Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Transform BORING into FANTASTIC: the death of talking-head videos

Have you ever tried to watch a 10 minute talking head video online? It’s boring. The challenge is to resist checking your email or Facebook while faced with the speaker’s droning voice for the entire 10 minutes. It’s a challenge I usually lose.
Yesterday, I came across a 10 minute ‘talking head’ video that employed a clever technique to transform the experience from boring to Fantastic! I weathered the entire 10 minute experience without losing focus, without checking my email or Facebook, and I retained the material as well! I want you to check it out.
Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA) has produced this fantastic animation that overlay’s a recent talk from Dan Pink on the subject of Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us. The animation has several strengths that I feel really contribute to its ability to hold the viewer’s attention for the entire 10 minutes.
  1. The animation is hand drawn with the artist’s hand visible. Most people can appreciate craftsmanship when they see it and watching the animator draw out the material by hand is truly spectacular.

  2. Many people are visual. Watching an animated visual landscape unfold during the 10 minute talk instead of a ‘talking-head’ at a podium has far more attention grabbing power. It has impact.

  3. The animation frequently embeds words and phrases into the visual drawings. This serves as a pseudo-closed captioning method and it allows the viewer to integrate images, written words and spoken words together during the presentation. I feel that because these multiple methods of information as so tightly linked in this case that it contributes positively to the degree of comprehension, and retention, of this material by the viewer.

Can you think of any other aspects of this presentation that contribute to its success? If so, leave a comment below.

PS: the message in this video is also fantastic. If you want to build a great organization then be sure to set it up such that you treat people like people instead of horses. Give them autonomy and self direction. Be sure they can challenge themselves and cultivate the urge to get better at stuff (i.e. mastery). Ensure there is a purpose behind their work and foster the idea that they are making a contribution - preferably a contribution that is publicly visible. Great stuff!

1 comment:

Food said...

Really cool stuff! Any clue how such cool presentation can be made?