What Makes Good Storytelling in a Video?

Michelle Legaspi • May 21, 2021

What makes good storytelling in a video?  

Since the invention of cameras, communicating through video remains a go-to method to tell stories, entertain or share a message. Now, with short attention spans and the internet age, communicators continue to rely on video storytelling as a compelling and creative way to set their organization apart. Telling a story through video is an excellent way to highlight your mission or the great work your organization is doing. Once you have the means to produce a video, it’s important to know what makes quality storytelling through video.

A compelling story goes beyond the dry announcement-type videos that involve the use of a teleprompter. Sometimes that style makes the most sense in a situation, but don’t underestimate the power of good storytelling. Humans are hardwired for stories. We have told, listened to and connected over stories since the beginning of time.

A story requires the right interview subjects.

A great story will capture emotions, create an experience and connect your viewer emotionally to the character. As we learned in journalism school, a storyteller wants to connect with a “real” person, AKA the “character” of the story, rather than solely officials. Without that compelling character, your story is not relatable and bland. For example, say we are sharing about a new internship program at a company that gives high school students a glimpse into the real world. It doesn’t hurt to hear from the CEO or program director to give the facts and benefits of the program, but don’t stop there. If you want to connect with your viewers on a deeper level, let’s hear from the students themselves.

Get personal: Ask thought-provoking questions that go a layer deeper.

Storytellers want to capture and share the characters’ personalities and emotions. In this example, questions may look like this: What were your thoughts starting this program for the first time? Talk about what you’ve learned and how you’ve been personally stretched. How does this experience launch you toward your next step?

Remember the basics.

Amid an ever-changing technology landscape, storytelling basics have never changed. Whether you realize it or not, we all know storytelling 101. You see it in your favorite movies and TV shows. What makes a good story is the initial buildup to the climax, conflict, heartbreak, or victory. We’re not talking about making a big movie production here, but the principles remain because they hold the viewers’ attention and draw them in. We, as storytellers, want to know our characters’ backstory – where they come from, how their lives have changed, etc.

Capture people in their element.

We’re talking video here, so the visuals deserve as much attention as do the interviews. Powerful interviews must be accompanied by powerful images. Visual storytellers are looking for opportunities to capture their characters in their element. We want candid, transparent moments to open the viewer to their world. A good videographer/storyteller will make it feel as if the viewer is there in the room.

The point is to capture a narrative that helps tell a bigger story. In my experience as a journalist, it can take some people time to warm up depending on how comfortable they are in front of a camera. But remember, everyone has a story waiting to be told. The good news is, our team of former journalists is here to help subjects feel comfortable and natural on camera. We are equipped and ready to hear your story and craft it into a compelling masterpiece that moves your business goals forward.

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