Change Conversations blog

2 min read

Video Storytelling: How to structure your testimonial

By Tara Pereira on 2/18/16 10:00 AM



Video storytelling can be incorporated into your nonprofit's marketing strategy in many ways. Testimonial videos and case studies are based on the simple idea that word-of-mouth storytelling can be quite powerful. 

Testimonial videos can add credibility to your cause and illustrate successful outcomes from your nonprofit services or cause. The best testimonials have a narrative that is relayed in a genuine way. Don’t boast or brag about what your team has done…just present. Let the story speak for itself. And let others use their voice to convey their journey.

Beginning – The Foundation


In the beginning, there is the desire to overcome an obstacle or to solve a problem. And the real person who is on the journey to overcome that obstacle is your main character. A strong and genuine main character and a compelling story will always connect more with a viewer than straight data or statistics. Don’t try to push the information on your audience. It’s not about selling your cause or asking a viewer to give something. Take the viewer on through your character's story and allow them to make any decision for themselves.

Middle – The Journey

To produce a successful testimonial video, there needs to be conflict. Without conflict there is no obstacle to overcome. If the three little pigs and the big bad wolf are living in harmony there isn’t much of a story. If climate change was not a problem, The Inconvenient Truth would have been a very short film. What is the pain point that are you focusing on? This will help you clearly define and communicate the purpose if your video.

No matter what type of video you want to produce for your community, you’ll need to focus on communicating effectively. The storytelling arc and structure may change slightly depending on the video type, but it all comes down to a beginning, middle and end.


The End: Begin at the beginning

The ending is of course the wrap up to your narrative. The case has been stated and the problem has been solved. What is your viewer supposed to do now? Every video needs to have an objective. Is the objective of your testimonial video to build awareness? Is the objective to motivate the viewer to participate? A simple objective can focus your messaging and drive your narrative. Everyone has a story, and a successful testimonial video allows a story to unfold for the viewer while also controlling the narrative pace for the viewer.

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The Change Conversations blog is where changemakers find inspiration and insights on the power of mission-driven communication to create the change you want to see.


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