Video is a story-telling medium, so first get your story right.

Recently, I’ve been fortunate to spend several evenings at Communitech (a public-private innovation hub for the Waterloo Region tech community.)  Between attending workshops and sitting on a discussion panel, I have been given a lot to think about when it comes to video storytelling and its use in branding and corporate communication.


As a voiceover actor, video (and its narration) is a big part of my business model, so it turns out that I have quite a lot to say on the subject.  Most if it boils down to making genuine emotional engagement with your desired audience.  That has to be your paramount priority.  People will tell you that video is currently “the king”; but a sincere engagement with your audience is forever “the queen”. And Her Majesty rules the board, regardless of which medium is currently popular (if you think video is hot, just wait until AR comes into its own.)

Mark Ladouceur, Greg Campbell, and Graham Yeates address a Technical Communication P2P meeting as a “Using video content for technical communication” panel.

First things first; who is your intended audience?  Knowing who you want to reach, will inform all the choices you make, so be as clear and specific as possible.  Video has a relatively short lifespan, unlike an editable document, and once completed it is somewhat static.  So don’t be afraid to make them as personalized to the intended audience as you can.  The more personalized the video, the greater chance for emotional engagement with your audience.  And you can always make more videos for those other audiences.


Next, have a clear idea of what your goal in the video is; again being specific at this point is key.  Do you want a general introduction of your products/services to people that have never before heard of you or your company?  Or do you want to answer a specific question of your already existing customer base?  Will this video be gated to gather email addresses for a mailing list?  Is this a twenty-minute eLearning module?  These are all very different videos, so choose wisely.


When writing your video’s script (even if only in bullet points), never forget that this will be read aloud.  Your script drives all the visuals in the video; treat it like a speech, not a blog entry.  Read it aloud repeatedly as you write and edit.  Keep it conversational.  Avoid unnecessary jargon.  Watch out for unintended tongue twisters.  When timing it, allow for natural breathing and make sure you’re not rushing.


An audience is more forgiving of bad visuals than bad audio, and bad audio starts with a bad script.  All of this planning should happen before you even start to storyboard your video, much less pressing Record on your camera.


– Graham A. Yeates

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