Dig Into the Heart of Your Business Story

Finding your sweet spot with an on-camera communications style is a big deal. But once you find your best format, it’s still important to make sure you’re personal and honest. A large part of my work is getting the leader to personalize their message.

Personal Anecdotes Reel Your Audience In

Let’s say a manager is speaking on camera about her engineering department. She could say, “The engineering department has had a lot of technical challenges to overcome in order to reach our goal on time. This will require meticulous attention to specifications, costs, and schedule.”

But the manager would make a much better connection with the engineers watching the video by putting them in the picture.

She might instead say something like, “I started out as an engineer and learned firsthand what demanding work goes on in the lab. Quite frankly, I was just an OK engineer. But my experience taught me how to spot brilliant, dedicated engineers—and we hired them. I’m excited. There’s a lot of hurdles to overcome on this project, but I know these men and women have the right stuff to get it done on time.”

This kind of response is more from the heart. She’s giving some of herself through revealing new information bout her past. And she’s showing some vulnerability by admitting she might not be God’s gift to the engineering world.

Pull In Pre-Interview Stories During the Shoot

I get the best performance from someone if I’ve spent quality time with them before filming. During these meetings, I don’t usually discuss the questions I’m planning to ask in the interview. Instead, I ask them to tell me some stories about themselves. Anecdotes about their background, how they got into the business, their vision for the future—I’m always hoping to discover what they really care about.

Later, during the interview, I may bring up some of the stories I heard earlier. Instantly, the subject remembers our talk and gives me a great to-camera bite that helps establish their humanity.

Trust and Authenticity: The Podcast

Without trust and authenticity, nobody will watch your video. In this episode of the Leadership in Focus Podcast, you’ll hear from a few of my favorite experts about the role that Trust and Authenticity play in effective video.

Sign up for The Slate: A Twice-a-Month Tip for Using Video to Achieve Your Business Goals.

“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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