All posts for “explainer tip”

explainer tip

The War on Drugs Explained with Dragons

Posted by: leelefever on September 16, 2014- 12:23pm

Categories: abstraction, Art of Explanation, drugs, explainer tip, Explanation, vox

Comments

One of the tools we use in creating explainer videos is abstraction.  We look for opportunities to take the ideas that we want to explain out of their normal circumstance and put them into a new world. An example is our video that explains social media. It's a big analogy about ice cream.  Instead of talking about the details of tools and use cases, we showed what happens when everyone can make their own flavors.  By abstracting an idea, we work to free it of all the details, biases and baggage... Continue Reading
Since I was young, I've wondered about pain relievers and how they work. Thankfully Richard Byrne over at FreeTechForTeachers pointed me to this awesome animated explanation that's part of the TED-Ed series of videos.  A few things to notice about this video, from the explainer perspective: The First Half of the Video is Mostly Context It starts with an easy first step - everyone knows the discomfort of pain - it makes you want to do something to relieve it. No viewer would disagree or lose... Continue Reading

Explainer Tip: Beware the Intellectual Leap

Posted by: leelefever on November 6, 2013- 9:33am

Categories: animation, Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, higgs, physics

Comments

This post is part of a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. You've seen it happen before. You're in a meeting, watching a video or having a conversation and everything is going well. You're on your way to understanding something new.  But something happens.  Your confidence wanes. What was clear becomes cloudy and you're not sure what to say.    In this situation, it's easy to feel embarrassed, as if you're not smart enough to keep... Continue Reading
This post is part of a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. In my last post, we discussed what goes into creating a script for an explainer video. Your script contains the words that will be read for the voice-over in the video. It’s under 500 words and tells the story of a person who learns about your product and uses it to accomplish a goal. You’ve received feedback from customers and even family on your script.    Now that you’ve... Continue Reading

Explainer Tip: Writing an Explainer Video Script

Posted by: leelefever on October 22, 2013- 10:35am

Categories: Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, script, writing

Comments

This post is part of a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. You’ve been working hard on the project and it is almost finished. But there’s a problem... it's difficult to understand. Whether it’s in conversation, copy on the website, or in your presentations, few people seem to easily grasp the big idea behind your project and why it matters.   Before going any further, you need to solve this problem. People will not adopt ideas or... Continue Reading

Explainer Tip: What is An Explainer Video?

Posted by: leelefever on October 16, 2013- 2:03pm

Categories: Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, video

Comments

This post is the first in a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. For now, let's forget about video.  I want to talk about explanation. You’ve probably explained something recently: Why you prefer a dish or why political event matters. We are all explainers. We create understanding as a normal part of our daily communication. So much so, that we never think about it.    It's like design. If you've ever made a campfire or a paper... Continue Reading
Think for just a minute about the skills you use every day at work. Maybe you’re a designer or engineer who had specialized training and tools.  Maybe you’re an executive who has a talent for building teams.  Or maybe you’re a Mom or Dad who works to help your child understand the world.   No matter what you do for work, you are an explainer.  Part of your job is helping others understand ideas - it’s a fundamental part of being a professional.  We explain ideas every day - we just never think... Continue Reading

How to Explain YOUR JOB at Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted by: leelefever on November 18, 2012- 3:41pm

Categories: Art of Explanation, book, explainer tip, holiday, thanksgiving

Comments

The story below is based on ideas from my book The Art of Explanation, now out in print and ebooks.  Perfect airplane reading!  You’ve been there before. You sit down to gorge yourself on turkey when the questioning starts.  Sitting across from you is Uncle Henry. He’s spry at 65, but is not so knowledgeable about technology.  He asks, “So tell me again what it is you do for a living?”  Your Mom hears the question and tunes in. “Yes, do tell!” she says, attracting the attention of everyone at... Continue Reading
When people ask me who is doing the best explanatory work these days, I often point to public radio and podcasts.  The radio format, while not visual, can be incredibly engaging and effective in packaging complicated ideas into explanations.   One of our favorites is NPR’s Planet Money podcast which has the tagline “The Economy Explained”.  The podcast got started with an episode of This American Life in May of 2008 called the Giant Pool of Money. This hour-long show explained the mortgage... Continue Reading
A few weeks back I had coffee with Kalid Azad, who runs Better Explained, a blog and book that focuses on the use of intuition to understand “gnarly” subjects like math and programming. His tagline is “Learn right, not rote”. I love that.   Kalid made a point that day that stuck with me. Here it is from a blog post called “Developing Your Intuition for Math”. Our initial exposure to an idea shapes our intuition. And our intuition impacts how much we enjoy a subject. What do I mean?   Suppose... Continue Reading

Pages