Peeking into the Soul: 10 Interviewing Techniques for Engaging and Authentic Videos


As President of Reliant Studios, part of my job is to extract the nuances of life that make for compelling stories for the dozens of videos that we produce every year. However, nuances rarely come easy. Most people won’t sit down and bear it all. You have to work for it. I’ve learned in my role here, and from my background as a professional therapist, that there are certain strategies that can transport people to a place where they feel safe enough to give you a peek into their soul. This peek is the difference between a lifeless “talking head” […] Read more »

How to Use Games in Meetings to Stimulate Creativity

Game Pieces

Brainstorming sessions have proved to be an invaluable tool at Reliant. Time and time again, I’m surprised at our team’s ability to collectively develop an idea or concept that is far better than what any of us could come up with individually. But, every now and then, a brainstorming meeting can stall. The energy level is low and everyone is frozen by the pressure of developing creative ideas. There are many tactics leaders can use to avoid this potential stagnation, but one effective method we’ve found is surprisingly simple: start every brainstorming meeting with a game. Why play games? Creative […] Read more »

The People Have Spoken, and They Like Videos

In the fall of 1997, I was an English teacher at a local high school when a computer connected to this weird “Internet” thing was dropped on my desk. Not knowing what the term “early adopter” even meant at that time, I was quickly swept away with the possibilities of how this technology could engage students and enhance their learning. I was particularly drawn to this ability to access a seemingly bottomless treasure trove of useful videos. Even though most were terribly grainy and pixelated, they helped me communicate profound lessons and stories in a way that I could never […] Read more »

Initial Thoughts on the Concept of Story

Cave Painting

Photo Credit: Rob Gallop “The secret of eloquence lies in believing passionately in what you’re talking about.” – Jon Steel, The Perfect Pitch. Since the dawn of time, humans have felt compelled to be a social creature. We connect and live together. We break bread together. We clearly have a strong innate desire to be relational, to find ways to make deeper connections with our loved ones and those around us. Over time, the oral tradition of storytelling gave way to the printing press, which in turn gave way to the digital age. Indeed, many believe that the Creator of […] Read more »

Heading to KC

We are heading to Kansas City in a few hours to participate in the Philanthropy Midwest Conference.  We are excited to break out the orange couch again.  Funny thing…we learned in D.C. that it costs more to ship our little couch back home than it does to buy a new one including shipping it to a new destination.  So hopefully Target will keep stocking them if we are to be successful at branding Reliant as the company with the orange couch at our conferences. Read more »

Heading to D.C.

Reliant is excited to be at this year’s Bridge Conference in Washington D.C., July 20-22. Bridge is a gathering of fundraising and marketing types who have a passion for helping nonprofits. Our team would love to connect and hear your story. Come join us at Booth 137 (look for the orange couch and big TV). To make sure we connect, reach out to Paul Vachal or Jeff Valder. Looking forward to meeting you! Read more »