Funding has come through for your corporate videos. (yay!!) You can now shoot several episodes showcasing your company, products and services.
Everything is coming together. You’ve got your:
This is where many of the best corporate videos miss the mark. In all my years of video work, I see this time and time again. Putting your CEO as your on-camera company spokesperson seems like a natural choice. But 9 times out of 10, it is the wrong choice.
I understand why this is a natural go to. Most of the time, the CEO is the default voice of a brand, could be the person who started the company, and certainly is the person in charge of the company. But all of those reasons do not make an ideal on camera spokesperson.
Here’s why, and what I will share will you is not commonly known which is why, time and again you see corporate videos that somehow fall flat. It is simply because two things were not considered.
Do you ever wonder why some people who speak in front of thousands of people are so good on stage but never have the same impact on video?
Do you ever wonder why someone who has the most unshakable confidence turns into an awkward, tongue tied shadow of herself once the lights (of lights, camera, action) are turned on?
Why does this happen?
When someone is speaking to the camera, there isn’t any human interaction. Quite literally, when a person is on camera, they are speaking to a machine. When you are speaking to a machine, all your instinctive people skills do not apply. All the visual cues you look for in order to react and take in information about whether or not someone is understanding what was said or reacting to it is nonexistent. There is no eye contact back, there is no human feedback.
For someone who needs and thrives on human interaction is placed in a situation where there isn’t any, they are quite seriously out of their comfort zone. And this is why you see them react and act in “out of character” ways. You may think that speaking in front of thousands of people is much tougher than saying a few sentences in front of a camera…but it isn’t really about that.
When someone who is not used being in front of the camera is put in the spotlight, this person needs to consciously recalibrate (usually on the fly). This means they have to adjust their mental, emotional and physical nuances in order to give the best performance that will be the perfect persona and voice to the brand (no pressure). Every notice how it is OK to get away with gestures live in front of an audience that become distracting when viewed on camera?
Recalibrating yourself like this is a tough skill to master. It can be done, but can’t be done on the day of your corporate video shoot. This, like any skill, takes some time and practice to master.
Are you starting to see what I mean?
So, if you haven’t yet let your CEO know you were thinking of them for the spokesperson role, you’re in the clear. I’d suggest you look around the company for someone else. And while you do this, consider whether your next choice for a spokesperson is an introvert or extrovert.
I know there is a lot written these days on introverts and extroverts, but how this applies to on video success may be quite different from what you’ve previously read.
Knowing whether someone is an introvert or extrovert will contribute to your corporate video in the following ways:
Extroverts gain energy from the outer world. People who are high in extraversion tend to seek out social stimulation and opportunities to engage with others. These individuals are often described as being full of life, energy, and positivity. In group situations, extroverts are likely to talk often and assert themselves. I bet this description made you think of someone you work with. Who in your company would you describe as an extrovert?
The Introvert’s focus is placed inwardly towards concepts and ideas. They are focused more on internal thoughts, feelings, and strategies rather than seeking out external stimulation. Introverts tend to think about things before speaking. They want to have a full understanding of a concept before they voice an opinion or try to offer an explanation. While extroverts typically learn through trial and error, introverts learn best through observation. Anyone coming to mind when you hear this description?
Based on the above description, you can see why certain type of videos may be perfect for one personality type and not fit for the other.
For most of introverts, one-on-one with camera is actually not that intimidating (given that preparation has been done prior to shooting). An extrovert, however may not do too well when there’s not much interaction going on in front of the camera.
If you put an introvert into an interview style type of video, he/she may likely be the best person asking intelligent and thoughtful provoking questions, while an extrovert will probably a champion in answering questions off the cuff in a smart, funny way. From the examples above you can see how a corporate video format should be catered to the personality of the person you have in mind, or better yet find the right person for your chosen format.
When there is a perfect fit for the video, and consideration for the spokesperson’s extrovert/introvert tendency, it is virtually guaranteed that your video will look and feel authentic and polished.
When you arrange for the best type of video format to fit your spokesperson’s natural talents and comfort level, the struggle to be “on” in front of the camera will no longer exist.
Instead your spokesperson will feel comfortable and in their natural state or flow. This will show up in their on-camera energy and result in a better “performance”. This will now free the person to be able to perform better on camera full of the right energy for maximum delivery of the video message. All win-win. This creates a more sustainable environment for the episodes to continue to evolve in a positive direction for everyone. Everyone, meaning your spokesperson, the video team, your company and your viewers. This is how we get the best work out of people when they’re on-camera.
Video production has many moving parts. If you take the time to think through and consider this key component of your corporate video, it will be worth it. The resulting effort will be a compelling corporate video with a clear message and an authentic feel.
The Donna Santos Studio can help you select a spokesperson and work with you to find an approach that is an ideal fit for your corporate video. Contact us today.
I’m putting together a “how to hire a corporate photographer” handbook for professional marketers. It sums up my decade of experience running Donna Santos Studio. The handbook will help you choose, work and communicate with corporate photographers to get the best photos for your marketing campaigns. Stay tuned!