How to Engage with Emotional Content: 5 Interview Tips 

March 31, 2020

Matters of health are always close to the heart. They’re high stakes, cause for anxiety and concern, and they need to be considered delicately. Now, more than ever, as we deal with Covid-19, we’re realizing the close relationship between health and emotion. And, it can be difficult to express in person, much less in a video. 

However, it’s exactly those difficult and complex emotions that make for the most engaging stories. We’ve been proud to support Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for the past several years as they highlight their program and services. After working on their recent campaign – Conquering Differently – we have a few tips on how to create engaging emotional videos, and that starts with your interview.  

1. Be Respectful

This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget how much courage it takes for your subjects to share their story, especially when it’s about an incredibly personal matter, like healthcare. 

If you’re interviewing someone, remember that they may become nervous or emotional when sharing their story. Be respectful of their willingness to share and try to prioritize their feelings over your schedule. Allowing someone an extra half hour to get through a difficult story might mean your lunch break is a little short. But, you have to remember, it’s a privilege to hear their story in the first place. 

2. Be Authentic

Human beings are complicated, and sometimes it seems expedient to change certain aspects of a personal story to make it a little more marketable. 

But, there is truly nothing more compelling and relatable than an authentic story. You cannot rewrite someone’s experience. You have to find the balance between telling a story in its authentic form and emphasizing particular components to fit an overall message. 

3. Share the Joy with the Pain

Again, human beings are complex. We live in the gray area. There is always joy amidst the pain, and there is always pain amidst the joy. 

Sharing both aspects, even if seemingly contradictory, will make your video more compelling and give it depth. And, viewers will more easily connect with that narrative. 

4. Do Your Research

Thorough preparation ensures that you can guide your interviewee to your talking points in an organic way. If you know the questions to ask to prompt a particular answer, you can allow them the freedom to emphasize salient points more naturally. 

People make mistakes, even when sharing personal stories. It’s a good idea to research and double check important information, especially about a healthcare service, before highlighting a soundbite that delivers misinformation. 

5. Offer Hope

When you share an emotionally difficult story, you don’t want to leave your audience without hope. Otherwise, there’s no reason for them to act. 

Whether you want them to donate or simply share the video, it’s a good idea to round out your narrative with a sense of audience empowerment, whether through relatability with the subject matter, the subject, or the desire to affect change. 

Emotional video can be so powerful, so don’t miss these fundamental tips to embolden your message! 


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