Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Hey there!

Adam Lisagor makes what we affectionately call “explainer videos,” but he does it for really well known products like StichFix, Etsy, Lyft, Slack, Square, and AirBnB. And hundreds of others.

He knows a thing or two about making effective video. Here are five things he says you should pay attention to.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
I’m sure you have experienced as I have
the opinions of people who aren’t in the
business they’re not performers they’re
not actors they’re not voice-over talent
wanting to tell you how to do your job
better I read articles all the time
especially from people who are business
advisors on how to use video or how to
be on camera or how to talk on a podcast
or how to be authoritative and some of
the advice is suspect some of it is
downright wrong but in this case the
article that I read is a profile of a
guy by the name of Adam Lissa Gore who
has a company here in Los Angeles I
think it’s called Sandwich video and
they make really high-end explainer
videos and you know we think of
explainer videos as here how do here’s
how to bold in Microsoft Word or
whatever you know this is our company
you know this is what we do well that’s
the kind of thing that he does but he
doesn’t for really big brands like
stitch fix and Etsy and lyft and Airbnb
and Square and slack and Facebook and
Apple I mean he does high-end
crowdsourcing videos crowdfunding videos
for clients on IndieGoGo and and on
Kickstarter and he does a lot of the
work himself and this reminds me of a
couple of people in history who have
been really good you know
man-on-the-street kind of people they
didn’t have big careers as actors or as
performers but they just had this kind
of charm about them that really played
well on camera or on mic and they were
able to build a business about it and I
read through the article thinking oh
this is gonna be another series of tips
that really don’t make sense but they
make sense for him you know the fallacy
if it works for me it works for
everybody and it turns out he he knows a
thing or two about making an effective
video and he starts with three
questions and then he has five tips I’m
gonna share them with you the three
questions is figure out what your
ultimate goal is and that’s okay you
don’t have to figure it out because
here’s the ultimate goal with any video
it’s to explain why something exists why
a product or service exists and why it’s
useful to a client now that sounds
pretty straightforward but a lot of
people miss that they want to talk about
you know how cool it is or how cheap it
is or how well-designed it is now why it
exists is to solve a problem always we
talk about that in the commercials class
your number one job is to help the the
listener or viewer solve a problem right
people try to be funny this is the
second tip he says people try to be
not everybody’s funny and it’s hard to
tell the CEO of a company who’s paying
your bill you’re not really that funny I
mean you’re okay and it’s nice to have a
conversation with you but you’re not a
funny guy so don’t don’t write a script
to be funny if you’re not funny if you
can’t pull it off and speaking of
founders and CEOs you always have to ask
yourself why are they on camera what is
it about them that they should be on
camera versus somebody else who could
tell the story better and often it’s
just prerogative it’s just privilege
it’s like I started this company I’m
gonna do these videos right so those are
three things to look at but here are the
five things that he talks about that I
think really do make sense the first one
is kind of counterintuitive but it’s
don’t be an actor first one is don’t be
an actor he says authenticity is rarely
the result of acting so we’re all actors
so it’s kind of hard for us not to be
actors but when doing an explainer video
if you go into actor mode or announcer
mode or a presentation mode or talk show
host mode or I’m going to show you how
to do this mode that’s a patina that you
don’t need don’t be an actor it’s not
reading words well from the prompter
it’s being able to tell an awesome story
that you don’t have to memorize you
don’t have to regurgitate it it’s that
reality that you just simply can’t get
if you go into actor mode so that’s the
first one for more
speak as if you’re sharing an idea with
friends when we do our workouts I talk
about this all the time don’t don’t do
anything but pretend as though you’re
talking across the table at dinner with
somebody or you’re talking to somebody
you’re both out shopping or you’ve
stopped for a drink or so you just
having a conversation that is so much
more realistic and so much more
accessible to the listener or to the
viewer then if you have a very loud
quick fast like we tend to speak very
quickly very fast because we want to get
that that energy going right I’m hoping
that when you watch these videos you get
the idea that this is how I would talk
to you if we were sitting in my favorite
restaurant having having a snack you
know we do wild things with our hands in
the air or we we think about how we
should put our hands and you know I
teach people what to do with their hands
when they’re on camera when you’re
presenting something there are some
things that you can do but for the most
part you don’t want to go crazy and and
speak with your hands right it
undermines your authenticity number
three after you record your video watch
yourself and really be honest do you
like you do you like what you see not in
terms of your performance but in terms
of you as a human being and don’t just
stop with you looking at you and saying
yeah I like me go to people that you
trust that aren’t gonna you know you
give you BS and just be a yes person and
ask them is this person is am I in this
video likable am i believable right it’s
it’s you want to make sure you go to
people that won’t that won’t just like
say yes because they want to be friendly
but that will call you on your BS
they’ll say what are you doing what are
you talking about I don’t get what this
is right
number four is also something this is
why this article appealed to me because
it’s a lot of what we’ve talked about in
these videos number four is get started
don’t worry about setup and equipment
just find a video style that speaks to
you don’t worry about having the best
camera or having great production value
just get your your persona established
what’s comfortable and what’s effective
for you get started that’s it and the
final one he says is nobody gets the
words right the first time and not to
beat yourself up it says he says here’s
a quote from him only the SuperDuper
pros in the entertainment industry
can nail a performance that’s looking at
you not not me can nail a performance
the first time most of us will get our
words wrong at the beginning right so
what he’s saying is don’t beat yourself
up you get it wrong it’s okay it’s gonna
end up on the cutting room floor just
take take seven whatever it is you’ll
get it right it’ll be fine
not to worry don’t don’t be so hard on
yourself and here’s a bonus in the
course of the article where they
profiled him they asked the question
what’s the perfect length for an
explainer video and you know it depends
obviously but what he really likes is 90
seconds and he kind of talked about a
different version of what I said when I
talked about podcasting episode length
like don’t make it so long that it’s
almost unattainable in terms of people’s
minds share in the amount of time that
they can spend with things make him
shorter and more often so instead of a
60 minute interview do 6 10 minute
interviews part 1 through part 6 he says
explainer videos for him the best length
is 90 seconds which you can’t tell the
company’s whole story in 90 seconds or
show how to use a product in 90 seconds
the whole thing but you can show a part
of it in fact I’m doing those things
right now with rehearsal Pro instead of
showing you the whole process of
recording and rehearsing with a script
I’m showing you how to highlight with a
script and then how to record the scene
with the script and then how to use the
adjustable timeline with the script in
chunks small chunks they’re very
digestible so lots of great stuff there
I hope that’s helpful anything anything
you’d like to add to that anything that
when you’re doing your explainer videos
when you’re the voice of an explainer
video you found works really well for
you or do you disagree with what he said
I mean you know it’s kind of hard to
argue with success but maybe it doesn’t
work for you let me know in the comments
below let me know what you think and
leave those comments by the way on vo –
go go calm you can’t leave them on
youtube if you want but vo – go go comm
is moderated and it’s it’s polite and
it’s got some great industry resources
for you if you’d like to subscribe to my
channel on YouTube then be notified when
these new videos come out go ahead and
click on my head there if you don’t see
a head there look for a subscribe button
somewhere below this video you want to
see the latest episode I’ve done click
on that frame and YouTube will play it
for you I’m David H Lawrence xvii thank
you so much for watching and I’ll talk
to you tomorrow.

3 Responses to Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

  1. Mary Zajac May 25, 2019 at 9:12 am #


    One thing you said struck a chord with me as I had thought this in January when you started these daily videos. I always feel like you are talking to me and only to me. It is our conversation for the day and I look forward to them. I have this “I wanna be like Mike” feeling every day. I want to emulate how you draw me in. It’s not easy but I am trying.

    Thank you again and I look forward to talking to you tomorrow!!


  2. Debby Barnes May 25, 2019 at 10:14 am #

    MaryZajac – your comment was SPOT-ON and I feel exactly the same way! So there you have it, DHLXVII! More encouraging cheers!

  3. David Wandelt May 29, 2019 at 5:38 am #

    These are so great! I keep going back and reviewing them. Thanks, David.

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