In video production, tackling complex topics and making them easily understandable is a crucial skill. Whether aiming to educate your audience or presenting intricate concepts, simplifying a topic is key to enhancing comprehension and engaging a wider viewership.
Anyone can simplify their video so the audience understands their story and its value by using these 6 practical strategies:
Master the Topic
To simplify a topic for a video, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the content. Invest time in researching and exploring the subject. Identify the key aspects, core ideas, and any relevant terminology. Once you have a handle on the topic, you’re better equipped to break it down into simpler components.
Identify the Key Message
Every topic has a central message or main idea that forms its core. Distilling the topic to its essence allows you to communicate the key takeaways effectively. Directors can ask themselves, “What is the primary message I want my audience to take home?”
Once you identify the central message, structure your video around that core element, and cut everything else out. Any supporting information that does not directly relate to it, delete it—toss it on the cutting room floor.
Use Visual Metaphors and Analogies
Visual metaphors and analogies are powerful tools for simplifying complex concepts. They provide relatable contexts that help viewers connect unfamiliar ideas to something familiar. Look for similarities between the topic and everyday situations, objects, or processes.
By presenting the topic in terms of something the audience already understands, you bridge the gap between the known and the unknown. This makes it easier for the audience to comprehend the new information.
For example, if your video explores the intricacies of DNA replication, you could use the analogy of a zipper, with each side representing a DNA strand coming together to form a complete structure. This visual comparison simplifies the concept and aids in audience comprehension.
I recently talked with a group of insurance brokers. Critical to their sales was the client’s understanding of how the broker could relieve them of overwhelm. But, stating that fact won’t work because it would give a logical answer to an emotional question.
Instead, I recommended using a video with a metaphor. Picture an ocean of file folders floating on the surface of the water. The client barely keeps her head above water as she dog-paddles to stay afloat while scanning the vast number of folders, looking for the right Medicare combination. Then, the broker comes along in a boat, holds out three different folders, and the client picks the blue one. The boat floats off in the sunset with the client relaxing in a lounger on the deck, sipping a Mai Tai.
Anyone watching that short video would instantly know that the broker can stop the overwhelm and supply the best options for the client to choose. All done with a visual metaphor, with no words spoken.
Break It Down into Digestible Segments
Breaking a complex topic into smaller, manageable segments is crucial for simplification in videos. Identify the major subtopics or key steps within the larger concept and create a logical flow that guides viewers from one segment to the next. This approach prevents overwhelming your audience with excessive information and allows for a more structured exploration of the topic.
Use clear section titles or visually distinct transitions to segment your video. This visual organization helps viewers follow along and navigate through the content seamlessly. Consider providing real-life examples or case studies to demonstrate the practical application of each segment.
Eliminate Technical Jargon
Using technical terms and jargon can alienate an audience, hindering their understanding and engagement. The goal is to make the topic accessible to a broad range of viewers, regardless of their expertise. Therefore, avoid or minimize the use of specialized words whenever possible.
And no matter what, don’t use acronyms.
Instead, opt for straightforward, everyday language that everyone can understand. If you must include technical terms, ensure you define them clearly and concisely using visuals or on-screen text. Also, consider providing captions to make it easier for viewers to follow along.
Visualize and Incorporate Examples
Visual aids and examples play a vital role in simplifying complex topics in videos. People often learn better when they can see concepts or scenarios in action. Incorporate visual elements such as diagrams, animations, charts, or real-life footage to support your explanations.
The key is using relevant examples and practical scenarios to illustrate the application of the topic. By providing tangible demonstrations, the content becomes more relatable and engaging for viewers.
The goal of simplifying your message helps the audience understand the content and its value. Clarity and concise use of words take great effort and will beneficially pay off when the audience truly gets what you’re sharing and sees its value in their life. The simplified video will be a great hit.
Copyright © 2023 by CJ Powers