Avoid the pitfalls of the peer-filled talent pool and enjoy smooth sailing from here on out!
What do you loathe most when shooting corporate interviews for a communications campaign? We bet casting is on the list! Selecting co-workers for a corporate video is like captains on the playground picking their baseball teams. You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and nobody likes a surprise visit from HR. But you also don’t want crappy players…
What if we gave you a process; a checklist to use as your guideline? Not only will this checklist ensure you pick the right players, it will also formalize your process so employees don’t take casting decisions personally.
The Casting Questionnaire
Please answer yes or no to the following questions for each video candidate:
Note: Due to the nature of on-screen casting, physical appearances, personality traits, and other personal details must be taken into consideration. Approach these questions carefully and with a proper degree of sensitivity and respect.
- __ Does this employee exemplify your core company culture?
- __ Will this employee appeal to viewers outside of the company; do they represent a recognizable persona?
- __ Does this employee have a friendly face? Are they well-groomed and well-spoken?
- __ Is this employee free of any characteristics or traits that might deter attention or make it difficult for viewers to understand the messaging? (E.g. a speech impediment or electric blue hair).
- __ Would you label this employee’s as social or extroverted?
- __ Does this employee have experience speaking in front of people?
- __ Is this employee a subject matter expert on the topic to be discussed in the video?
- __ Is this employee generally satisfied in their position at the company?
- __ Does this employee take direction well?
- __ Is this employee generally confident in what they do and how they interact with their peers?
Grading Your Checklist
- If you answered mostly “yes” for a given employee, they absolutely pass as a candidate for casting in your corporate video interviews. Great casting can humanize your corporate culture, and aid in the delivery of important information to help fortify the relationship between your brand and viewers.
- If you answered mostly “no”, do not cast them. Even the most well-spoken, extroverted individuals can forget their own name in front of a camera and crew. If your on-screen talent lacks the appearance, demeanor, and confidence in everyday life, they may not perform well on camera and could distract your viewers from the message or worse — damage your corporate image.
Who you cast for your corporate video interviews can make or break how well your video campaign performs. As a general rule of thumb for corporate video interviews, less is more. Having multiple people interviewed is only effective if every person contributes to the overall purpose of the video (which is to showcase the company culture, deliver a personal message, educate viewers and represent the organization). Each interview must also support all other statements made on screen, as you don’t want conflicting messages to confuse viewers and discredit your organization’s trustworthiness. Finally, don’t forget that you can always include an employee on-screen without giving them a speaking roll.
- If you answered equal parts “yes” and “no”, consider their level of confidence and their degree of expertise. If you feel they are strong in these areas, conduct a casting interview to see how they perform. They may surprise you.
Once you have your all-star cast selected, check out this overview of how not to act on camera and use tips from this article to get them camera ready: 5 Fast Tips for Looking & Feeling Fantastic on Camera.
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