Storytelling through the use of video or other messaging has become increasingly popular and easily accessible with the use technology. The challenge isn’t getting your message out there, but rather telling a story that drives emotional engagement.
The reality is when lawyers try to tell their stories or get their messages across – messages that are complex, cerebral and devoid of emotion, the ability to compose a story that resonates with people and engages them becomes harder to execute and to communicate.
The ability to communicate corporate messaging through visual story telling is becoming increasingly important. A well executed video or infographic can prove to be an extremely effective tool in conveying a message that is inspirational, engaging and sometimes funny. Connecting with your audience through visual storytelling is an effective content marketing strategy that is being employed by savvy law comapnies worldwide.
A TED Talk by Andrew Stanton on Storytelling illustrates the complexity of being an effective storyteller. It highlights that you must think about the message, and the end of that story, before you ever start creating it. He likens storytelling to joke telling. Having done both on stage, I don’t agree that they are the same. I do agree however that there is a defined path once much carve before embarking on the journey.
Before you contemplate your next elevator pitch, your next cocktail conversation or even your next introduction through your brother-in-law, you need to define what is the current moment, the pressing message or the feeling you are trying to communicate through words or images.
Storytelling needs to be authentic and move your audience – but frequently our clients tell us, “I need a video, but I don’t really know what its message is going to be.” Our response is simple: your video cannot provide you with the message – the video is the vehicle that will help you convey the message. You need to create your message first – then build your video to match that message. You must ask yourself what do you want the audience to feel or to experience while they are watching the video? And what do you want them to remember if they were just listening to the sound?
Legal marketers who are considering creating a video, or some other visual tool for their next marketing, recruitment, training or business development project, must consider the story they want to convey and who the target audience is. Think about the message you want to deliver and how visuals can help you accomplish something that words or print alone cannot. When done well, visuals are some of the most powerful tools we have to communicate messages and emotion. “Show me don’t tell me” is a powerful proposition that is rarely executed properly. Proceed with authenticity and caution.
Updated and republished February 17, 2017.