Everybody’s Body Tells a Story… #2 of the Top 5 Reasons Why Video Works

Lately we’ve been discussing the “top five reasons video works” — and we’ve arrived at number two – body language. Everybody’s body adds critical data to the stories they are telling, and the information they’re conveying. Whether it’s one-on-one, or an image being broadcast to a wide audience; there’s no getting around our brain’s hardwired ability to pick up on visual cues.

E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram strip these cues from messaging unless video is included. In a corporate world with ever-decreasing budgets, but always increasing expectations and objectives, video is one of the few proven tactics to offer a solid ROI.

At times, visual cues can be more important than what’s being said. Consider the classic case study of the Kennedy/Nixon presidential debate. Candidate Kennedy was tan, rested, well tailored, calm, precise, and measured in his comments. When answering questions he fixed his gaze comfortably at the camera. Nixon, on the other hand, was rumpled, pale and sweaty, and his gaze kept shifting away from the camera. In the days prior to the broadcast he had been battling a flu that left him 20 pounds underweight. He was also nursing a bad knee that he just so happened to bash again when exiting his car to enter the studio. It was the first televised presidential debate our country ever witnessed and the addition of a visual element to the proceedings did not bode well for Nixon.

Those who listened to the debate on the radio declared Nixon the victor, but people who watched on TV overwhelmingly called Kennedy the clear winner.

Fast-forward to 2008 and consider the power of the visuals and sound bites from a fit, young, candidate impeccably tailored in a skinny suit, using traditional media and social media to leverage video messaging as if he grew up with it. You get the picture…

Keep these examples in mind as you consider video as a communications tool to leverage the complex and critical element of non-verbal communications. The right video production team will help you choose an appropriate subject matter expert to put on camera, craft the messaging, and coach the delivery of it.

This year, make sure your communications team is making the best use of your budget and deploying tactics that include video to ensure your audience is being reached. That way, next time budget season rolls around you have a strong case for the effectiveness of the tactics you’ve deployed. And, when you present that case in person, realize what you are saying is as critical as how your body is reinforcing what you are saying.

Talk to you next week…