How to interview nervous people in your corporate video


You’ve been given the task to interview an expert in their field for a corporate video. The only thing is the person being interviewed is fairly quiet.  You’re worried the video is going to turn out dry. What do you do?

Embrace their quietness.

The person is an expert on the subject you’re interviewing them about, that’s why they’ve been picked for the corporate video. It’s something they are known and respected for.  Stay in their comfort zone, their happy space, go on give it another name.

Don’t try to engage everyone, it’s a corporate video.

You may not engage me specifically with this video, but you will engage someone with an interest in that specific topic. So ask deep technical questions and get to the point straight away. For a 1-2 minute video, you have to be immediate and direct.

If they aren’t a smiley person…

Don’t try to get them to answer your questions with a smile because that will disrupt their train of thought and it will trash your corporate video. No point having a smile if you’ve had to join 4 takes together to create an answer and it looks manufactured. That outcome is not going to help you.

Don’t give them the answers beforehand.

At the most just give them the topics you’re going to ask them about. If they are indeed the expert, then they won’t really need your answers. In almost every situation where the technical answers have been given to the subject beforehand, they end up changing them on the day because after take 10 they just can’t get it out every single point in one go.  In fact, they will come across more believable if they address the subject in their own words on camera rather than try to regurgigate pre-prepared answers.

More specific questions is better.

If you’ve got a lot you need to cover, break it down into more questions. You can always have titles or slides to break up the corporate video. This also means your subject won’t get fatigued trying to nail the answers they way you like them, because that may ruin the rest of the interview.

The above is pretty much commonsense and we all know this stuff, but it pays to just keep in mind that when we interview quiet people, we need to stay in their comfort zone, not push them out of it because often the end result video will pay the price.

Ajit Singh is the Executive Producer at Sydney based video production company Rocket Productions. You’ll find more useful articles on video production on our blog.



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