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"Taming the Octopus"

Updated: Mar 25

“Taming the Octopus” is a phrase I’ve come to use when working with my very brilliant video production clients (pretty much all of them!).  

Folks often come to me with a lifetime of experience, extensive education, and a head full of ideas squirming like octopus tentacles wildly waving every which way.  They may be wanting to create an online course, a promotional video or series of videos, or even an app. One client arrived with 12 huge scrapbooks of photographs and needed to create a 50th anniversary spotlight video for their organization.  Another brought a tote full of notebooks, scraps of ideas, and books and had been working for years to figure out a way to organize it.  A psychiatrist wanted to take his PTSD expertise and break it up into a home-study course for people wanting to help their loved ones heal.  An inventor of lid press machines needed a way to reframe and simplify the way he presented 20 machines to interested buyers.

In the past, I’ve worked with an infectious disease specialist, a coach helping others deal with narcissists, a pain/kinesiology/Physical therapy expert, a Wiccan high priestess, countless artists, content-area experts, and more!  Obviously I’m not an expert in any of these things, so how do I help?  Having been a video producer for 17 years (and a former teacher for 12), I’m adept at finding the common threads that bring the information together.  I can find the most appropriate “buckets” or categories that will best reorganize the material.  As the “objective outsider,” I don my neutrality shades, ward off the blinding brilliance, and approach it with a fresh set of eyes.

So many are masters of their craft, but they just can’t figure out how to break it up into more understandable offerings for their constituents. That’s where I come in - whoa Nellie…it’s time to tame that octopus! 

I start by asking questions:  

Is this part necessary to share?  Does it really add anything?

What information could be most meaningful or relevant to the audience?

Is part of this redundant?

Are you missing something?

Are you assuming your audience knows something that they really might not know?

Can you do without some of this information, at least for now?

Would this information be easier to understand in a way that’s categorized differently?

Sometimes you have to face the squirming octopus head-on and cut off the first six arms of information - they’re not needed right now for the current purpose (and don’t worry, we know they’ll grow back!). Then we have to take those remaining two arms, rope them down and chop them up into more palatable, bite-size chunks for the audience.  It’s taking the brilliance and reorganizing it for others to be able to digest it far more easily.

Your education and experience don’t automatically come with the knowledge of how to impart it. Sometimes, you are blinded by your own beautiful mess of brilliance.  That is when the objective outsider can come in and help you tame that octopus. 

I’ve done this countless times.  My ropes are ready.  Let’s ride!

If your octopus needs taming, let’s talk about a consultation! Email me at


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