By Andrew Angus on March 2, 2011

TED talks inspire, RSAnimate whiteboard video engages

TED (named for its three original areas of focus – Technology, Education and Design), is a series of conferences designed to highlight “ideas worth spreading.” By providing free video recordings of these talks via their TED.com website, they’ve certainly spread those ideas far across the globe, with more than 290 million views as of July 2010.

The videos are incredible – illuminating, inspiring, entertaining…but are they all that they could be?

Not if you consider what we know about the brain science of video: People remember 58% more of what they’ve seen than what they’ve heard. But wait, you might be asking, TED videos show you the speaker, so that’s visual, isn’t it? Not exactly.

When you’re watching a speaker, there’s a disconnect between the topic of the presentation and what you’re seeing (unless, of course, the speech is about someone standing on a stage speaking to an audience).

To truly wake up those visual senses, you need a second layer of visual information that’s actually related to the topic.

Using Visual Communication to illuminate an idea

Enter RSA.

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) was founded in 1754 in the UK, and has a vision to “develop and promote new ways of thinking about human fulfilment and social progress.” (RSA website).

Here at Switch Video, we were really excited to see some of RSA’s animated videos featured on the TED website’s “Best of the Web” section. Created by UK-based Cognitive Media, they use a very cool style of visual communication that combines whiteboard illustration with the TED talks – we call it whiteboard video. By speeding up and slowing down the rates of illustration to keep time with the speaker, these videos are able to combine powerful imagery with powerful ideas to create and a deep sense of connection.

In this video, for example, author Dan Pink talks about motivation while the Cognitive Media animator illustrates each concept with a combination of simple images and short written phrases.

Compare that to Dan’s original talk. Seriously . Try it. You’ll see what we mean.

What do you think? Which one is more effective? Which one will you remember more details about?

 

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