Guy Kawasaki's new book Enchantment includes some great recommendations for creating "short, simple, and swallowable" messages (pgs. 45-47):
Use Tricolons - a sentence with three parts of equal length; e.g. "Be sincere, be brief, be seated." - FDR
Use Metaphors - figurative comparisons like, Band-Aids are "your child's new bodyguard."
Use Similes - comparisons of two things that are introduced with like or as; e.g. "Taking drugs is like playing with fire."
Keep it Short - short phrases are "memorable and repeatable."
Stay Positive - scare tactics can backfire.
Show Respect - don't insult people's intelligence or otherwise disrespect them.
What can kill a good message? He lists two things:
Design by committee.
A lost sense of reality caused by an over enthusiasm for one's cause.
My takeaway for creating a great message:
Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it honest.
If you need help creating an explainer video with an enchanted message, contact Wienot Films today!
Disclosure: Guy Kawasaki personally posted my video Powerful (Powerpoint) Presentations: Simply Stated to his site after I sent it to him and asked him to watch it. In a subsequent email exchange with him I promised to read his book. I did not, however, promise to blog about it. This post is done purely because I thought the content was worth sharing and at the very least is a simple way for me to go back and review some of its highlights.