All posts for “Explanation”


Ira Glass on the Building Blocks of Storytelling

Posted by: leelefever on May 11, 2010- 5:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: ira glass, storytelling, tip


We're big fans of Ira Glass and the This American Life radio show/podcast.  We listen to every show on the podcast and there are few broadcast storytellers that I respect more.  Via an older post on the Explainist blog, I found these videos of him describing the process of researching and crafting stories from back in 2006.  He names two building blocks of storytelling and how they work together. Really great perspectives that you can hear in every story he tells. The video above is actually... Continue Reading

What Pitchman Ron Popeil Can Teach Us About Explanation

Posted by: leelefever on March 2, 2010- 4:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: howto, marketing, ourwork


If you've been reading for a while, you've seen us write that a secret to a strong explanation is putting the subject in the context of someone's life.  Don't just talk about what it does, talk about how it fits into their world - how it takes away pain or makes something easier, faster, better. Recently I've been reading the Malcolm Gladwell book What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, which is a collection of his past articles from the New Yorker. One of the articles is called The Pitchman and... Continue Reading

Healthcare Reform Explained by Dan Roam

Posted by: leelefever on August 16, 2009- 5:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: health, politics, society


We often get requests to make a video about healthcare reform. Unfortunately, it's a subject that's very fluid - by the time finished a video, it may be out of date. Thankfully, our friend Dan Roam (who wrote the book Back of the Napkin) has stepped up to the challenge and created a simple way to explain healthcare/insurance reform. Check it out: Healthcare Napkins View more documents from Dan Roam.

RSS Described in Plain English

Posted by: leelefever on February 19, 2004- 4:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: Technology in Plain English


Updated:  We've created a video that explains this concept much more effectively. View it here. RSS is often discussed in very technical terms- so my hope with this post is to describe RSS in plain language using general terms. First, the "RSS" acronym itself isn't that important- in fact, there is disagreement on what it actually stands for. The front runners are: Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication. But again, don't clutter your brain with that. ----------------------------------... Continue Reading