Tell your story. If necessary, use words.

There is an old adage, “Tell a story. If necessary, use words.” What and how we communicate transcends the written or spoken word. We know this intuitively. A still image or body language conveys volumes and can confirm or betray what is being said. Sometimes we are not even conscious about the mixed signals we are sending.

We filmed a live state of the union company address. Even as the CEO delivered confident words about the health of the company there was something about his delivery that bugged me. I asked one of his colleagues if he seemed “on” today. “Definitely,” was the response I got. But I was still unsure.

As a director, my job is to make my clients look good, sound good, be lit well, and make sure that what we capture delivers the right message. This production would meet all of my client’s needs. But I was still troubled by what apparently only I saw – the CEO’s “tell,” if you will.

A month after the shoot, the CEO left the company to go to a competitor. Coincidentally, so did the colleague I spoke to. At the next production meeting employees told me they sensed something was up watching the video. “You could tell it in his eyes,” they said.

Be aware of what you are saying, even when you’re not speaking. The message you send may be louder than you think.

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