Injecting Emotion into a Narrative Video

3 minute read

Blah blah. Blah. Blabidy blah. Isn’t that what your audience hears when you say, “Now I’m going to show you a video to sell my product/event/thingmajig?” Isn’t that about the time in the live presentation when your audience thinks, “Hmm I wonder what’s happening on my SnapFaceTwiTextEmail?” But come on! You and your colleagues just spent a bunch of money and time to convince these people! Of course they want to watch your big video and learn about your company! It’s why they came to the event. Or was it the free meal/free booze or the chance to network with their friends?

Either way, this is the part where good storytelling comes around. This is the part where a great video presentation grabs them by the PG-rated groin area and compels them to pay attention, inspires them to change, reluctantly creates tears and literally makes their wallet explode from their pocket/purse. By the end of the video, they feel like they were THERE!  They took the tour, they visited the locations, they had deep, life altering conversations with the participants/experts, they tasted your product, they lived in your shoes and NOW they get it! NOW they want to be a part of your team!


That’s genuine emotion. Without it, you’re just talking. And they aren’t necessarily listening. So the way to get there is to first put yourself in their shoes. Not vice versa. First assume they think you’re driving them down a sugar coated road of BS. Assume they think they already know what you’re selling. Assume they just came for the free meal. And they already know how much money or time they plan to give – or not.

From there your job is simple. You know why your product/service is special because you live it. You know why your people are passionate about it. If you could convince one of those skeptical audience members with unlimited time and money, what would you do? Would you fly them each to your company, give them an intimate tour, introduce them to a handful of passionate people and have genuine conversations? Would they be blown away by that?  Would they GET it? Most likely! Well then that’s your video!

Personally, I like a good story where I feel like I’m there with you. I like a good narrative that keeps me next to you as you walk and talk, telling your story. I like to learn something I didn’t know about you and your company – something that resonates with my life. Most people like that kind of story as well. Frankly that kind of story takes people. If I can watch people talk about it, get excited about it, show off their reason for loving it, then I’m there with them.


Whether you sell beer or cancer camps, you can create an emotional, genuine story. You can illustrate the heart of your story. You can nudge them over the fence. But you have to be ready to go the extra mile to tell that story and assume they don’t care. It’s ok because your story is special and emotional and it WILL find a connection. Hallelujah!


That said, here comes a shameless pitch for our own unique skill at helping companies tell their story in a clear, concise, genuine, emotional way. I’m the guy who sits in the back of the room and watches your audience as they are either transfixed by the video or slowly trickle away to other things. We are passionate about the power of visual storytelling and the challenge of helping you and your company find the right way to deliver that message.


steve profile for web

About the Author
Steve Simkins directs and produces videos at North By Northwest. His storytelling ability lies somewhere between LL Cool J and Jerry Lewis. He’s been making videos since he was a wee lad. Steve’s afro is not that big and he is nothing like LL Cool J.


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