When it comes to humor there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Humor can transform an average explainer video into a compelling memorable experience. Laughter increases endorphins, which makes the viewer feel good, relaxed and in a better frame of mind for receiving and processing information. However, humor will only be effective if it has been appropriately applied.
Three do’s and one don’t:
ONE: Do not just use any old joke!
There are some pitfalls when using humor in your explainer video… If humor is not used correctly, it can have an adverse effect! Do not just throw in any joke that you recently heard. It will, in all likelihood, be completely out of place and distract from your main message. The humor used in your explainer video script needs to fit in with the topic. For example, if your explainer video is about financial planning the humor should probably involve money or financial services, and not just any random topic. If you cannot come up with a related joke, rather do not include humor in your script, as it will serve no real purpose.
TWO: Use humorous stories.
People tend to remember better when an explainer video makes effective use of humorous real life stories. For example, when explaining properties of solids one expert cleverly made use of a silly, yet amusing scenario where one geek wanted to propose marriage to another geek. The discussion that followed was based around chemical principles: in the story the geek carefully considered whether to give his geek partner a ring with a diamond or with graphite, because one is more kinetically stable and one is more thermodynamically stable…! (The humor in choosing the best ring will, of course, only appeal to scientists – the wit used in an explainer video needs to appeal to the target audience.) As such, humorous stories engage viewers and enhance memory retention. So, include amusing stories that relate to the topic of your explainer video.
THREE: Use dry humor.
Using dry humor in your explainer video script may be challenging, but it can be very effective. Dry humor involves a deliberate display of a lack of emotion. When no emotion is shown in a ridiculous situation it can be quite hilarious. Comedian Elayne Boosler once said “I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something is wrong with me.” This is a seemingly sincere delivery without much expression, and is a good example of dry humor. Dry humor appears to be unintentional. To incorporate dry humor in your explainer video allow your main character, or narrator to deliver humorous lines in a very straight-forward and frank way, as if what is said is not funny at all, but very serious indeed.
FOUR: Use unrealistic exaggeration.
Incorporate unrealistic over-the-top exaggeration into your explainer video’s script. This makes scripts compelling and interesting. Unrealistic exaggeration is not meant to be taken literally and is therefore humorous, and ultimately engaging. (For example, if you want to explain the solution to a problem, over-exaggerate the problem to such an extreme that it becomes hilarious. Then explain how the problem can be solved with ease.) Unrealistic exaggeration, as with any other form of humor, needs to fit in with what you want to communicate with your explainer video. To put a smile on the viewer’s face, the exaggerated situation needs to be directly linked to the topic.
Humor is an important tool in the making of explainer videos. Humor and laughter have a number of benefits. It decreases anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and stimulates the release of endorphins. So, if an explainer video is really entertaining it can greatly transform an average explanation. Especially if the topic is complicated (or even a bit dull) the explanation can be made exciting with a touch of humor. So, use humor to turn your next explainer video into a compelling memorable viewing experience! (Have you read Part 1 of this series?)