- Start with a brief.
- Use your brief to write an outline.
- Introduce yourself and the subject at the starting of your script.
- Begin writing your script, section by section.
- Support all B-rolls with the appropriate notes in your main narrative.
- Be as brief as possible.
- Use this script template for videos.
- Go through the script orally on camera.
1. Start With a Briefing
Although this action may seem trivial, it is crucial to the final script.
Starting with a briefing will allow you and your team to document the answers to key project questions so that every person creating the video is on the same page. If you\’re three-quarters done editing and your boss or colleague wants to completely reshoot the entire shot of you showing how your product solves a problem, that\’s a big problem for you.
When pesky difficulties like this get in the way of progress, you can refer back to the brief that records the goals and project plan your team collectively agreed on and say, \”This isn\’t what we agreed on.\” Then you can move on.
When crafting your brief, focus on your goals, topic, and the deliverables you want to take away.
A brief doesn\’t have to be fancy or follow a specific formula, but it should include some key questions to create a compelling video script.
- What is the goal of this video clip?
- Why are we making the video clip in the first place?
- Who is the target audience for the video?
- What is the topic of our video?
(The more specific, the better. For example, if you\’re in the painting business, you might choose a topic like \”buying the right paintbrush.\”)
- What are the key messages of the video?
- What should viewers learn from watching the video?
- What is our call to action?
- What should viewers do after watching the video clip?
You can quickly produce a brief in Google Docs that will serve as a living template that you can revise over time and that your group can work together on.
2. Use Your Brief To Compose An Outline
Once you\’ve chosen a topic and written a brief, it\’s time to start creating your video script. This way, you can divide your video clip into subtopics and determine how you want your dialogue (or monologue) to flow. We recommend starting with an outline before moving on to the entire script.
Contrary to what I thought before, you can\’t just rewrite a blog post and be done with it. There is a particular way to write a script to form a compelling video clip. Are you basing your video clip script on a blog post?
Alicia Collins can tell you more about that in the video below (and yes, we did write a script for it!).
As Alicia says in the video clip above, a video script shouldn\’t just regurgitate the blog post verbatim. Even though blog posts are ideally written to be conversational, you need to build pauses and verbal explanations into the speech patterns you wouldn\’t have on paper.
You can still create a well-structured outline if you don\’t base your video script on a blog post. However, using the subsections of the blog post is a helpful starting point to figure out how your manuscript will progress from one section to the next. Consider the individual best practices of the topic you want to cover in your video. Where are the natural transitions when explaining this topic to your audience?
For instance, if the topic of your video is \”How to Start a Business,\” you could organize your script by each of the tasks a budding entrepreneur must tackle when starting a business, such as
- Conduct market research.
- Create a budget for research and development.
- Meet with potential investors.
- Develop a marketing strategy.
- Develop a sales strategy.
- Identify your office space.
3. Introduce Yourself And The Topic At The Starting Of Your Script
Even though video clips are the channel of choice for many people who want to learn something new, they need to captivate their audience in the first few seconds, just like composed web content. After all, you have equally as much competition on YouTube as you perform the blogosphere, and your audience can abandon your video just as quickly as they can an article if they don\’t feel engaged.
To engage your audience in a video script, use the first few lines to introduce the speaker (the person on-screen) and explain what the audience will learn at the end of the video clips.
For instance, if you\’re teaching viewers how to optimize their blog for SEO, your introduction might read like this:
\”Hello, hello! I\’m [speaker name] from [company], and in the next [length of video] minutes, I\’m going to show you how to rank your blog on Google.\”
4. Start Composing Your Script, Section By Section
Just like the brief, the script for the video doesn\’t have to be polished. You are not trying to submit this script for any awards, and its purpose is purely functional. A good script makes it easy for cinematographers to get their message across while sounding and acting naturally.
Composing a screenplay is not the same as writing a term paper or a market research report. It would be best to compose the script the way you want the person in the video to speak. Keep sentences concise – I recommend avoiding compound sentences if possible. If you say on camera, \”I\’m going to create a video after I read this blog post,\” it reads much better than, \”I\’m going to create a video after I read this blog post.\”
Make it thorough.
A script doesn\’t just contain dialogue. Include those details if your video requires multiple shots, characters, or scenes. Make sure you include any necessary information about the set or stage actions, such as a wardrobe change.
The script should be detailed enough to give another person to shoot who understands it.
.Write for the audience and the platform.
Does your audience consist of young teens, middle-aged professionals, or older retirees? Will your video be live on Instagram, YouTube, or your website? Make sure you\’re appealing to the people you want to target with humor, tone, and inflection. If you\’re writing a short video for Facebook, you can shorten your script with sentence fragments. However, if you\’re producing a long explainer video for your website, be as thorough as possible.
Write every single word.
Understandably, you think you can write down the critical points for a script and then improvise on camera, especially if you know your topic. With this approach, get a message across as clearly and concisely as possible (which you should strive for in any video you create). It usually results in a lot of repetition.
That\’s why we recommend writing down every single word in a script. This way, you\’ll keep track of everything during the shoot and save a lot of time later.
5. Support All B-rolls With The Right Callouts in Your Main Narrative
If your video transitions from a person talking on camera to a close-up of your product or a demonstration, make sure you put those cues in your script, so everyone reading it knows to introduce those things for the viewer. These secondary shoots are often called B-roll and occur while the person off-screen continues to talk. This is one of the significant differences between a blog post and a video script.
For instance, when a blog post says, \”Look at the chart below,\” it\’s referring to a chart embedded below that sentence. This wording won\’t work on camera. Instead, your video clip script might read, \”in the graph you see here\” – while showing the graph on the screen instead of the speaker.
These written exceptions can also help prompt the speaker to take specific unspoken actions while delivering the script. For example, look at how the folks at Wistia did it in the video script for Wistia\’s script tips below. Text overlays are highlighted with a big, bold \”TEXT,\” audio is highlighted in all caps (REWIND SOUND), and B-rolls or extra details are highlighted in italics (with glasses). (Note: It might be useful to watch the video clip first, so the excerpt from this script makes sense).
6. Be As Brief As Possible
When it comes to advertising, shorter videos tend to be more compelling than longer videos. According to a survey by Wyzowl, 68% of respondents said they would instead learn about new products and services through a \”short video.\”
To create short videos, you need a short script. Write a script that is no longer than two pages. If you can maintain it to one page, all the better. It\’s likewise worth doing two to three rounds of revisions that focus solely on cutting out anything unnecessary from your text. It can also be helpful to compose the text aloud to yourself to look for ways to make the language more conversational or shorten the sentences.
The result is concise, engaging, and easy to edit.
7. Use This Script Template For Videos
Writing a script from scratch is more complicated than starting with an instance. To give you a head begin, take a look at the scripted video clip we created using Wistia (see below):
The script we used for this video? It can be seen below. Click on the image to download your duplicate and see how we applied the script elements described in this blog post.
As a refresher, these script elements are:
- An introduction.
- Subsections and natural transitions.
- Thorough descriptions.
- Conversational tone.
- Supportive cues for B-rolls and unspoken actions by the speaker.
Have you finished your script? Wonderful. Now it\’s time to check your work with a quick run-through.
8. Do An Off-Camera Oral Run-Through
Now that you recognize how to compose a script, it\’s time for a table read – the part where you practice bringing the script to life on camera.
Why practice? Because some words look good on paper, but when you read them out loud, they don\’t sound right. With table readings, you can fine-tune and cut anything that sounds too correct, out of place, robotic, or otherwise inappropriate for the message you\’re trying to share.
Oh, and one last suggestion.
When it\’s time to shoot, utilize a laptop and chair as a teleprompter.
Since you don\’t require a fancy script, you don\’t need a fancy teleprompter to remember your lines. But you do need help to memorize your text. You can use two things you already have a chair and a laptop to keep your text handy during filming.
Ultimately, using My sales script is a great way to engage with your expectation and give value.
Read More: How To Write a Sales Letter