Using video to generate empathy

Using video to generate empathy

“You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

Have you ever thought about the role empathy plays in your videos?

Charities already use empathy as a powerful motivator to help their audiences take action.

What about the rest of us?

Why is empathy important?

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It creates a sense of compassion and a desire to do something positive to make a difference.

Nancy Duarte, an American writer, speaker and expert in the psychology of persuasive presentations, says:

“Creating common ground with an audience is like clearing a pathway from their heart to yours… By identifying and articulating shared experiences and goals, you build a path of trust so strong that they feel safe crossing to your side.”

And that’s exactly what you want your viewers to do when watching your video. You want them “to cross to your side” and follow your recommended action.

Why video is the perfect medium for empathy

Research suggests that using video is one of the most powerful ways to stimulate emotions and generate empathy in others.

Why? Because it’s great for establishing a personal connection with the viewer.

By seeing your face, hearing your words and tone, and entering your story, the audience identifies with you as a real person. They connect with you. That empathy and emotional connection will influence their behaviour and decision-making.

How to generate empathy and emotional connection in your videos

Follow a few simple rules as you present:

  • Be real – make your script personal and informal.
  • Use simple, conversational language.
  • Create common ground by describing shared experiences and goals.
  • Tell an engaging story.
  • Share genuine problems and concerns, and how you think they can help.
  • Talk in a sincere but natural way.

The more authentic you are with your audience, the more likely they are to see you as a trusted guide – and to watch your video in full and then take your action.

For more background on the role emotions in film and using video to generate empathy, check out this blog on The Psychology of Video.

We’ve also got lots of other helpful articles on how to present naturally and tell a powerful story or join our Facebook group and get help from other Teleprompter app users.

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