I came across a good article today on the excellent Socialbrite site, providing tips for producers shooting interviews.
Interviews can be a powerful tool to help businesses and organizations highlight the impact of their service or mission. This article gives a good overview of the technical aspects of interviews like lighting and audio that often hinder the efforts of self-produced videos.
However, in my experience the most critical aspect of the interview is the story or narrative.
Impactful interviews tell a compelling story. They have a point. They have a perspective. So think about that in advance. Understand what will move and motivate viewers. Then focus the interview and storytelling around that compelling core.
I remember watching a retrospective recently about the famed 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. He was legendary for his rather confrontational approach to an interview. Clearly, that’s not the approach we’re interested in using here. But what set him apart, according to his colleagues, was that he meticulously prepared how he wanted the interview to go. He prepared. He knew the compelling story. And he made sure that the interview got there.
When we are doing interviews for our own businesses or organizations, thinking in advance about how we want the interview to go is critical. We’re not journalists dealing with uncooperative subjects. We’re usually telling the story of cooperative, enthusiastic people or organizations who have benefited from our work. But that same level of audience-focused preparation is what will set your interview apart and really engage your audience.
So while technical polish is important, the story is what actually moves people to action.