Give and You’ll Receive

Posted by Will on August 9, 2012

Developing the content of your videos so that they are valuable to the people watching is great way to communicate more powerfully.

In bygone days, you used to get a free toaster when you opened your bank account. I could be wrong, but I’d guess customers back then used to love their banks. Today? Not many free toasters and not much love for banks.

Hammy logic aside, good communication kinda works like that too: Give the viewer something of true worth rather than simply talking about how great you are. Put yourself in their shoes; do you enjoy hearing others brag?  Probably not, so why do it yourself?

However, delight with a good story and/or inform with useful knowledge, and the listener will appreciate it by giving you all ears.  To illustrate, I draw your attention to the following piece from the Google:

Google is certainly selling in this spot, but I don’t mind.  This story of Brian Kingrey is effective because it respects the audience. In return for our attention, we get an interesting story. It also shows the power of the product in action, but never once shouts how great Google is as a search engine. In my opinion, it’s valuable because it entertains and informs. For additional background, check out this article from Fast Company on why stories are the most powerful way to communicate. The money quote:

Guber tells us that stories can also function as Trojan Horses. The audience accepts the story because, for a human, a good story always seems like a gift. But the story is actually just a delivery system for the teller’s agenda. A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind.

Another powerful attribute of the Google spot is that it features people just like the target audience in the story. Ya know, folks like you and me. No paid celebrity endorsers or animated reptiles. This further engages the viewer and bonds them to Google.

In sum, your audience will be much more likely to listen to you if you’re saying something valuable. Just make sure that it’s not all about how great YOUR product or service is.  Honestly, it’s not much more complicated than simply being a good party guest.