The Art of Explanation with Lee LeFever

lee lefever on brand

Lee LeFever literally wrote the book on explanation. In addition to being the author of The Art of Explanation and Big Enough, he’s the co-founder of Common Craft where he helps leading organizations simplify their explanations through guides, videos, and visuals. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Lee LeFever

Lee LeFever is the co-founder of Common Craft and the author of two books: The Art of Explanation and Big Enough. Since 2007, Common Craft has won numerous awards, worked with respected brands like LEGO, Google, Intel, and Ford, and created original explainer videos that have earned over 50 million online video views. Today, Common Craft produces educational guides, ready-made videos, and digital visuals that are used by educators in over 50 countries. Lee and his partner Sachi are Common Craft’s only employees and work from their home off the coast of Washington State.

Episode Highlights

Why is it so hard for us to explain things? “We do it every day and we can take it for granted.” Lee went on to note that, just as learning to be a better runner, you can learn to be a better explainer.

The curse of knowledge gets in the way. “It curses us by forcing us to use jargon, add examples, and more.” Lee notes that it’s best to err on the side of being familiar. “We’re not dumbing it down, we’re making it familiar.”

How to make an explainer video. Common Craft has produced explainer videos that have earned over 50 million views online. All of these are grounded in solid explanations. Where do you start? “Start like you’re talking to your parents—explaining what you do and why it matters.”

What brand has made Lee smile recently? On a recent trip to Costco, Lee got a new Winix air purifier that connected seamlessly to his home wifi.

To learn more, check out the Common Craft website and Lee’s personal website for info on his books.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!