To Make a Successful Video, Don’t Underestimate Your Audience
Adam Lisagor, founder of Sandwich Video, has been described as the “director of choice among Silicon Valley startups looking to gain visibility” by Bloomberg Business, and his impressive client list includes Facebook, Square, Airbnb, and Slack.
“Don’t talk down to your audience, talk with them” is a common piece of advice for public speakers. It’s actually very important for making an effective video as well. Don’t underestimate your audience’s intelligence. This translates to the words you use, your tone of voice, and of course, the actual content of your video.
If you just use a bunch of jargon to try and connect with an audience, that’s when you might lose them, because it feels too academic. In the videos we create at Sandwich, we prefer to err on the side of simpler language, while raising up more complex ideas. The same goes for humor. I prefer to go for smarter humor, and I don’t assume that people aren’t going to get the joke. A joke is just a different package for information. A good joke can be even better than simple language at delivering information. You just have to trust that your audience will make the connections that need to be made.
Tone Never talk down to the viewers, when you can bring them up to your level. Everyone has had at least one good teacher, who taught with a particular style and tone of voice. You could probably define it more by what it’s not: not condescending, not overly technical or clinical, and not emotionally detached. Not disingenuous or salesy or pitchy.
Content It’s natural to want to over-explain your product to your audience. We sometimes get clients that try to squeeze all the features of their product into one video, or want to explain the problem they’re solving in such detail that it seems overly complicated. Content overload is a common problem for your viewers. Based on our experience, if you try to give people too much information, they retain none of it.
I prefer to look at it this way: You shouldn’t have to explain every detail of a problem if it’s truly a universal problem. Just remind them of the feeling, and they’ll get themselves the rest of the way there. Similarly, show how the product feels to use, not every detail of how the product works.
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