3 tips to communicate clearly to your audience (using video, of course!)
Have you ever found yourself explaining a topic you’re knowledgable about to a large group of people? You’re using all the big words. Hand gestures too. You’re really getting into the discussion – this is your passion project after all. You think you’re nailing it but then you take a proper look at your audience and suddenly you realise that they’re completely perplexed. Blank stares. Shuffling feet. The silence in the room feels awkward and stifling. Your audience isn’t gripped on your every word – they’re totally bewildered by them.
Here’s the thing. As a communicator of any description – be that a public speaker, content creator or filmmaker – you can sometimes know too much about your topic. The divide between experts and audience is often enormous and usually crammed with industry jargon, complicated concepts and too much assumed knowledge.
When you’re trying to make your message digestible for the ‘average Joe’ (or Jo) you need to explain things simply, show them why they should care and give them a single call to action.
Video is often one of the best ways to do this because it’s visually stimulating and persuasive. In fact, it’s considered one of the most engaging methods of communicating.
But there are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your video to make sure it’s just right. And that’s what we’re breaking down in this post – so let’s get into it.
Tip 1: Walk in your audience’s shoes
To communicate effectively with video, you need to ensure the topic you’re talking about matters to your audience. And that doesn’t mean it needs to matter to everyone. Your audience isn’t going to be anybody with access to a smart device and the internet – but they will be a key group who can really get behind your cause.
If you present your cause, topic or message to them in a way they can comprehend that is.
The best place to start is to figure out who you audience is in the first place. While video can be an engaging and thought-proving means of communicating, it can often fall flat because it hasn’t been tailored for the right audience.
So how do you work out who you should be talking to? It can be difficult to know where to begin, which is why we’ve actually created a course to get you on your way. It’s called Define Your Ideal Audience and you can learn more over here.
In the course you’ll learn:
- How to figure out who your story or project is for
- Research techniques to help you understand what your ideal audience cares about
- How to research who your ideal audience is.
- Plus loads more!
Ok. So once you’ve gotten familiar with your audience, you need to craft a succinct, easy to understand message.
Sure, your audience might care about your topic – but don’t assume that you share the same level of expertise. You never want to weigh your video down with too much technical jargon that will only leave your audience overwhelmed and disengaged. Please – define unfamiliar terms, play with analogies and use language that is clear to the ear.
The one question you should always ask yourself when you’re trying to communicate an idea is:“Will my audience be able to understand what I’m trying to say and take meaningful action?’”
Tip 2: Show your audience what’s at stake
The take meaningful action bit we mentioned above leads us nicely to tip 2. For your audience to take any action – you know do something beyond viewing your video – you need to show them what could happen if they simply watch and walk away.
Preventing a ‘play and forget’ mentality, really all comes down to understanding who your audience is and what they care about as it relates to your topic.
So when you’re thinking about your message, what’s at stake? What’s the outcome if your audience doesn’t take on your message? What’s the outcome if they do? What lives, policies, institutions or systems could be changed for the better? What are you (through your video) ultimately trying to achieve?
We know that sounds like a lot to comprehend but you probably already know the answer to that last question. You have a topic you’re passionate about and now you want to inform others, so you can all band together and create a movement around your cause.
To do this, you need to put your audience at the centre of your message. You need to show them how to get involved. How they can make a difference. And why they should join your movement at all.
Tip 3. Give your audience one call to action
To get you audience fired up to take action, you need to give them something to do. And there could be many things that you want them to do. But to avoid over-complicating things, you need to give them just one thing.
So what’s the most important step your audience can do next. It might be watching another one of your videos. Or signing a petition. Maybe it’s joining your newsletter or introducing their friends to your content.
You might want your audience to do all of these things. And that’s ok. But you can’t ask them to do everything at once because they’ll have no idea where to start.
So – think hard about the single most important think that can progress your issue and ask your audience to do that.
That’s it! The three tips you need to keep top of mind to communicate clearly and effectively with video
Using video to share your message might sound daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. And we hope these tips have given you the confidence to roll camera on your next video project.
Let’s run through them once more, super quickly.
To simply your message and communicate with you audience effectively through video you need to…
Tip 1. Get familiar with them! Know who you’re talking to and what they care about
Tip 2. Tell them what’s at stake if they don’t engage with your message
Trip 3. Let them know the single most important thing they can do after watching your video (just one thing remember. One.)
Think you’re ready to give a go? Terrific! We truly believe that video is a powerful messaging method that can engage an audience and have real world impact. But if you need a little more advice before you get started, check out out YouTube channel Moonshine Moonshot. We share all the ins and outs of video production and impact filmmaking to ensure you always create videos that engage, educate and inspire. Head here to subscriber now!