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Better Storytelling through Video
with Mike Sukraw from Reliant Studios

In this episode, we bring to you another session from the 2021 Digital Ministry Conference. This session is from Mike Sukraw, the owner of Reliant Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mike shares about the impact of video storytelling and tips for how you can find great interviewees that meet the goals of your ministry or organization. 

One question that Mike and his team like to ask their clients is “What if you could take each of your donors or potential donors to the front lines of what you do?”. What if they could spend a day with a homeless teen or with a mother in a part of the world where there’s Christian persecution? A well-told story through video is the best way to bring the front lines to your audience. Although aspects of high-quality production value are important and can certainly add meaning to a video, the story is one of the most important aspects.

To begin finding your story for the video, go to the ends of the earth that will best connect to your audience’s hearts. When crafting your video strategy, the first things to figure out are your goals and your audience. What do you want the video to accomplish and who do you want to target with it?

The next step is conducting pre-interviews. These are key in telling a successful story. The purpose of these is to use broad strokes, to look for the big stories, and look for people that would be the best fit for the goals of the organization and target audience. It also gives a chance to screen for potential stage fright in interviewees.

Some helpful questions for pre-interviews are:

What’s your story?

How does your story impact you emotionally?

What is something you want people to know about your story?

How did the organization help?

What would it have been like if the organization or ministry had not been there?

Good candidates should be relatable, willing to show emotion, and transparent. They should also have unique story details that serve the goals of the video in an authentic way

After you have outlined the story and are ready to conduct the interview, there are a few steps you can take to ensure a productive interview time. First, make sure to work on yourself. Make sure your heart is in the right place and you care about the person. You should also be aware of your nonverbal communication in order to help them feel relaxed. Engage your facial expressions and show you are listening and attentive. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask the same question multiple times to get deeper and deeper responses each time. First, you should get the surface-level answer, then the emotional answer, then the “how did this impact you?” answer.

For more details and insight on crafting a messaging strategy, conducting preinterviews, and utilizing helpful interview techniques that serve to create connection, invite emotion, and encourage vulnerability, check out the full episode of the Ministry at Scale podcast.