Play for Today

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a city known for its innovation. Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb (to name a few) are all companies that started up in my home of Rochester, New York.

Image of lego bricks with the words, "be playful"

Image of lego bricks with the words, "be playful"

Last month, while I was visiting family there, I took my two kids to The Strong National Museum of Play appropriately located in the center of downtown. Surrounded by the tall buildings that used to house the headquarters of the corporations I mentioned above, it truly is a unique place for both children and adults to explore all the wonders of creativity. An exhibit featuring various quotes on play and creativity caught my eye, so I shot a video. I'm posting it here if you're seeking some inspiration today.

Play is so important when fostering an environment of innovation because it encourages us to let our guard down and ask questions. With play, there's no right answer. When we play, we try things out. We suspend our judgment. We shift our focus from "I should..." to an open-ended, "what if?"

How do/can you incorporate more play into your content strategy and creative processes?

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

We Humans Are Hardwired for Stories AND Video!

I feel a bit grumpy when I see an article listing “story” as a top marketing “trend” of 2017. The word, "trend" implies a trajectory to the next best thing, here today but gone tomorrow. The truth is that story is here to stay. So let's change those headlines to read, “the most sustainable brand marketing technique of 2017?”

Yeah, that’s much better.

Your Story is Here to Stay

In Dr. Susan Weinschenk’s book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (a fabulous read, btw) she lists the top people attention getters:

  • Pictures of human faces (especially if they’re making eye contact)
  • Pictures of food, sex, and danger
  • Loud noises (der)
  • Anything that moves
  • Stories

I bolded those last two items because they’re the most applicable here.

Dr. Weinschenk (also known as, The Brain Lady) explains that we humans were designed with not one, but three brains— a new brain, a midbrain, and an old brain. Our old brain is the stuff concerned with our survival, and we use it regularly in our environments to determine (and I love how Dr. Weinschenk puts it) Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Will it Kill Me? What this means is that we are programmed to scan our environment for movement or potential predators. We latch on to stories as a means of remembering and organizing information critical to our survival. Dare I say that storytelling is crucial for our evolution? Fascinating stuff!

How To Become an Effective Storyteller

From Visually.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

Perhaps you are wondering, "but how does one effectively tell a story on video?" Well, there are many, many ways and I look forward to writing about my process in future postings.  Above is an Infographic that I found—a short “how-to” that focuses in on the components of telling a great story online through video.

Are there any elements that you can sprinkle into your video storytelling process today to trigger the old brain in your audience?

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!

3 Quick Tips for Writing Scripts for Screen Demonstrations

Thinking of creating a software demonstration through a program like Camtasia? Or perhaps you’ll be discussing your product on a webinar. The secret to creating a truly engaging demonstration video is all in the planning. Taking the time to sit down and write a script for your screen presentation works to your advantage because:

  • it keeps your video short and to the point;

  • It’s an effective way to brainstorm visual content; and

  • a script helps you save time captioning your video later down the road.

The Evokery

Here are my three tips to writing an effective script for a product demonstration.

Tip #1: Determine the why.

Why are you creating this video? What is it that you want your viewer to learn?

Break down each video by learning outcomes. Start with a clear objective or a SMART goal. Follow my favorite formula:

The viewer will be able to do what, with what, and how well?

For example: using Adobe Audition, you will be able to add markers for easy visual syncing in Adobe AfterEffects.

Use your objective as your script’s blueprint.

Tip #2: Break it down!

Follow your learning objective and break it down into actionable steps. Whatever the learner needs to know, write it down!

Tip #3: Read it out loud and proud.

Whether you'll be the voice talent or not, it doesn’t matter. Before hitting record, take the time to read your script out loud. You’d be surprised at how seemingly well-written sentences sound awkward when spoken (see what I did there?)

Don’t bore your audience by talking off the cuff. Keep your demonstration short, and to the point to ensure a fully engaged audience, especially if you'll be hosting this presentation on social media. And don’t forget your call to action!

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer