How do you communicate an idea?
Important ideas merit thoughtful construction. Does your message anticipate your audience’s questions? Does it emphasize their keenest interests? Does it diagram your idea clearly? Does it reach your audience in the right way, at the right time and in the right place?
Mix and match these four lessons to convey your message for optimal impact and access.
1. A picture paints a thousand words.
Opt for highly visual. A small number of high-resolution full-bleed images goes farther than many more small and fussy diagrams. Both, as any good instruction manual shows, are better than laborious text.
Imagine trying to decode DNA’s twisted spine with a textual description.
2. The human voice and face, like music, carry emotion.
You can bring a tear in a 30 second spot, a wrenching stanza of a song, the rising chords of orchestral strings or a single resonant echo of a medieval cathedral’s organ. You might have to write Dr. Zhivago to achieve the same in print.
Even dry technical or scientific data deserve their due. Don’t force your audience to decode cold notes on a page. Tell them why it matters. Show them how it matters. Connect the senses. Make them laugh. Make them cry.
3. Video tells one story.
One objective message. A single view. Consistent over time.
Words translate subjectively. Our brains transpose alpha numeric symbols with our own mental pictures. We each read the same text but “see” unique images. What color do you see if I describe a blue sky? Is it the same sky I see? How could you know?
If you need a uniform interpretation across audiences dispersed by geography or time – consider video. This doesn’t mean spend a ton of money. Consumer tools at your fingertip now rival professional studio equipment of just a decade ago. Your phone’s production values have risen exponentially. Professional films now employ smartphone and Go-Pro footage. Even a quick and dirty recording of your original live presentation survives time and space.
4. The cloud spans chasms.
Making it digital with secure access allows for individual consumption anytime anywhere. Blockchain it to the cloud.
Seldom One & Done
Start with your audience and design for optimal impact and access. Document your concept to stand alone. Combine your media for the best attributes of each. Write it, draw it, tell it, record it, test it, post it, share it. Invite critique. Learn as you go.
For inspiration, consider how you might stage your message as opera – with light and sound, color and motion. Perform it with all the spontaneous intensity of a live audience, and record it for all dispersed and future audiences.