Are You Using Your Ears to See Your Company’s Video Story?

You might not believe this, but video isn’t everything.

The fact is, until you discover your company’s story first, video doesn’t mean much.

One of the secrets to discovering and eventually "seeing" your company’s video story before you produce it is by first "hearing" it.

There are five common ways to imagine your video story through sound:
1.    Interviews

2.    Themes

3.    Hooks

4.    Feelings

5.    Ambiance

The ears have it.

Let’s say you’ve recently been commissioned to produce a recruiting video. You bend over backwards determining what your company’s video story will look like.

Your team begins picturing everything they want to show in the film; the general facilities, people, training rooms, classrooms, call centers, weekly team meetings and so forth.

Then you hit a wall.

You realize seeing the scenes do not tell your story. What do you do? Do what I do.

Forget about the video.

Forget about the visuals. Forget about the scenes. Forget what it will look like.

Think about the sound.

Imaging the sounds you want to hear in your video is a powerful technique that puts you on the road to developing your company’s story or message.

Here are five ways you can "see" your company’s video story by first imagining the sounds you "hear."

5 Ways to See Your Company’s Video Story by Imagining Sounds

#1 - Imagine hearing the interviews
Since interviews are the backbone for most corporate videos, write down phrases or points you are hearing from the interviewees, or "heroes" as I call them, in your film. Imagine hearing the answers to these 11 stimulating questions. Once you capture these ideas, you might be at the heart of your message.

#2 - Imagine hearing the themes
What topics will your heroes talk about if you were to interview them? What themes come up? Customer service? Performance metrics? Mentoring? Training? Culture? Career advancement? See what common themes reoccur to help you decide what to address. You might think about using themes that are less frequently shared.

#3 - Imagine hearing the" hook"

Here are a few questions to help think about your "hook;" the thing that gets your audience to pay attention!

•    What is that "thing" that first made you think you might have an interesting story?
•    Why would someone else care?
•    What unique comments do your customers keep telling you?
•    What myth do you want to crush?
•    Do employees have a common thread in their conversations?

Any of these are signals pointing to your potential hook. The hook is already there. All you have to do to catch it is to keep an open mind!

#4 - Imagine hearing the feelings
An engaging interview can easily capture emotions that are otherwise difficult to share. What emotions do you want to hear? Joy? Frustration? Hope? Inspiration? Confidence?

#5 - Imagine hearing the ambiance
NPR uses atmospheric sounds for business stories better than almost anyone. Their ambient sounds have a "take you there" quality. Pay close attention to the sounds surrounding you. How can you use different sounds to tell part of your story? For example, are there sounds of people teaching one another? Helping one another? Is music  part of your story? Are there mechanical or technical sounds? Animal sounds? Nature sounds?

There you have it. Five simple ways to "see" your video story a bit differently. All it takes is a little imagination!

Also, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, share what’s worked for you, or hit the "Recommend This" button.

P.S. You may find NPR’s book, Sound Reporting: The Guide to Audio Journalism and Production a nice addition to your library.

Veteran filmmaker Thomas Clifford helps Fortune 100's to nonprofits who are stuck, frustrated, losing employees or market share because they can't breathe life into their brand story. He believes remarkable organizations deserve remarkable films. Check out Tom’s full bio for links to his podcasts, interviews and manifestos. Tom produces films with passion and purpose at Moving Pictures, a firm connecting companies and audiences through compelling visual communications.

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  • Ray Drossaert

    Excellent points and if I might add:
    #6 imagine the music: the music tells the audience not only what to think but also what to feel. It elevates the production to an entirely different level. Every hero needs his music theme!