Writing The Perfect Script For Your Company's Video
6th August 2010 by Rachel Willis
When preparing a corporate or business video, creating the perfect script is the key to success. (A word processed script – I’m not suggesting for one minute you actually use a pen or pencil!) It is the way you can check your video will provide the key messages you want to share with your viewers. It also highlights where you would like to include any supporting video, pictures or PowerPoint to emphasise your points. Our technical team here at VirtualStudio.TV use the completed script to pinpoint where to change camera shots and angles during the recording and when exactly to add your supporting video and PowerPoint Presentations on the virtual screens.
Unfortunately, script writing is as difficult as it is important, and it’s a hard art to master! As all our videos need a script I thought I’d share with you a few tips I’ve picked up to help you in preparing yours.
Before you start writing your video script begin by writing the answers to the following questions on a piece of paper. “Who are your audience?” and “What do you want them to think, feel and do” as a result of watching your video? Write down the answers to these questions on the same piece of paper and refer back to them as you write your script. (This all sounds a bit David Brent I know, but stay with me!)
Writing the opening of your script is the hardest stage in the writing process, but it’s also the most important. It’s your big opportunity to engage with your audience and grab their attention. A good way of doing this is to include in your opening line a clear benefit your viewers will get from watching your video. Phrases such as ‘Watch this video because...’ or ‘By watching this video you will’.... work well.
It’s far easier to write a long script in the style of an essay and include everything you can think of than it is to consolidate all your ideas into a few key messages on one page. Resist the temptation to use posh language and long detailed sentences, and instead do your best to use the same conversational language you’d use if you were explaining your points to a friend. Using words such as ‘you’, ‘we’ and ‘us’ helps to make your audience feel like the video is targeting them directly and as a result makes them more responsive to it. Read your script aloud to see how it feels and change any words that don’t feel or sound natural. The audience will absorb language and conversational tones that they are familiar with, not the language of the Lord of the Manor! As an example the two quotes below are both saying something very similar, but which one sounds better and is easier to understand when you read it out loud?
‘We help the World's best companies to build their brands, launch products and communicate with their employees, by creating experiences that inspire and motivate audiences to action.’
‘We help companies to communicate and inspire.’
I advise against including humour in your script as it’s difficult to gage whether your audience will find it funny or not (that is the voice of experience!), and if they don’t it’s a real turn off! If you want to add humour then use lightness of touch, not jokes as it’s just too hard to judge people’s reactions on a pre recorded video compared to if you are standing up in front of a live audience.
Including supporting PowerPoint and video content really helps to bring your messages to life. Each of our Virtual Studios have a screen which can be used to showcase your additional material. You can add PowerPoint slides, company logos, pictures and clips from an existing video or a complete stand alone videos. We think you’ve probably already got what you need at your disposal, but often this information and content is hard to pull together. We can help you to consolidate and organise your supporting material to create the best video possible.
In terms of timing and the amount of content you want to include in a script, it totally depends on the type of video you want to produce. As a general rule I always say aim to keep it simple, and do it well. There are only so many messages an audience can absorb at any one time, so try to limit your list to three or four main points at the most. As a guide one page of A4 text printed in size 12 font will take a presenter roughly two minutes to read and probably a day for you to write!
We have more information on how to write your script on the Script Writing page on our website. If you’re writing a script for a video we are producing for you at VirtualStudio.TV then we’re always here to help. Whether you’d like us to write it from scratch, tweak your first draft, or simply give you some feedback on your script, the choice is yours! Please do contact us today if you have any questions or would like to find out more about our products and services.
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