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Demystifying Complex Topics through Visual Storytelling

Organizations often think about video production in several different, non-overlapping lanes. For example, a big-picture brand video on the surface seems very different from a “how to” explainer video. The former connects with audiences in a more visceral way, while the latter educates audiences through a linear, step-by-step process. But explaining how something works can also be used as a tool for a deeper connection to the impact and meaning behind a process, service, or organization. An explainer video can go beyond “how to,” to dive deeper into “why this matters,” and guide a nuanced understanding of what the solutions look like. In demystifying complex topics, both concise teaching and emotionally-resonant storytelling can be achieved simultaneously.


The world of work is becoming increasingly complex. Organizations need to communicate with a multitude of stakeholders to clearly convey who they are, what they do, and what makes them unique. Video has several advantages in this process; through captivating multimedia, video can convey a great deal of meaning and impact in a relatively short amount of time. Here are 5 tips for demystifying complex topics through video storytelling:


Hear directly from people: Feature people and voices that can help to tell a story in a knowledgeable and compelling way. Hearing directly from a person helps to personalize the message that’s being delivered, convey an appropriate tone, and enter a world that feels knowable and relatable.


Use visuals to set context: Use engaging b-roll footage to help viewers understand the setting and situation. Visual scenes tied to a particular location, technological process, or industry helps viewers more easily categorize what they’re seeing and understand the context that the story is operating within.


Use graphics selectively: Rather than bombard viewers with graphics and animation, pick spots strategically where graphics will help simplify a topic or reinforce a key message delivered through speaking audio.


Provide clear examples: Tell a story about the real-world impact of a process, service, or initiative. Help viewers understand what success looks like by providing relevant examples.


Create a short list of essential takeaways: Create a short list (1-3) takeaways to help shape the messaging, story narrative, and video planning. Know that a viewer is only likely to remember a small number of main ideas, perhaps only one.


As video becomes a dominant language for how we convey and consume information, organizations are thinking about visual storytelling in a multitude of ways. Demystifying complex ideas and processes can be supported through not only providing information, but telling authentic stories.. It’s a challenging task to explain a complicated process while telling an engaging story. By personalizing experiences, providing relatable examples, and skillfully leveraging multimedia, the impact of doing so can be significant.