I’ve been working with social change organizations for some time, and before that I was working with technologists, and before that I was studying economics in India. For as wonky as economics is, my professors got it right. They taught us through stories.
Stories make even the most abstract ideas accessible.
The one thing that stops a story in its tracks – too much information. Too many details. Too much jargon.
If your audience has to pull out a dictionary or head over to Wikipedia to understand your point, you’ve lost them.
That doesn’t mean you dumb down your message, but you need to build your story based on the knowledge your audience brings to your video, explaining when necessary, omitting other information when it is too much in the weeds.
If you are unsure if your video suffers from TMI here is a test. I got these questions from Alan Bloomberg from This American Life, Planet Money and Start-up podcast fame. He says to ask your audience: Where are you confused? When do you lose interest?
If you have spots in your video that cause confusion or a lack of interest, go back and re-work them. Often times a few minor tweaks (adding a line of background, deleting a comment) can fix the problem.
You want your story to move your audience. TMI doesn’t make you smart, rather, it takes away from you making the impact you truly want to make.
To explore the steps needed to make video work for your organization, check out this free Video for Social Change Series.