It’s gala season! Use this proven format to motivate your audience to give.

Happy New Year! Along with a calendar rollover, it’s widely recognized as the season for giving. Perhaps you have already attended a gala event this winter. If you have, you also likely watched video content of some kind. Of course the goal with gala video content is to engage and motivate the audience to pull out their check books and give generously. But as you probably have witnessed, there are a lot of videos which fail for a a variety of reasons. On the technical side, the video or audio quality might be bad. But maybe even worse is a story which fails to tell a compelling story.

We’ve created a lot of gala content over the years and have put our storytelling skills to work for many non-profits. Here’s a link to a video we recently produced for the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation:

Our client is very pleased with the results and tare achieving their giving goals. Here are some tips in creating impactful, powerful gala video content:

Identify the “FACE” of the Video

This is the first and likely most important step in this process. Who will you profile to tell your story? Is the story compelling? Can your “face” deliver impactful soundbites? And can they deliver with emotion? Without all of these prerequisites, your video will fall flat.

What’s your B-Roll?

You’ve determined you’ve got the right person and the right story and are confident this person can deliver with the necessary emotion but even the most compelling interviews need additional video content to support the story as no one wants to watch a three minute “talking head” video. Are their opportunities to shoot video of your “face” doing something active to break up the talking head? Maybe there are relevant photographs or archive video you can use? If neither is available, consider using on screen text graphics or animation to help visualize your story and make it more interesting to watch.

What is the conflict-crisis/solution?

Every good story has a challenge and obstacle to overcome and your organization offered a solution. This needs to be spelled out clearly in the video, either told first person or through narration. Preferably through an emotional soundbite or two from your “face”. My experience has been, the more emotional the conflict, the more impactful the video will be.

What is your ask?

Finally, what do you want your audience to do? What action should they take? If this a live gala event, this is often handled by the emcee. If there is no live event, and the video is being emailed or posted online, you will need a graphic or narration or both at the end with specific, simple instructions for the audience.

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Rich Dubek is President of the Dubek Media Group, based in Tempe, Arizona. DMG specializes in full service video production and media training/on-camera coaching.