script can be found in the chiropractic topics that you hear yourself sharing passionately with patients. Which topic fires the greatest response from your audience? That is an excellent starting point as you put together a script. As part of the process, note down the key phrases, key ideas that inspire your passion about the profession. A phrase like "Chiropractic works; it gets results and that is what counts," might seem obvious to you, but can also signal the confidence you have in your skills. Include such ideas in your script.

Can you define your key service in one sentence that patients can use when recommending chiropractic to ailing relatives and friends? What are the terms that you want your patients to have in their vocabulary toolbox to use when educating others about what is uniquely important about what you do? Simple, honest, statements are far more powerful and memorable than complex pronouncements. You are making a video aimed at patients, not peers. Think of your script as a conversation with them, not a speech to other practitioners.

You are also telling a story. Therefore, it should have a beginning, middle and, most important, a memorable ending. It has to be brief. If you were telling this story to a friend at lunch, how would you start it, keep them interested and again, most important, end it with something they will remember.

(Ed. Note: Go through this short article for more tips on scriptwriting. While aimed at businesses that sell products, most of the principles are exactly those that you can use:

Going Into Production

Video production economics closely relate to your hourly income and your active patient practice volume.

If you are a chiropractor with a high hourly earning rate generating top income, you can afford big dollars to hire a video production firm. I have done it on the cheap, however. A patient sold me his professional-quality camera for a bargain price. A new, boxed tripod cost me AU$25. Portable building lights cost about AU$40 a set from a hardware store. Microphones are a must for good sound production. Do not waste money and time on cheap microphones.

Editing the Work

Being a beginner, my editing software started with the simple Ulead Videostudio. It is very time-consuming to become proficient with more complex editing programs than the one I used. I told one patient, a university academic, that I needed to rent a brain. That conversation led me to a wonderful find; a very talented video student named Raphael, whose conversation mainly consists of questions. He brings his own video gear, so we can do two-camera shots. As he is a whizz at editing, I brought him an Apple Mac and he has saved me many hours of editing.

Here's an important piece of advice I got from someone: Rendering your edited video is going to take a lot of computer time. Start it just prior to going to bed. It will be done in the morning."

Casting Your Video

That brings us to casting. Passing generations of patients include many remarkable, unrecorded and unpublished examples of the wonders of chiropractic. When scripting, rehearse several times to ensure that the patient includes all symptoms in the final take. Videos about chiropractic for pets and kids are often best without scripting, as spontaneous pleasures. Ensure that patients sign a release of information form and that they are able to view their video before anybody else does so.

Speaking of patient disclosure, there is a word of caution. Here in my home country of Australia, legislation will soon impose am obligation upon practitioners to report erring colleagues. As far as I can tell, part of this law will require evidence-based validation of claims regarding outcomes. This would include patient testimonials. The new legislation will deny all registered health professionals of their freedom to publish patient testimonials. Under the new law, I will have to remove my patient testimonial videos at some future time, when it comes into effect. This may not currently affect chiropractors working in other countries, but it is something of which to be aware, in case the law changes in your country.

Getting It Out There

Viewers around the world are able to judge our profession via videos about chiropractic on YouTube. Please look and learn from your colleagues. The videos we have listed on our Web site are on YouTube and were provided so that patients could encourage other prospective patients, relatives and friends to view them. However, that project had limited referral success. I then experimented with take-home videos but found that few patients took the time to watch them.

Our practice has a video lounge where new patients may view a series of brief in-house videos prior to each of their first seven visits. My impression of patient absorption of information is that where it has personal relevance they take it on board and are still able to discuss those topics some months after viewing them.

Since the mid 1960's thousands of patients have come and gone regardless of patient workshops and videos. Referrals arise from enthusiasm rather than depth of knowledge. Still, I have not found a common reason why a core remain as maintenance patients.

One of chiropractic's most elusive challenges is finding a single platform that successfully conveys what it is about chiropractic that all should seek to acquire. I remain convinced that video offers the creative geniuses in our profession the opportunity to meet that challenge.

Dr. McKibbin practices in suburban Perth, Western Australia. He has served in all local, state, executive positions except treasurer, been a registration board member and a director on the board of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia.

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