How can we make an impact digitally?

Ville Ailio and Samppa Vilkuna came to tell us on Waffle Wednesday 23.9.2020 how to touch people virtually and how it is possible to make an impact through the screen.

Ville Ailio is a visual storyteller and international entrepreneur who works as a consultant on, to mention one, building customer experience. Ailio has worked with many different companies from cultural players to the public sector and startups.

Samppa Vilkuna is the founder and CEO of advertising agency Superson. The company has offices in Helsinki and Singapore.

How to impactfully communicate over the internet?

Many employees have moved to working remotely this year. Most of them have worked in Teams or Zoom etc several times a day. So, how could we touch people virtually? The best way is that if meetings can be also stories. Ailio and Vilkuna think that the best way is to create stories out of your meetings. And a good story always has a sound structure.

There’s many ways to build up a structure in stories. One remarkable guy in this field is Joseph Campbell. He has written a book called “The Hero with a Thousand Faces“. He travelled and listened to thousands of stories from around the world. He realized that all good stories have the same structure, which is called a hero’s journey. It has a few steps, but can be broken down into three steps

Three steps structure

1. The first is the beginning, the situation where we are now. Why are we at this point and what we want to achieve. 

2. In the second step, there’s some kind of a problem that has formed and should be solved. There’s no going back to the old routine and this new challenge must be accepted. People love conflicts and problems. There should always be some adversity in a good story.

3.  In the third and final step, we have solved the problem. It’s time for a resolution to the story.

When holding an appointment or meeting online, the structure can be built to follow the three steps.
You can ask yourself the following questions:

– Why are we here?

– Why is this important?

– What is our problem and what are we trying to solve?

– What should we do to achieve the desired outcome?


When telling a story, it’s good to have something visually displayed at the same time to the audience. The human mind processes information up to 60,000 times faster from image than from text. 

Visuality can be implemented in many different ways. Sometimes it’s easier to tell things by showing than by explaining. You can even build with Lego blocks while presenting your own case if it makes it easier to explain. For example Ailio likes to draw on paper while collaborating with someone. 

3:1 rule and activation

Remember to always keep your event as short as possible, especially for online meetings and appointments. The 3:1 rule works well. If something usually takes three hours, accomplish it in one hour. Or if something usually takes one hour, make it 20 minutes.

Always activate listeners in meetings every ten minutes. Activating your audience online is sometimes difficult but it’s worth a try. 

You can try to activate your audience with these following tips:

– Ask them something related to the topic

– Ask the audience for feedback and possibly visualize the feedback on screen

– Divide the audience into smaller groups and give them topics to discuss. Then gather people together and go through the topics they have discussed in the groups

High production value vs. low production value

When organizing a visual event, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the production. At first it’s worth thinking about what you want from your event. Do you want great effects and a lot of visual material in the event or do you want a more authentic look.

It’s important to pay attention to visible quality whenever you are organizing events. For example people rarely pay attention to audio or lighting if they are working properly. But when audio or lighting is not appropriate for the situation, everybody will notice it.

Three tips to organizing a virtual event

1. Authenticity: Often an authentic atmosphere makes the event very cosy. Big distance is rarely attractive. People want to know who is behind the event and what happens behind the scenes. Sometimes filming a video at home is a good way to create interest in the video.

2. Production value: The most important thing is the content itself. You should focus more on the content than just creating a nice outer shell. It’s good to build something interesting around the content for the audience, for example with visuality. When organizing an online event, it’s worth thinking about what the audience is interested in and based on that, build your event. For example, video material may be displayed at the event about the manufacturing process, life cycle of the product, professional stories about the product or illustrations about the company’s location.

3. However, nothing will work all the time anyway. No matter how hard you sometimes try to create virtual content, it can be much more interesting and effective to be physically on the spot.

Link to the live stream video: Waffle Wednesday – Touching People Remotely

Other blog posts what might interested you:

How can we make an impact digitally?

Customer experince – a thing that should be constantly improved

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