Question: If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many pictures is a video worth?
A lot. We live in a video world. More than 1.3 billion people use YouTube. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. The total number of hours of video watched every month? 3.25 billion.
And video isn’t just for personal use. More than 9% of U.S. small businesses use YouTube. “Business leaders are increasingly relying on video to disseminate their transformational stories across the organization,” Carmine Gallo writes in The Storyteller’s Secret.
“Video has become an essential component of delivering a story. Successful storytellers embrace the medium in a personable, friendly style that makes the viewer feel as though they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the speaker.”
Being comfortable being on camera is a skill. Something we can get better at with practice, says Food Network star and New York Times best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis.
“When I did Everyday Italian for the first time, it was a rough show. I was awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera and I had tons of anxiety,” she remembers. “It was very humbling.”
With time and practice, she improved. “At the end of every day my brother and I would review my performance, which was nerve-racking. Slowly and surely I became better.”
Video is a storyteller’s friend. To master the medium, Carmine tells us we are wise to focus on three things: passion, smiles, and conversation.
Passion: Storytelling, by definition, requires a performance, writes Carmine. “It’s nearly impossible to be a successful storyteller without passion. Passion leads to energy and without energy, enthusiasm, and excitement it becomes very difficult to hold an audience’s attention.”
Smiles: “You’d think smiling is easy. When we’re happy we smile,” Carmine observes. “Why, then, do most business professionals look like they’re miserable when recording a video? Smiles are rare on professional business videos, but ubiquitous on the faces of celebrated television personalities. Giada is known for her radiant smile. Remember that storytelling is all about emotion and smiling has been associated with the strongest emotional reaction.”
The Storyteller’s Secret?
Giada’s recipe is worth copying. Learning to communicate via video is one of our biggest opportunities to connect and persuade.
Reflection: Am I currently using video as a way to communicate? If yes, what have I learned? If not, why not?
Action: Experiment with using passion, smiles, and conversation in my next video.