We’ve all seen the happy-happy-happy videos. Employees who scream in front of the camera how much they love their job, CEOs giving the perfect speech, managers talking about what a great company they work for…
But–thank heavens–we don’t live in a perfect world. And we don’t need perfect role models.
Honest stories, people with problems big and small, daunting fears…No matter what you want to say, your audience is made up of real human beings; people who–like you–are not perfect. We feel more empathy for others who are also not perfect, even if they are our role models (maybe even more so).
That is why real stories, little things that perhaps seem unimportant, actually reveal our essence. Why we do things or why we make certain choices are all far more interesting than the perfect prepared speech.
If you use video to bring a corporate message (whether internal or external) it’s best to work with a personal story to create an authentic narrative. Usually in the corporate world the focus is on the message itself, as in: deliver the message, add some after-effects, some music and job is done. Often we forget that we are delivering this message to human beings. It’s better to work with small, simple stories to explain big ideas and make complicated theories understandable and comprehensive.
It’s these “little” stories from your own experience that matter. You are honest; you give intrinsic reasons why you care. You forge a common path because you are telling a relatable, soulful story and not some well-prepared speech that has been approved by the whole [communications] department. In a competitive corporate environment it is not easy, possibly scary. But the results are much stronger and make a greater impact.
This is the wabisabi principle. Wabisabi comes from Japan and claims “perfection lies in little imperfections.” You can find this in buildings, in art, with people and, unsurprisingly, with stories. Something only inspires and moves you when you find little mistakes in it, because only then can we identify with it.
It is within these imperfections that we can find authenticity. It is easy to say the right words or to pretend to be the perfect boss, manager, CEO or employee. But it takes a lot more personality and guts to show the real human being behind it. Believe me it is also far, far more interesting.