Interesting phenomenon. Yesterday I was working with a CEO who is filming a series of short video messages to his large and growing employee base. The content is good – simple, straightforward, memorable and repeatable, a little bit of humor, a little bit of info, a lot of focus on the audience. The delivery was a bit more of a challenge; we needed to get him to appear more natural and less stilted on camera. Hmmmm, I thought, let’s ditch the script and teleprompter and have him just chat with the camera. Sounds reasonable, rational, logical, right?

Well, after versions where we had him wing it and just chat, then had him use just bullet points, then fleshed out the bullet points a bit more, we ended up back at the starting point – pretty much a full script running on the teleprompter. Ironically, that’s what helped him relax and appear most natural. In fact, he was quite good, we got some great footage.
In this biz, there are a lot of woulda-coulda-shoulda’s, but in the end whatever works for the individual speaker is the right answer. We’re all wired differently; what motivates us, comforts us, and gives us confidence differs from person to person, speaker to speaker. I could beat each of my clients over the head with the same baseball bat, but it would be pointless. Whatever works best resides within each of them, and so my only role is to help find that and pull it out of them, that’s it.
Beth Levine