One of the biggest challenges with straight-to-camera informational videos is keeping the viewer’s interest. A simple and effective way to make interesting videos, particularly on-camera videos, is by using summary graphics.

A summary graphic is a simple on-screen graphic that summarizes and reinforces the main points you’re trying to make to your viewer.

Representative Images Work Better

A summary graphic can be a simple text title on a plain background. To make your content more engaging and memorable, however, use an image that represents the concept your trying to communicate. That image can be the actual thing you’re talking about. Or, you could use a visual analogy – something real that represents an abstract concept.

You can have any number of summary graphics in your video. It depends on how many main points you’re trying to make.

Interesting Videos Made Easy

Summary graphics are simple to create. You can make them in the most basic of editing software. You can also use a free online graphic service, like Canva. The challenging part of the process is identifying and distilling the main points of your content.

Build a Mental Model

Summary graphics not only make your video more visually interesting, they make it more memorable. They help your audience build a mental model of your information – making it easier to understand and remember.

Cutting away to a summary graphic – or any kind of full-screen image – also means you don’t have to stay on camera for an extended period.

A summary graphic is very much like a sub-headline in a blog post.

Michael Kinney

Michael is an award-winning media creator with close to 30 years of professional production experience.

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  • Michael,
    Excellent content for a struggling newbie. I desire to produce learning videos for sales professionals. I have created over 500 Customer Success Codes. Each Code is a statement, phrase or quote by a famous person and/or me. I will show the quote as well as read it. I want my teaching videos to model the commentary videos of Prager University. I like the slide transitions and text movement while the talking head is still visible. One in particular is the YouTube Prager University on Capitalism. I will not include a link. My question, finally is, can I create learning video like Prager University using Keynote and iMovie? Thanks. Ernie Lansford

    • Thanks for the question, Ernie. Had a quick look at the video you referenced, and yes, you could create videos like that using Keynote and iMovie. Keynote could handle the animations, including most of the graphics. iMovie could handle the editing. You would need to shoot the presenter on a green screen, and then “chroma key” the green background in iMovie. Hope that helps. Cheers. Michael

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Michael Kinney

Michael is an award-winning media creator with close to 30 years of professional production experience.

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