Effective Leadership Communication using Video with Microsoft Stream

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Stream Archive articles.

Originally published by Adarsh Solanki, Program Manager, on Monday, April 10, 2017


Today we are going to learn how to create a “table of contents”-like experience for a video using Microsoft Stream.


Here’s a sneak peak at the experience we are going to create:




One of the primary goals of Microsoft Stream is to enable effective communication from an organizations leadership team to its employees.  More and more, top leaders are implementing town-hall style meetings to conduct corporate communication in a more personable way (without mass emailing), and we are designing Stream to be the ideal place to host these videos.


A large problem with uploading these lengthy town-halls or CEO keynote videos to Stream is the problem of discoverability and user engagement.


This is based on the following rule: The modern user does not watch more than the first couple of minutes of any given video.


Here's some data on how the length of a video affects audience engagement:



Source: Does Video Length Matter (wistia.com)


If your video is over 1 hour long, research shows that less than 25% of your viewers will make it to the half-way point.


This means that unless you can front-load all important topics into 3-4 minutes, the majority of your employees will miss most of your message.


The solution is to provide an affordance to your viewers: let them find exactly what they are looking for by creating a table of contents.


How to make a Table of Contents for your Video in Stream

Today I want to upload Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s March 29 Keynote from Microsoft Poland.

I want to make sure that my colleagues can watch this video to glean the right information, and using Stream there is an easy way to do this.


I can provide links to the exact times when the relevant content is being presented: efficiently directing viewers' attention to the parts that matter most to them.


1. Determine Important Timestamps

The first step is to watch the video and mark down any important points.  Some examples of these:

  • Transitions between speakers
  • Mentions of popular topics/products
  • Beginning of Q/A section vs. prepared content

So I began watching the Keynote video and noting down important sections I saw:




It’s easy to go overboard and annotate every single point of your video, so the key is to remember your audience and break the video into the right conceptual sections to drive user engagement.


Once you have compiled your list of important timestamps, the next step is upload your video to stream and add the relevant points to your video's description.  (Note: if you have already uploaded your video, the following steps work equally in the Edit Video page).


2. Add timestamps to Description

By adding timecodes in HH:MM:SS format to your description, Stream will create hyperlinks that will jump the video player to the exact point you specify.  This makes for a very powerful and easy-to-create table-of-contents experience.


Now from the upload page, while I am adding metadata for my video such as the title, I'll add the following into the description field:

  • 0:00  - Intro by Debbi Hoehn
  • 4:51  - Satya Nadella takes the stage, gives opening comments
  • 5:11  - Microsoft’s Mission
  • 8:36  - Reinvent productivity and business processes
  • 17:33 - Build the intelligent cloud platform
  • 22:47 - Cortana Intelligence for AI Development
  • 30:14 - Create more Personal Computing




Now your viewers can easily jump to the points of your video that you specify, enhancing engagement by making it easier to digest videos regardless of length.


Stay tuned on the Stream Blog for more tips and tricks like this on how to best use Stream to accomplish your organizational goals!


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