Vox pop

Things are getting complicated, aren't they? And the more we talk about them the more complex they seem to get. It’s time to look for some simplicity. It’s time for a ‘vox pop’, and here is how you do it.

‘Vox pop’ is derived from the Latin ‘vox populi’, the voice of the people. In journalism it means a short statement by ‘an ordinary citizen’, no longer than 20 seconds, telling the audience: this is how we should look at the problem and then the solution is simple.

If you’ve never done it before, you’ll experience that producing a ‘vox pop’ comes with quite some effort. So I recommend that you practise first on a side issue, and then move to the big issue that you want to reduce to simplicity: there is no reason to pretend it’s more complicated!


1. Choose the topic.

Example: obesity at a young age.

2.  Choose one specific perspective.

Example: fast food is a major contributor.

3.  Select two things we all can see.


a) fast food is very tempting, both in its presentation and in the ads

b) fast food is not expensive; healthy food is more expensive.

4.  Construct your 20 seconds vox pop.

Example: Look at what the kids are eating; no surprise they’re overweight. You know what they should do? They should nationalise all the fast food restaurants. And then they let the dieticians decide what’s on the menu. Give it five years and obesity will be gone!

Suppose there are four of you. Each one prepares his or her own vox pop. Make sure each takes a different perspective. Challenge each other, so that the final text is clear and crispy. Stand up during the presentation and use pointed gestures. Show your own delight about the clarity you offer, for free!

And then? Well, thumbs up for the different contributions: do they connect or do they compete with each other?


                                                                        [Pieter Mostert, 4 April 2020]

Posted by Kim Down on 4th April 2020 at 12:00am