Brain Power – working as an artist at Truscribe requires enormous amounts of it. From creating visual concepts based on client scripts to communicating effectively with creative agencies and coworkers to executing the final drawings under the scrutiny of the video camera – the demand on my brain power is considerable. So it’s imperative that I’m able to recharge my mental engine and stay sharp. But how?
Relaxation and downtime are essential to recuperating, but developing mental habits that keep one’s faculties fresh goes a long way in maintaining mental acuity. There are many approaches to this – going to the gym, reading, working on a puzzle, and meditation to name just a few. Whatever method you end up choosing, it’s critical that you enjoy doing it – otherwise you’ll find yourself not only bored, but likely frustrated as well.
As for me, I enjoy playing games to hone my edge. In my view, games are a way of developing one’s mental faculties without spending a lot of money or engaging in the repetitive exertions often associated with work. And after all, the whole point of games is that they’re fun! With so many designer tabletop games available today it can be difficult to choose one. For me though, the most fun and challenging game by far is also one of the oldest – Chess.
Chess has been around a long time, and though it’s not my purpose here to tell its history, it’s worth mentioning that it has been played in virtually every country on Earth for hundreds of years. Chess features many of the very same aspects that make modern tabletop games so exciting: planning, resource management, position, observation, problem solving, creativity, quick thinking and a point system. There is even a new version of chess called Chess960 wherein players begin the game in random starting positions.
To the uninitiated chess may appear dull and complex, and with good reason. The dullness comes from its lack of color, I think, and from the seemingly tedious placement of the pieces. The complexity of the interactions of those pieces can be daunting to learn; to these criticisms I often respond with an analogy. Chess is like a grand piano – though colorless and expansive in its potential variations, the music and raw emotion that a skilled player can evoke from the keyboard can leave one breathless. And while it’s hardly likely that you’ll find yourself moved in such a way while playing chess, the game holds much of the subtlety, rhythm, and symmetry found in music.
Ultimately, I hold chess in high esteem because it’s both fun to play and it thoroughly engages all of my mental faculties. Since beginning to play years ago I’ve noticed several things owed to consistent playing: First, there’s the thrill of strengthening one’s raw cognitive power – critical reasoning and lateral thinking. I’ve found that even though chess is merely a board game, the skills I’ve learned from playing are applicable to many real world situations. Secondly, chess teaches one to be observant. In much the same way drawing can be described as “truly seeing,” chess makes obvious the often obscured forces of cause and effect. Thirdly, chess is competitive in the best way – it is fundamentally a contest against oneself. One is constantly driven to outdo oneself and learn from mistakes, searching for the next preconception to conquer. Finally, above all else, it’s taught me the value of patience.
With 10^40 possible legal positions and 10^120 possible unique games (that’s more atoms than in the known universe!!), chess is hardly in danger of becoming boring or repetitive anytime soon. What’s more, since chess is a game with enormous global popularity you can play people from all walks of life. I’ve played folks from Greece, Ethiopia, Russia, Sweden, France, Denmark, Mexico, and Brazil to name a few.
There are many ways to maintain and grow your brain power. As we age it is critical to maintain an active mind. No matter which method you find most appealing, its important to stay mentally active and engaged. Challenge yourself – and grow your brain power!
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In these days of 24/7 connection and mobile everything, the impact of videos on sales and marketing is a no-brainer for marketers and sales reps. The question now is – how do you write a compelling whiteboard video script? That of course depends on your product or service and your target market to a large extent. Children will respond differently from PhD engineers to different styles, length and content. Certain key elements of a video remain constant, however, if you want to reach your intended audience and convince them to buy.
In the first few seconds of your video, you have to connect with the audience. Convince them that you understand their pleasure or pain point and that your product or service fits their need. Even for kids, this is the “hook”. Disney might lead into a promotion for families with a kid meeting Mickey, then show Disney World full of kids and families with smiles on their faces. You can visualize the young viewers salivating over the moment, then running to strong-arm their parents. The exact same thinking applies for the PhD engineer. Show them the thing they want want most – a beautiful suspension bridge over a gorgeous river, solving a community traffic problem, then a team intently mulling over a set of plans. From there you use story to engage, entertain, and educate.
Now you fill in the details within a logical framework. What’s are all the steps needed to get to Disney World? Which comes first? What kinds of obstacles might you run into and how can each one be addressed? Where will you stay and what packages are available? What’s included and how much? What about travel, and how long should we stay? Kids might not care so much about those details, but their parents, the buyers do. Remember who the video is intended for – the influencers (kids) and the buyers (parents).
In the B2B setting, the doers (engineers) might be looking for software to help them build bridges better, and the buyers (CFO for example) might be looking for increased productivity, faster turnaround and higher profitability. You will want to stress the buyer’s and influencer’s points of view in telling your story.
Recap the benefits in a short summary and use a sales lever, like letting them know that time is short, or if availability is scarce. This offer expires today! Show people smiling, kids having fun, engineers giving each other high fives as they look out over the bridge. Give them a view of how happy they will be to buy from you.
Call to Action
Once you’ve presented your case, you should tell them what they can do next to obtain your solution. That’s the whole point of your video. Tell your viewers how to sign up or call for reservations or where to buy your product.
Whiteboards Make it Easy
The basic concepts of constructing a compelling sales and marketing video are easy enough to grasp, but what about the execution? Unless you’re an experienced video script writer and producer, your video may lack the professionalism and coherence to really work. Sure there are plenty of handheld amateur videos that go viral, but how many of them are designed for increasing sales? A great alternative is to tell your story on a whiteboard using video scribing. Kids and adults will feel right at home with your story as it unfolds on a whiteboard. Make sure your video captures the essential elements, and you can create a memorable and effective sales tool that has a great chance of going viral and generating sales revenues.
At TruScribe, we’re big on the power of stories. Whether you’re using these carefully constructed tales to sell, to inform or to achieve some other purpose, there’s no doubt in our minds that presenting information in this manner is one of the most effective ways out there to ensure that your point is understood and retained.
But what is it that makes the storytelling process so engaging? In fact, there are a number of different factors that bring about this result…
We’re conditioned to learn lessons from stories.
First, it’s worth recognizing that, as we grow up, we often learn important lessons through stories. We’re taught not to lie based on the tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” and not to stray from our parents as the unfortunate “Hansel and Gretel” quickly learned.
Throughout our lives, the lessons told in these stories were reinforced through real world experiences and information, conditioning our brains to respond strongly to this particular format. As adults we often overlook the role stories play in our lives. The reality is that when stories are used, we’re more likely to listen. Past experiences have shown us that good things come to those who pay attention.
Our brains prefer that patterns be completed.
In addition to understanding these mental reinforcement patterns that occur, we need to look at the school of Gestalt psychology – which focuses on pattern recognition – to understand what makes the process of storytelling so compelling.
On a basic level, our brains love to identify patterns – but when we do so, we want to see them completed. In the case of storytelling, once a story begins, it is this part of our brains that encourage us to sit still until the ending is resolved, as leaving the pattern uncompleted produces a sense of cognitive dissonance.
“Transportation” makes our thought processes more flexible.
Besides these two psychological processes, social scientists recognize something called “transportation,” which occurs when we become involved with a story line.
Essentially, when we’re “transported” into a story, we become more amiable to new thoughts and less likely to question details that don’t match up with our past experiences or real world knowledge. If a presenter says something we otherwise wouldn’t agree with, we’ll be more likely to let the discrepancy slide when listening to a story than we would be when presented with the same information conveyed in a different style.
For sales people and educators, “transportation” is critical. Too often, initial resistance – whether seemingly justified or not – derails message delivery before it can even begin. In the case of sales pitches, being able to overcome the skepticism potential customers often bring to meetings is an absolute must when it comes to connecting with buyers and closing sales.
As a result of all these different factors, the power of storytelling makes prospects and listeners more willing to engage with and accept the message being delivered – ultimately increasing the effectiveness of the overall story and the person sharing it.
To learn more about the process we use at TruScribe to develop a compelling story for your company’s message, send us an email at GetStarted@Truscribe.com. Our goal is to set your message free, and we’ll show you exactly how the use of stories in the whiteboard selling is the ideal way to achieve this objective.
First off, It was a fantastic experience for our whole team to create a whiteboard video with Weird Al Yankovic. While it may seem like he’s just poking fun at corporate lingo, he’s actually doing us a favor. He’s pointing out a pitfall any of us could fall into.
Jargon is an important part of any culture. Jargon lets you know who’s a part of your circle and who’s not. When people within a group use slang, nicknames, and acronyms, it makes them more familiar to each other. Jargon is a very good thing…for those inside the circle.
In our whiteboard videos, familiar words allow us to say a lot of things in succinct ways. Instead of going on and on for sentences about the how we need to find ways to make the work I do and the work you do work together and resonate as a whole…we can say “Synergy”. There’s even more economy when we can draw an image that says a thousand words.
Jargon is only an issue when the viewer can’t see any authenticity behind it. It doesn’t matter what you say or what words you use if the authenticity isn’t apparent. It’s important to us that our videos we create express as much authenticity as possible.
Here are a few things to consider in being authentic in your messaging.
1. Be Concise. Your best first step is to tell your story simply. Use exactly the number of words you need to get your idea across. Respect the viewers’ time, but don’t skimp on story, or the information they want.
2. Cut out the flash. Being clever and getting a laugh is fun. Entertainment and excitement can work too. But when we put too much makeup on your message too often, your audience may think you’re trying to cover up blemishes.
3. Speak their language, not your own. Jargon seems inauthentic to someone outside your circle. Don’t start out speaking in a different language–start by learning theirs. Their language is also jargon, by the way.
4. Align with their pride or their pain. A bird can mimic language, but mimicry is not authenticity. Don’t just use their language, show that you understand their point of view. Solve the frustration and viewers will trust your intention.
5. Prove it. Be transparent about how you’ve done what you say you can do. This key to this point is literally “be authentic”. Give them a low barrier for trusting your words.
It’s hard to show authenticity where there is none; it’s easy to destroy authenticity even when its real.
We hope you enjoyed Weird Al’s Whiteboard Video “Mission Statement” which you can watch again here. Read about how it was made here.