All posts for “Art of Explanation”

Art of Explanation

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

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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

The Art of Explanation - Now an Audiobook

Posted by: leelefever on June 25, 2014- 10:16am

Categories: Art of Explanation, audible, audiobook, book, Explanation

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It's true. The Art of Explanation is now available as an audiobook and can be found on Audible.     

It's Not Sexy - And That's OK

Posted by: leelefever on April 8, 2014- 10:15am

Categories: advice, Art of Explanation, Explanation, explanation specialist, party, substance

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Many professionals work toward the moment their project, presentation, or work blows someone’s socks off.  It’s easy to imagine a dream-like vignette where, once your peers and managers see your work, they form a conga line to celebrate the amazing things you’ve done. It’s sexy, they say. It’s slick. It’s mind-blowing.   It’s a seductive way to think about work. We want to make big impressions and get noticed. We love the attention that may lead to promotions and accolades.  It’s not that... Continue Reading
The Art of Explanation has been out for about 1.5 years now and it's been exciting to see how it has made it's way around the world. The book has now been translated into 6 languages (including 2 versions of Chinese).  A Russian version is forthcoming.  Top row:  Korean, Hungarian, Simplified Chinese Bottom Row: Japanese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese. It's fascinating to see the book in other languages and consider what goes into the design. For example, the western translations in Hungarian... Continue Reading

Antidotes for Information Overload

Posted by: leelefever on March 20, 2014- 1:30pm

Categories: Art of Explanation, article, data, Einstein, freud, research, Speaking

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Later this spring I will be speaking at an event for institutional researchers called the AIR Forum ("AIR" is the Association for Institutional Research). In speaking with the organizers, I've learned that the audience is very data-oriented and sometimes find it difficult to make their findings understandable to others. It will be my challenge to help them become better explainers.  In preparation for the event, I wrote an article that was recently published in their newsletter that focuses on... Continue Reading

A Little Inaccuracy Can Go A Long Way

Posted by: leelefever on March 12, 2014- 9:57am

Categories: accuracy, Art of Explanation, freud, johnson, quote

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Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was a prolific English author who is most known for A Dictionary of the English Language (1755). He contributed extensively to what we know about writing and literature. Recently I came across a quote of his that really struck a chord with me: "In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness." Put another way: you can be concise or you can be accurate, but rarely both.  Indeed, the need or predilection to present information that... Continue Reading

Lessons on Visualizing Complex Ideas

Posted by: leelefever on December 18, 2013- 12:50pm

Categories: animation, Art of Explanation, production, teded, video, visualization

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A good primer by Ted-Ed on the process of turning a complex idea into visuals that can be used in an animated explainer video.   Reading in email? Watch the video here.  While the major points are great, I think it leaves out the creativity and complexity involved in producing the visuals themselves. It's a huge barrier for DIY video creators because it often requires expensive programs and extensive know-how. That's why we're fans (and partners) of GoAnimate, which provides tons of ready-made... 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

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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

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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

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