How not to connect with your audience with video
As a follow-up to my last blog post on connecting with your audience with video content, consider this;
Here we have a strong business story about IBMs data encryption solution, “Z”. It’s well written and well shot, however, I think it fails to connect in a truly memorable way – why?
The answer lies in the creative execution, which for the most part mimics an “interview” where viewers assume there is an interviewer with whom the subject is speaking, hence the off-camera angle of the presenter.
Yet this is clearly a straight sales presentation without an interviewer. So who is this gentleman talking to? You, the viewer. A strong piece to camera as the main angle would have been far better in my opinion.
Not to say that the off-camera framing doesn’t work, in fact it can be extremely powerful when used in the right context. The tone, pace, facial expressions- everything about the presentation is completely different “in conversation” when a presenter is really connecting with an interviewer. Done well, the story can be riveting. But when used to avoid or minimise facing your audience directly, it can fall a bit flat.
To summarise, the off-camera angle is very suitable for a conversation format but is often missed-used in the form of a straight sales presentation, which kills the direct connection with the audience. Creatives ought to guide and assist their clients with delivering these kinds of communications with more authenticity and charisma, direct to camera, if they really want to connect and persuade.
I don’t know why we are seeing more and more of this creative style in social media video content. I’d hate to think it’s simply to make it easier for the director or presenter…!
Here’s another presenter actually connecting with his audience, from the heart, not the tele-prompter. He looks straight down the barrel and delivers an engaging and informative piece to camera, as though he is right there talking directly to you. The production quality is nowhere near as good, but the presentation is streaks ahead, and that is what really matters. Of course both together is a killer combination. In this creative style the cutaway to off-camera angle actually enhances the presentation by allowing for some visual variety/ perspective change, but only as a support act. A super interesting topic I hope you’ll agree.
Feynman would be proud!