By Kevin Elliott

The hardest thing to achieve in video production—in all communication, really—is clarity. 

People are busy and distracted. If you don’t make your story crystal clear, you will lose them. If you achieve clarity, you’ll grab them by the shirt and they won’t be able to look away. 

Your Story in 15 Words

I learned this skill in my undergraduate studies. My degree is in theology and philosophy.  

One of my favorite professors was in sermon delivery class. He taught us a technique for chiseling our message to clarity. I want to share it with you.

He called it a “sermon in a sentence.”

My professor would say, “If you can’t boil your message down to one complete sentence of 15 words or less, you don’t know it well enough to deliver it.”


How many times have you seen a video or heard a public speaker that you wished would have followed that rule? 

What if we applied that rule to all our projects? Could you do it? 

An Example from Quarantine

Here’s an example from our series of shorts about life during the COVID-19 quarantine.

We wanted to tell the story about what an average day in quarantine was like, but we wanted to make it interesting and watch-worthy. 

So we boiled it down. We decided to use a focal object, in this case a coffee mug. In under a minute, we tell a clear, simple story (complete with a Tiger King reference).  

Tell us if we did our job.

If you are not clear on what your project is about, no one else will be.

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