Sure, the no-voice thing works for highly branded consumer commercials, ala Apple.
But the silent approach goes against three fundamental principles when it comes to B2B videos that need to educate more than inspire.
- Avoid elaborate graphics and special effects. Invest in teaching about a product. Substance is more important than style.
- Keep words on the screen to a minimum because nobody reads much.
- And (here’s the kicker) provide a well-paced voice to emphasize important points being shown on the screen. It’s natural to listen and watch — it’s bred in all of us since kindergarten!
Those principles come from restaurant operators who tell me they just want the facts with little fanfare. And they like to see products in action like a video provides.
Why silent movies may work
Without the voice, one’s eyes seem to focus better on the short captions that pop up occasionally. And, frankly, we probably did a better job at using close-up shots to show details we might otherwise pass by.
And perhaps best of all, silent movies solve an issue many brokers and sales reps have with videos — the awkwardness of standing next to a customer as she watches a narrated video.
With no voice over, it’s quite natural for a rep to chime in with some informal narration along the way.
Silent movies might just might make sense. We’ll soon find out.