This article will center around video interviews.
You may have noticed the tendency for the public to request full, unedited interviews with public figures for the purpose of transparency. This ask is being driven by the behavior of those supplying video content to edit their clips in ways that perpetuate an agenda. Though the general public has an understanding that video editing can be used for malicious purposes, a deeper analysis of why the act of video editing is a powerful weapon should be done. A vast amount of media content consumed is in the video format. People learn, are entertained, and are informed through video. One video has the potential to reach millions of people around the world, and the message contained in that video can cause behavior change favorable for a variety of causes and detrimental to others.
Conviction Is Contextual
The conviction with which you speak is most powerful in specific moments in time. If you are practicing for a presentation, the many repetitions that you perform can be home to varying levels of conviction. You can nail it in one instance and sound like an absolute bore in another. This concept applies to moments in which you are answering questions. During an interview, you will have moments of conviction and moments of dullness. There are not many people who can master the art of convincing and effective speech to last for an entirety of a conversation. Moments of authentic conviction are often difficult to replicate and match. If taken out of context, your moments of conviction during interviews can be difficult to defend against.
It becomes difficult to defend against moments taken out of context because your response to their effect isn’t carried out with the same level of conviction. Even if all the facts are by your side, the effect of that conveniently edited moment carries the power of spontaneous, effective, convicted speech. These edits capture powerful moments in your speech, in which you sound the most influential and charismatic. If these edits aim to portray moments which are unfavorable to the general populous, they may spread at a rate which you cannot defend yourself against.
The Horse’s Mouth Cannot Tell Lies
When there is video and audio evidence (even if it is edited out of context) of you saying things that others find offensive, you have to tread the lines of defending yourself with care. You did in fact say those things. No matter how much you explain to others that editing is a powerful force in the scenario, the association with your face and voice is powerful. If you change your tune and take back what you said, you will put people in a position to pick a side of what you are saying to believe. Should they believe the initial face that said appalling things? Or should they believe the face that regrets those things being perceived incorrectly?
Most people will believe the first instance of your face and voice in such a situation. They will have a preference to succumb to the primacy effect, and will believe your seemingly unedited and convicted speech over your apologetic, regretful, or excuse-filled rebuttal.
Accept all things you said in your past, and do not contradict the “horse’s mouth.” You must resist the bait to contradict yourself, and take power away from edited footage forcing you into that contradictory position. Accept what you said and explain the role that editing played in your scenario should you get caught-up in one. Always take the preventative approach and be in control of the editing process with any content that you put out. Edited content is powerful because it places you in a position against yourself. It puts the authentic mask of your own face and voice on the faces and voices of those who are out for no good.