Friday, September 12, 2014

Timing is everything - Video Scribe Creation

Time is money. Timing Video Scribe Creation can be, too.  

In creating a whiteboard animation, you want to grab people's attention quickly, while giving your images time to shine.

For a successful approach to time in your scribe videos, apply these golden rules:

Make the first 5 seconds count 

The first five seconds of your video are by far and away the most important. People only
commit to watching something they know will be useful or entertaining. Make it clear right from those opening seconds what your message is and why it matters.

This rule is so important that it's been built into YouTube advertising. If you pay to have
your advert shown before a video starts, it will play for five seconds before the viewer has the option to skip it and move on.

You have five seconds to recruit your viewer - and make them part of your story.
Keep it short

The biggest mistake a new scriber can make is to make a video excessively long.

Your viewer simply doesn't want to sit through a 10-minute video when one minute will
do. Explainer videos between one and two minutes long are the most effective at keeping viewers engaged.

That said, as ever, you need to know your audience. When the RSA animated Sir Ken
Robinson's talk, they needed 11 minutes 41 seconds. 11 million people felt it was worth watching.

Know your audience. Know your purpose. Set yourself a time limit accordingly.

Create a flow 

So by this point, you've got your hero. You've got your plot. Now you need to let them flow. But not all over the shop.

Sketching out a storyboard will allow you to create narrative and structure your scribes.
You can use it to plan out what you want the viewer to see at each point and why. You can
make sure it has suitable pace and allows time for viewer completion.

Whether you're using software like VideoScribe or physically recording the progression of your scribe, moving the camera around the canvas - focussing on one image at a time -
will keep the story moving. It's the visual equivalent of bullet points, but far more stylish!

Just be careful to get a good balance between movement and keeping the camera
stationary. Staying still too long risks making your scribe look static and too busy with images, but on the other hand, too much movement can look frenetic and over the top.

Time your elements 

Lastly, make sure you think about how long it takes your images to draw on the canvas. Depending on how complicated your images are, you may need to vary the pace and set some images to draw more quickly or slowly than others.

It's best to consider the flow and pace of your scribe when first creating your image, setting
each within your overall storyboard. This will keep your scribe sharp, cut the waffle and ensure maximum impact.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Recipe for the perfect script - Video Scribe Creation

Video Scribe Creation Once you've thought about what you want to say, it's time to work out how to say it. 

The first thing you notice about most scribe videos are the images. Of course. But that isn't
where you need to start. The script is the backbone of any great scribe.

Here are our top tips for making yours dazzle: 

Know your message. This sounds obvious but unless you have a clear idea of what
you are trying to say, your audience won't either. Stick to one message for each scribe e.g. 'This one explains what we do', 'this one tells people about our current offer', 'this one teaches the active voice'.
Set the tone. Should it be urgent, reassuring, funny? The tone or voice will influence
how the script is written and starts you thinking about the kind of voiceover you'll use.
Be clear. Your information needs to be clearly organised. Videos can easily be
bogged down by trying to talk about too many things. Make a list of all the things
that you want to say and then cut anything that isn't essential or directly relevant to your viewer.

Learning from the experts 

The dating website is a great example of a company telling beautiful and clever
stories to build its brand. Let's take a look at a script for one of their advertisements. In it,
we meet a woman called Helen, who says:
It's always nice to be asked out on a date, for it to go from a message from somebody to actually meeting a person. It's really exciting. Within the first few minutes of meeting 
the person, for me, I would know if I had chemistry with 
them. It would be nice if it were something that led to 
another date
The voiceover is informal, unpolished and personal. But don't be fooled - it knows its
audience. This is just one person's dating experience but it suggests what others can
expect. It creates an assumed intimacy - a sense of trust that casts the viewer as a character in Helen's story. could have led with cold, hard - and impressive - facts. They could have said
that they have 15 million users or that two-thirds of UK singles have tried online dating
or that Christmas is the best time to get a date. But this more aggressive approach could have fallen flat.

Instead, they drew people in with a personal story. With an everyday and understated

The advertisement ends with the company's key slogan: It all starts with a date at Match.
com. More relationships and more marriages than any other site. A subtle and positive call to action and a canny reminder of the company's name, website and USP.

But I'm not selling anything! 

As we've seen, every story needs a hero or indeed, an army of heroes. So if you're using scribe videos to communicate any kind of message, these central concepts - simplicity, voice and clarity - still apply.

Using these principles, scribing will allow you to introduce your students to Pythagoras the man, animate his theory, answer questions and set their homework.

Likewise, if you're campaigning against a bad move by the city council, you want to make your points precisely and give a pared-down pitch.

All the way, you want to keep your story crisp, pithy and memorable. And once you've
perfected it, it's time to plan your imagery. Because, as they say, images maketh the scribe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Focus on the story - How to Create Stand out Video Scribe

Once upon a time

First things first. Your scribe needs to tell a story. It's the best way to give your audience a sense of who you are as an organisation or what you're about as a person.

In her book Resonate, Nancy Duarte says:

'Creating desire in the audience, and then showing how your ideas fill that desire, moves
people to adopt your perspective. This is the heart of a story.' 

It is your story that will allow your scribe to rise above the multitude or get through to the teenagers in your classroom. The internet is teaming with video. 100 hours are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Six billion hours are watched on YouTube every month.

What you need is a hook, a USP, a little je ne sais quoi.

An amazing discovery or fact? A problem posed then solved? Or how about a hero?

Example - hold out for a hero

If you think about it, almost every famous story follows this structure:

1. Take one likeable hero
2. Present the hero with a challenge
3. Show them overcome their challenge and emerge transformed

Your hero might be your customer. You could focus on the problems she - let's call her
Penelope - faced before she knew about your product or service. Just look how different
life is for Penelope now!

Or your hero might be Brains in IT. He recognised the key challenge you faced as an organisation and here's how he helped you conquer it. It's the story of his 'eureka!' moment.

As a teacher, your hero might be Alexander Fleming or Ian Fleming or Victor Fleming or your students themselves.

Just make sure you give your audience a beginning, middle and end - and of course, all the important stuff in between

Shout about what makes you special

So once you have your hero, you'll need a plot. We'll look at the art of scripting , but here are some important points to consider in your initial brainstorms.

The most important thing is to make your audience part of the story - like Penelope or Brains or Mr Fleming's protégés in your classroom.

Answer their questions 'what's in it for me?' and 'why should I bother?' as soon as possible. Otherwise they'll switch off. Pronto.

Unless what your business does is very niche, it may take a little bit of digging to define
your unique selling point (USP). But it can be the difference between mediocrity and magnificence.

And even if you're not scribing for business purposes, you still need to explain why your message needs to be heard. Or why the viewer shouldn't go back to those seriously cute kitten videos he was watching earlier.

It may be that you are the best at something obvious - value, quality or customer service - in which case, congratulations! You have a clear USP to shout from the rooftops

If it takes a little more thought, here are a few handy hints for a gleaming USP:

Research your target audience and decide what their major motivators are likely to
be. Imagine what your typical customer might look like and try to speak to them with your videos.
Find out what makes customers choose your products rather than your competitors.
Emphasise those characteristics in your video.
Visit your competitors' sites and go through the process of buying their products
or services. Check industry forums, read reviews and ask around. What do people find irritating? What fails to meet their expectations? Make sure you meet those needs. Do it better - and advertise the fact.
Write down all of the things that are important to you as a business. Keep cutting
the list down until you are left with your core values. Then define your
promise and make it your slogan. Proclaim it loud and clear. And deliver.

Call your audience to action

Finally, you'll want to make it crystal clear what you want people to do after watching your scribe video.

It's a cruel reality, but most people don't bother following up on things they've watched.
They'll move on to that video of a dog riding an elephant or switch the kettle on or answer the door

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scribe videos versus talking heads

Or how the closing bell was only the start for one US worker

Sparkol, makers of the software VideoScribe, decided to put whiteboard animation to the 
test. They pit it against a talking head video. Straight up, gloves off, no funny business. 

Sparkol sent 2,000 viewers either a talking head video or a scribe at random in a blind A/B test. 

In both videos, the same business coach made the same pitch for new clients. Two videos 
- one talking head, one scribe. But exactly the same audio, exactly the same length and 
exactly the same pitch. You'd expect a similar impact, right? 

After watching the video, the participants answered a set of questions about what they had seen, testing their comprehension, retention of information, enjoyment, and how likely they were to respond. 

Sparkol suspected that the scribe video would have the edge

But it didn't. 

It had the whole shebang. 

The hard facts of scribing 

The scribe video outperformed the talking head video at every level

  • Those who had seen the scribe performed better in 4 out of 5 memory tests 
  • The scribe video was three times more likely to be shared 
  • The scribe video was over twice as likely to be recommended 
  • 4 out of 10 scribe viewers would have bought the service described in the video - 
  • twice as many as the talking head viewers 

The scribe video came out on top in all age brackets and for both sexes. 

Beyond the power of video, beyond the effect of multimedia presentation, there is something about whiteboard-style animation that gets through to people. 

Sparkol regularly hear from people who have won competitions with scribe videos. Winners like Mark Lawler, whose elevator pitch scribe was chosen from hundreds of 
entrants to promote Infoblox. It won him an all-expenses-paid trip to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange

Mark is a convert. He now has his own YouTube channel, where he publishes regular scribe 

It's over to you 

Scribing is bigger than ever and being used in every sector you can think of. When popular 
tech blog Mashable told the history of Facebook to mark the social network's tenth birthday - they did it with a scribe. 

Illustrators use it to showcase their work. Schools use it to make exciting educational resources, flip classrooms and stimulate the next generation of IT-literate students. 
Corporations use it to speak to their employees in a way that entertains and informs, and small businesses use it to get their voices heard in the crowd. 

People the world over are discovering that scribing lets them give voice to the thoughts and ideas that might not otherwise be heard. It can turn your scribbled thoughts into a powerful message and write it in the sky. 

Ten-year olds can do it. Harried schoolteachers can do it. Charity workers can do it. 

So can you

Where once we drew pictures on the cave wall for a few of our kin to see, we now have the whole world just a few clicks and shares away. 

The question is - what will you scribe?  Click here to watch sparkol

Monday, September 8, 2014

Scribing Research - How to Create Stand out Video Scribing

Or how it's handy when the studies and stories buddy up

When Sean James proposed a scribe video for his client's homepage, he was taking a risk.
He didn't know about the research behind whiteboard animation. He had never used VideoScribe before.

Running a small media company, Sean's margins were tight, and any new technology needed to pay for itself, yesterday. But he decided it was worth a shot.

Even in his most optimistic mood, he could not have predicted the result.

Simply adding a scribe video to the client's landing page lowered the bounce rate by a third.

The scribe increased the average time that visitors stayed on the page by 50%.

And that was not the best part.

By adding the scribe video, Sean managed to double his client's revenue to $200,000.

One video. $100,000.

The psychology behind the pizazz

Sean James didn't know it, but the research backs him up.

In twenty years of research, cognitive psychologist Richard E Mayer and his colleagues
found combining graphics with a voiceover to be far and away the most effective way of communicating information.

In fact, Mayer concluded that multisensory learning improves problem solving by 50-

Say, for example, you divide a class in three. The first group of students are taught using hearing alone. The second set are taught the same information, but using only their sight. The third set are taught using both hearing and sight.

Who learns the most? Who learns the best? Each time Mayer ran this experiment, the
students taught in multisensory environments outperformed their peers. They had more
accurate recall, their recall had better resolution, and they retained the information for longer.

Mayer also discovered that:

People learn best when corresponding words and pictures are presented closely

People learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-
screen text

People learn better when extraneous material is excluded i.e. the simpler the better

As you'll notice, These are pretty much the central tenets of video scribing

Scribes are multisensory 

Watching a scribe is a multisensory experience, which results in much better
understanding and retention. A scribe reveals information gradually, sparking your curiosity and allowing you to process the information bit by bit.

The viewer completion effect kicks in. You process the message at a deeper level and crucially, you're more likely to remember it - and respond.

That's what Sean James discovered to his amazement.

And that's what Sparkol found when they conducted their own tests of the whiteboard video style.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Why scribing works

With this portal I am able to reach thousands of employees 
who will be able to get the training they need to make a 
difference in the world. My scribe is going to be a signature 
piece of our marketing for this initiative and will be seen 
by thousands of people 14 

Video Scribe 

Whiteboard animation is startlingly inclusive. It speaks to the eyes and the ears. It can
break down barriers to understanding, conveying complex information very simply.

Which is why CARE Canada turned to video scribing.

The international humanitarian agency has its work cut out supporting women, children,
and families in over 80 countries. Its workers find themselves facing wildly different

scenarios - post-conflict zones, natural disasters, famine-stricken communities and
poverty of all kinds - and the team themselves come from all over the world.

CARE Canada needs its people to share knowledge, stories and training across the planet.
But how do you teach people thousands of miles apart? How do you ensure that people
with such different backgrounds and challenges are all on the same page?

As part of their e-learning initiative, CARE Canada used a scribe video to tell their signature
story. Far from being alienated by irrelevant and distant communications, the video
enabled CARE's team to relate to and understand their role in the wider organisation. Though far away, video scribing allowed them to engage with its core.

Anticipation and completion

So how does whiteboard animation work? What is its magic? 

One of the secrets of video scribing is the concept known to artists and illustrators as viewer completion. Two dots and a curve are instantly seen as a smiling human face - despite the lack of detail. The viewer's mind completes the image.

Scribe videos also stimulate viewer anticipation - they ask the audience to guess what is being drawn next. This continual anticipation creates surprise and rewards the brain with dopamine

The anticipation of images goes a long way to explaining the mesmerizing effect of
whiteboard videos - why they create such enjoyment, learning and longer engagement.

As their artwork is revealed, scribes demand your contribution and your curiosity.

Dino DNA and Weeds

And once you're hooked, you can start to grapple with complicated ideas. Scribes are perfect for presenting difficult concepts to a general audience.

John Hammond, the bearded genius behind dinosaur resurrection in Spielberg's Jurassic
Park, knew about the relationship between audio and visuals. You'll recall the scene where he explains how to extract DNA from an amber-preserved mosquito.

Although not technically a scribe video, the narrated animation is testament to the power of the audio and visuals working together. The presentation is straightforward enough for children to follow and yet communicates a mind-boggling idea.

Fast forward to the final season of Showtime's comedy-drama Weeds. How do you sum up your protagonist's dramatic journey over the seven preceding seasons - in just a few seconds? The show used a whiteboard animation for the opening credits, depicting the entire through the medium of video scribing

First rate production from much smaller scope

Scribe videos will wow your audience. They will also surprise your accountant. You can produce a high quality product with significantly less outlay than you would with other types of animated or live action videos. This allows you to make vast savings in terms of budget, timescale and resources.

Every day, we ogle our TVs and computers, sucked into the best videography Madison
Avenue has to offer. These advertisements are created by hundreds of people with seemingly limitless budgets.

Anyone who tries to compete with the big players using a hand-held video camera, non- professional actors and a copy of Premiere faces an impossible task - and the results are often seriously second-rate.

But scribe videos - they're judged differently.

We've found that quality scribes produced on a low budget compare very well with more conventional forms of messaging.

Or rather, they don't compare. They are judged in a category all their own. Scribes are so different, such a departure from the norm, that viewers tend to accept whiteboard animation for what it is.

There's something mesmerizing about a drawing coming to life. People are drawn to scribe
videos like a crowd gathering around a portrait artist at the fair.

And when scribe videos work - in over 80 countries around the world - they amplify a
message and make a big difference to people who really need it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Two Types of Scribing - Video Scribe

Or how to give one of the world's best speakers a helping hand

Sitting at your computer right now, you can scribe to the world. You can go bespoke or home-grown. Commission cutting-edge professionals or build your very own scribe at your desk, today.

Much of this choice is thanks to one man. Ken Robinson. Sir Ken Robinson, the world-
renowned educationalist, who inadvertently set off an avalanche of whiteboard animation.

Author of ten books, winner of prestigious awards, holder of countless honorary degrees, Sir Ken is the spokesperson to our culture about the problems in education.

It's no surprise that when he delivered a talk about schools killing creativity, it became the
most watched TED talk of all time.10

Yet that was just the beginning.

The RSA in the UK took just a portion of his talk and animated it. They played Robinson's
audio over a hand scribing illustrations on a whiteboard. The video, with its recycled narration, spread like wildfire.

It had half a million views in its first week.

At the time of writing, this small, incomplete hand-drawn excerpt of Sir Ken's talk has been watched over 11 million times on YouTube alone. More than twice the number of
views of the original talk on the same site.11

Hand-drawn scribes 

The RSA made a number of scribe videos for their RSA Animate series on philosophy, civilisation, psychology and world economics. Their animators adapted a technique
that emerged in the early nineties, whereby a team of artists draw out a creative story, recording their work as the narrative develops.

We call this whiteboard animation although it is more of a time-lapse technique.

RSA Animate fired people's imagination and shot whiteboard animation to the forefront of creativity.

New companies were quick to realise its potential

Truscribe was one of the first.12 It built a successful business around whiteboard video.
Based in the US, its highly skilled team of writers, artists and video professionals work with Fortune 100 companies to create thousands of hand-drawn whiteboard videos every year.

Automated for everyone 

What about making your own?

Sparkol, a UK company, created VideoScribe - easy-to-use software that allows you to
create your own whiteboard animations.13 Launched in 2012, it produces attractive videos very quickly, and opens up video scribing to those who can't afford professional services.

Scribe videos have been used both to lobby governments, and by governments to explain
policies. They have been made to pitch business ideas, win contracts, teach lessons, campaign for change and - wonderfully! - even propose marriage.

Watch How Scribe Video in action

Their potential is endless. Whether you pay for a professional service, or take matters into your own hands, the accessibility of scribing means that you can share your message loud and clear.

It's the style that made a brilliant speaker even more brilliant. But what is it exactly that
makes scribe videos so compelling?