Pro Tips for Making Explainer Videos That Elevate Your Message

7 min readApr 25, 2023

Explainer videos have become integral to most content creators’ and public speakers’ arsenals in today’s digital age. These short, engaging videos can effectively convey complex information in a simple manner, improving overall understanding, and making it easier for your audience to grasp and retain your message.

But don’t think you can throw together any kind of explainer-type video and call it a day!

If you want to captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression, you need to break the mold and get creative with your content, even if you are still following the explainer video formula. And that’s where this article comes in.

Today, we take pages from the playbooks of several explainer video pros and give you the inside scoop on transforming your explainer videos from snoozefest to downright explosive attention-grabbing bombs, with some fresh ideas and pro tips.

Let’s dive in!

Explainer Videos as Communicational Tools: Tips, Tricks, and the Three E’s

As a public speaker and content creator, you probably know how frustrating it is to put hours of hard work into creating content only to see it fall short of your performance expectations.

The good news here is that the explainer video formula has been developed with effective communication in mind. Moreover, it has been polished and optimized over the past decade to help companies and content creators capture their audience’s attention long enough to deliver their message.

For that to happen, though, you need to create explainer videos that communicate your ideas in a fool-proof way, and the best way to do so is by using the three E’s: Engage, Educate, and Entertain.

Making Explainers that Engage Viewers:

Engagement is critical for any public speaker looking to enhance their digital presence.

Leveraging the explainer video structure to break down complex topics while using visuals to keep things interesting automatically makes the content more digestible. Still, there are also a few good tricks to make that video more engaging.

Let’s explore some popular ones!

  • Break the fourth wall:

Breaking the fourth wall involves acknowledging the audience directly and adopting a conversational tone, which can create a sense of intimacy and connection. Sometimes, building a rapport with your audience is all it takes to hold their attention until the end.

  • Add interactivity:

Incorporating interactive elements into your explainer video adds more dimension to capture and keep your viewer’s attention. Different platforms offer different kinds of interactive features you can add to your explainers, but the most common ones are clickable buttons, quizzes, or simply adding questions and calls to action that motivates viewers to share their opinions and answers in comment sections.

In short, always look for and create opportunities to make your audience more than spectators: make them participants!

  • Keep it concise:

We are sure you have a lot to say about the topics you own, but remember, less is more when it comes to explainer videos.

It’s essential to keep your video as concise and to the point as possible. Avoid going off on tangents or getting too technical (leave that to your public appearances and keynote speeches), as the last thing you want is to bore a viewer just having their first interaction with your content.

Use simple language as much as possible and explain the key concepts in a straightforward manner at the beginning of the video, as attention spans and viewer retention dramatically decrease the longer you go.

  • Create a strong visual identity:

A solid visual identity can help make your video — and your online presence — more memorable and recognizable. The digital generation loves distinctive aesthetics, so using consistent branding elements like brand colors, text overlays, and consistent fonts throughout your content can be a game changer for your content strategy.

Doing so will not only help you establish a unique visual style but also will make your explainers that much more engaging and easy to remember.

Making Explainers that Educate the Right Way

By and large, explainer videos are regarded as outstanding educational marketing tools. Their three-act structure provides a practical canvas that uses storytelling to ensure your audience walks away richer after watching your video.

As such, you can use your explainer videos to provide context and clarity to your overall branding message, reinforce critical takeaways from some lectures or other content you’ve produced, teach viewers something they didn’t know, and overall make sure people will remember what you said long after watching.

However, an explainer shouldn’t be approached in the same way you would a lecture or a conference, so let’s explore some specific elements you can use to make your explainers educational in the right way:

  • Use real-world examples:

Real-world examples are an excellent way to help your audience visualize and understand complex concepts. Whenever possible, incorporate case studies, anecdotes, or even your own experiences into your explainer’s script to help your audience understand what you are trying to convey.

Make them feel like they’re not just watching a video, but instead, they’re living and breathing the topic at hand.

  • Collaborate with other content creators:

Consider collaborating with other professionals in your industry to create an explainer video that offers different takes and perspectives on the same topic.

This contrast in ideas can provide a more comprehensive view of the topic and make the video more informative and compelling.

  • Incorporate interesting visuals to keep data manageable:

Using data and statistics to support your points and make your argument more persuasive is a powerful way to make your content more robust. Numbers don’t lie, after all. However, the way you show that data to your viewers can make all the difference in the world!

Present your data with visual aids, such as animated graphs, charts, and infographics whenever possible to make the whole more attractive to the viewer. Not only is this good practice in terms of engagement, but it’ll also make it more likely that your audience will follow along and remember what you said.

  • Get creative with your shots and visual direction:

Standing in front of a camera and talking about a topic is suitable for other types of videos, but for an explainer? Not enough.

Getting creative with your shots, scene transitions, and overall visual direction — using things like split screen, animation, and inserts — can overhaul how most viewers perceive your content (and remember it!). Making it more likely that they’ll absorb your take and contrast and compare the different ideas you are discussing in your piece.

Making Explainers that Entertain

Explainer videos don’t have to be dry or dull. In fact, they shouldn’t be! A dry explainer video fails at one of the core concepts of the style, as the explainer formula was created to make information more approachable and easier to digest.

Moreover, outside of technical problems, boring content is the number one reason why people stop paying attention online. So, if you want people to listen and come back for more, you need to create explainers that do their job but do so with pizzazz, creativity, and style.

Here are some ways you can breathe life into your explainers and make them more entertaining:

  • Tell a story:

While stories are integral to the heart of every explainer video, effectively leveraging this aspect can get your audience hooked.

Storytelling can turn the most complex or tedious topics into ones your audience can’t walk away from. So when you are working on the script of your next explainer, be sure to spend some extra time weaving all your information into a compelling tale that brings your information to life.

  • Add some oomph with animation:

Animations offer a fantastic way to break up the monotony of live-action videos and keep your viewers entertained.

You can use animation to bring complex information to life and make things easier to understand, or you can just use animated elements to spice the charm factor of your piece. You can also use distinctive animation styles — like motion graphics and character animations — to make up the entirety of your explainer video and create something unique that speaks to your audience’s preferences.

  • Tickle the funny bone:

Humor is a powerful tool that can make your video more memorable and enjoyable. However, it’s important to use humor appropriately and not go overboard, since you don’t want to detract from your speaking points.

Use humor to lighten the mood or to make your points more relatable, but don’t try to make a comedy sketch.

  • Create a series:

Instead of settling for a potential one-hit wonder, consider creating a series of explainers that covers a topic in greater depth across several individual videos.

This allows you to dive deeper into the topic you want to explore while still leveraging the power of the short explainer video style. This can also build your credibility as a speaker and authority on the subject.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned public speaker or just starting out, explainer videos are an essential tool on your path to success. But you need to approach the medium the right way to make pieces that your audiences will love to watch!

Remember, your video is your chance to shine and make a lasting impression on your audience. With a little creativity and a lot of passion, you can create a video that will knock their socks off and leave them wanting more. So, get out there and start putting these pro tips into practice!

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.