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In my last blog post, we looked at Timing: the “one” in the one-two punch of comedy elements that can make explainer video scripts pop.

Today, let’s check out the “two:” Contrast. This clip of comedic genius Bill Cosby is a master lesson in contrast in less than a minute:

Did you notice the deep, manly voice at 0:06 (“war, and the men…”) that set up the dismissive takedown at 0:14? How about the uptick in pitch and the smile at 0:22 (“the queen”) and the hunched over rabbity body language at 0:44?

No?  That’s A-OK.  When contrast is used well, it works without clubbing you over the head. Yes?  Then you get where I’m going with this:  Contrast is interesting and arresting.

Interesting.  Arresting.  Influential without being obvious.  Hey, isn’t that what you’d like your explainer video to be? There are endless ways to introduce contrast in your video’s script. For example:

  • Comparison to competitors
  • The ever-popular problem/solution
  • Feature descriptions
  • A “which product is right for you” rundown
  • Even a simple two-adjective description (“we’ve got style…and spunk”)

Plus, if you have the script voiced by a pro, they’ll bring a whole other layer of contrast.   The pro-VO bag of tricks includes:

  • Shift in tone
  • Change of pitch
  • Adding/removing “smile”
  • Giving a bit of wry spin
  • Changing the pace

That last one is my personal favorite.  Clipping along through one section and lingering over another is a fabulous way to draw someone’s attention to the cool bits. And when it’s done right, they won’t even know how you did it.

 

Kendra Hoffman Kendra Hoffman (12 Posts)

Kendra Hoffman renounced her engineering ways to become a voice actor specializing in making copy sound smart. Her studio is based in Minneapolis, though she's been heard around the world. Her geek cred is substantial.