Edited by Nataly Bogorad
August 6, 2019
Video Script Writing Tips
Every good video relies on a well-written script. Strong video script will help you structure your video and make it more engaging and useful for viewers. If you’re going to create an explainer, corporate, promotional, training video, or any other kind of the informational video, you should definitely think it through before the recording.
You probably found yourself in the position of hitting the record button of your camera without knowing what to say. To avoid this, read our tips on how to write a script for a video and plan your footage.
How to Write a Script for a Video
Plan the Script
It’s essential to make a structured script to cover all the important points in a video. Start with writing an outline of your script. You can make a video-scripting template to fill in the plan. Your plan should include answers to these sample questions:
- What is the video about?
- Who is it for?
- Why do I make this video?
- What is my storytelling style?
- Why is my video useful?
Know Your Audience
To reach your audience, you should know who you are talking to. It’s important to speak the language that your audience understands. Use the terminology that everybody is aware of and cut the buzzwords out of your speech. Address people, so that they take the information on a personal level.
A great way to engage with your audience is to talk about things they care about. People aren’t interested to hear what they already know. Concentrate on the information about your brand or your company. It will make viewers trust you and take further action about your products or services.
Choose the Goal
State the key message in every video you make. The goal identifies the type of video – will it be a video presentation, announcement, or interview. The goals are different, but one thing stays the same: you should sound confident and convincing to engage with your audience. Use the first few seconds of the video to introduce yourself, set the topic, and explain what the viewer will learn by the end of the video.
The key message usually depends on the action you want your audience to take after watching a video. Tell the viewers at the very beginning why they should continue watching your video and what problems you will solve.
Tell a Story
You should write a detailed video script. Your outline can look like a bulleted list, but you need to turn it into a story after all. This way, the audience will find your core message useful and follow your call to action. You can only reach your marketing goals when you engage the viewer.
Your script should have the beginning, the development, and the conclusion. It will help you keep the audience's attention, as everyone is familiar with this structure. People are always interested to know what happens next. You don’t have to make a complicated story. Just make a logical connection between the key points you want to talk about.
Try to avoid dry facts and statistics. Talk about real examples of how you or your colleagues helped the customers in a particular situation. That’s the way to show your audience how helpful your company can also be for them.
Keep It Short
To keep the attention of your audience, videos should be short. The recommended length of promo video or video ads is about 2-3 minutes. Not every video has to be that short: explainer or how-to videos can last up to 30 minutes. You have to provide engaging and useful content throughout your video to captivate the audience.
Write a short script to make a short video. Don’t write more than 2 pages. Use conversational language rather than the formal one. Avoid writing complex sentences, use simple structures. Try to make every minute of your video valuable for your viewers.
Call to Action
Place the call to action (CTA) at the end of your video. CTA depends on your final goal: whether you want your viewers to download or buy your software, visit your website, subscribe to a newsletter, or contact you for further information. You can either place an image with your CTA at the end of the video and show it on screen for a few seconds or use a voice-over to describe your final message.
Read Your Script Out Loud
When you have a draft of your script, you need to read it aloud. It’s necessary because you should make your speech flow. Don’t make it sound like reading. Make sure you have a quiet place to practice alone, so you don’t feel embarrassed to talk.
One more reason to read out loud is to check your timing and pace of speech. You can underline the words that need to be stressed when speaking. You can even record your voice to listen back later.
After you found all the imperfections, edit your script: cut out the words that don’t fit or change them. Practice reading the script until you know it sounds natural.
Ask for a Feedback
Even if you’ve read your script a dozen times, you still can miss the mistakes. You need someone to take a fresh look at your text. Hand it over to your friend, colleague, or potential viewer and ask for feedback.
You can also ask a few questions on the general understanding of the script. Check if the key message of the video is clear or not. Chances are that readers will find something to correct there. But it’s better to rewrite the parts of the script at this point than to make a bad video.
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When you are done writing your script, it’s time to shoot a great video. Keep your script somewhere you can easily see and read it while the recording. You should bear in mind the pace of your speech – say about 130 words per minute. The viewers will understand what you say and you’ll have time to take a breath.
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