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Denver7 Shares Tips for Powerful Storytelling

Denver7 The Denver Channel Logo Denver7’s Emmy-award winning reporters and photographers make storytelling look easy. With their tips and tricks, you can produce great videos, too!


How do you make your message memorable? How do you get donors to watch and remember, then decide to give?

  • Keep it simple and straightforward! Short, direct statements are best for video. These soundbites are easier for viewers to remember.
  • Invite people to your organization’s profile page or website to see and learn more. Example: Use “We change lives!” instead of “Our mission is to…” Ask yourself, “What is the simplest version of what we do? Why is it important?” Then, share short, concise pieces of your message.
  • Write your key messages first. Use the worksheets to organize your thoughts.
  • Make it sound as natural as possible. Speak like you’re talking to a friend.
  • Practice! It’s okay to do it a couple times, then choose the best one.
  • Speak to the viewer by looking at the camera. Pretend there’s a person sitting next to the camera that you are sharing a story with.
  • Be true. Let your personality come through.
  • Memorize your 1-3 key messages, then add the filler with ad lib when you record.
  • Nervous? Change the setting for yourself or your speaker. Have them sit, stand. Find the environment that’s familiar to them, where they feel most comfortable and record the video there.

Framing, Audio, Lighting

  • Frame your subject from the mid-chest up and avoid cutting off the top of their heads, leaving a room on all sides.
  • A little movement can be good. Move the camera slightly around the person while they speak…about ¼ way around them. Be careful to avoid shaking the camera or moving too quickly.
  • Make sure you can see their eyes. Avoid shooting the video that just shows one side or half of their face.
  • Find natural light and avoid shadows. Windows are a great source of natural light.
  • Use the back camera on your phone instead of the selfie mode. It produces a higher quality video.
  • Be aware of your background and watch for things that look like they are growing out of your spokesperson’s head. Keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Create depth by stepping about 3-4 feet away from a wall or your background. Position the camera so it’s at eye level.

If you missed the Special Edition Coffee Chat on storytelling, you can watch it here.

Make a video and win!
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