James Corden may not be the obvious place to start if you want to make more engaging internal communication videos. However, one his recent guests on his US late night show was music legend Stevie Wonder. Probably, over the course of the 40 or so years that Stevie has been around, he’s been interviewed by most of the great chat shows hosts. So why is this interview going viral on social media?
James has an innovative approach to where to do the chat – and by changing the location, the context changes, and the whole feel of the interview is different. The two sit side by side as James drives Stevie around LA, singing karaoke to Stevie’s hits and Face Timing friends. It’s funny, it’s curiously intimate and it shows the great Stevie Wonder in a totally different light.
All that was achieved by that one simple thing of removing them from the studio. Not surprisingly, psychologists will tell you a car journey is a great place for a difficult conversation – there is a close proximity without the need for face to face confrontation – so it figures why the conversation between Stevie and James is so intimate.
Learn from James. The CEO talking straight to camera can be dull. Not the CEO’s fault – they maybe the most engaging, funny, inspiring person – but it’s difficult to hold attention when it’s just a person talking at you.
Think about how to present the CEO – maybe he could be interviewed by a colleague or talk while doing a task. This will also help with another trick for making the corporate video more engaging – speak normally. Use everyday language. Don’t talk about ‘reaching out’ to ‘scan the horizon’ to ensure ‘up skilling’ and ‘enticement’. What you really want to say is ‘come and talk to us about what we can do to encourage you in your career.’
There is also a story with Stevie and James – they are driving to work. James can beat the traffic by using the car pool lane as he’s got someone to share the car. OK, so it’s a little far-fetched, but we humans love stories. So make sure your internal comms videos uses story telling as much as possible.
Probably the only thing James does that is not necessarily appropriate for internal communication videos is to sing along with Stevie’s songs. But on the other hand, a CEO belting out “Isn’t she lovely” – well, it would get the viewers.