To produce a premium video you need a powerful script. Whether it’s a corporate, training or explainer video, a strong script will make sure your video delivers a message that packs a punch. We recommend keeping six points in mind when writing your video script:
- Have a clearly defined purpose
- Find a hook
- Stick to a small handful of simple messages
- Have a clear call to action
- Choose the right tone
- Edit your script for clarity and effectiveness
Like writing anything else, start by writing everything down in draft form with the goal of simply getting all of your ideas out onto the page.
Then go back and edit your draft, revising it to match the audience and your goals. Aim for a compelling, single message with a strong call to action.
#1 Define Your Purpose
Before you type one word of your script, define what you want your video to achieve. Without clear direction, your video script can ramble on without clearly telling your story.
To clarify the video’s goals, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the audience?
- What do they need to know?
- What is the video topic? The more specific the better
- What is your angle? The unique way you will address the topic
- What action do you want the audience to take?
Write a few bullet points answering these questions so you can refer to them while writing. You’re now ready to build a narrative around this information.
#2 Find the Hook
With so much noise, you need to grab the viewer’s attention and make them want to watch the entire video. Use an irresistible hook that makes them pay attention.
Our video for Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative video ‘A Day in the Life of Brolos Fishermen’ opens with the men starting their day; brewing coffee and preparing the bait. The storyteller hooks the viewer so they want to know how the rest of the day and story unfolds. This is the introduction to the stories of six Co-operative fishing teams working along the WA coast.
#3 Tell Your Story With a Single Message
Including too many messages in your video will weaken their impact.
Instead, decide on the main message you have for the viewer and stick to it. It’s better for people to completely understand and take away one clear point than several half-understood points.
When planning, try to list each message in one or two words – i.e Family, Australia’s natural beauty, Environmental Sustainability, Pride, Quality. Then get creative about revealing these messages subtly, without ramming them down the viewers throats. Make multiple short, tightly-focused videos rather than trying to fit every topic into one video.
In the above video ‘Day in the Life of Brolos Fishermen’ conveys a strong message. Anyone watching can clearly understand the passion these fisherman have for their product, industry and team. Each team’s story is different but consistent with the underlying message.
#4 Have a Strong Call to Action
The end of your video is just as important as the intro. Close the video with a strong call to action so the viewer knows what you want them to do next.
For a training video script you might include the same call to action several times throughout the video to get the message through. It might be a clear message they need to remember or it can be an action such as:
- Share the video
- Visit our website
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Download this report
We produced a video for InTransit to explain how their vehicle journey management tool works and highlight its benefits. The video ends by asking the viewer to visit the website and order a free test drive.
Want people to do something after watching your video? Ask them! Don’t assume they’ll take the next step on their own.
#5 Choose the Right Tone
Always write conversationally. Your viewer will hear the words not read them, so it needs to sound like a natural speaking tone.
Keep your audience in mind when writing the script. If its a video for high school students, write at their level, if it’s an older, corporate audience, adjust your tone and style to match.
To make sure the audience understands your concepts, use appropriate language. Check that the audience will understand any acronyms or industry phrases you have included.
Your script needs to be on their level; not too high they don’t understand the content and not too low they feel it insults their intelligence.
This all comes down to knowing your audience. A mismatch between your tone and the audience can make your video awkward and out of touch, so it’s worth taking the time to research and really understand the people you are writing for.
#6 Edit Ruthlessly With a Red Pen
Once you finish the draft, read it out loud. You could even record yourself speaking the dialogue then play it back to hear which parts need work.
If a sentences sounds clumsy or hard to say rewrite it. Short, sharp sentences are more effective than long-winded ones.
Every word needs a reason to be there so condense the script until it packs a punch.
Reading your script aloud will also give you an idea of how long the video will be. You can also paste your script into a Voice Over Script Word Counter and choose the talking speed to get a time estimate.
So there we have it. Follow these six steps next time you’re writing a video script and you will end up with a tight, punchy video that clearly communicates your message!
Need help with preparing a powerful video script or producing your next corporate video? We’re here to help.