When you’re preparing a short video, your first thoughts are probably about planning your set, selecting the right camera, or casting an appealing actor. However, even when you’re not telling a very complex story, the perfect place to start is actually with creating a well-developed script.
Your script is the essential building block for any video. The content of the script will affect how the video is shot, and what you have to say to your viewers. Taking the time to write a solid script will help you clearly convey your message to the people watching the video.
How do you write a good script? Starting from a blank canvas can often seem like a daunting task – so in this article we will explore a range of simple yet effective steps that you can use when putting together your next script.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you’re writing your script, it’s important to stay focused on your end goal. Before you even put any words down, take the time to think about who your target audience is and what you want them to do.
This will end up informing the rest of your script. For example, if you’re trying to educate middle managers, you might want a professional tone with a lot of statistics. Defining your target audience before you begin will ensure your script’s tone and message stays consistent.
Create a Simple Overview for Your Script
No one can just sit down and write the perfect script from start to finish. Instead, the video script process is all about gradually refining your ideas. A good place to start is with a basic overview.
Try to just think about the rough concept of your video and quickly jot out the essentials. Don’t let ideas of what a video script is supposed to be get in the way of your creative process.
For some people, an overview might take the form of a clear outline with short words and phrases. Others might feel more comfortable doing a stream-of-consciousness paragraph crammed with a bunch of ideas.
Either approach can work well, so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself.
Structure Your Script Wisely
Now that you have the basics of what you want to say, it’s time to organize your thoughts. No matter what your script is about, it needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Your introduction is the part of your video that will draw in the reader, so make sure you have a good hook. Introduce the “what, why, and how” of your video, and make sure you leave viewers wanting to watch the rest.
Next, get into all the details of your video. The body of the script will be where you make your main point and fully explain everything to your viewers.
Finally, close your video script with a satisfying ending. Instead of just trailing off abruptly, take the time to draw things to a close. Summarize your main video and encourage viewers to take action by doing something like leaving you a comment.
Have a Conversation With Your Viewer
A lot of new scriptwriters get bogged down because they’re trying to sound overly intelligent and professional. Unfortunately, sentences that look nice on paper can often sound weird when they’re spoken in a video.
When possible, try to frame your script as a conversation between you and the viewer. Talk casually, use simple words, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
A script that uses a conversational tone can help you connect to your viewer. If they feel like they’re having a conversation with you, they are more likely to trust you and appreciate your message.
Be Clear and Concise
Many new script writers make the mistake of just jotting down general notes like, “list the benefits of our new product.” This rough guide is a good place to start, but for the finished product, you need to actually script every single word you want filmed.
Being very precise about what the video should say helps to get rid of awkward pauses and strange facial expressions. When your actor doesn’t have to come up with the words themselves, they can focus on really nailing the delivery.
Provide Context for the Reader
A video script is more than just the words you will say. It also gives a lot of insight into the direction of the video. As you create your script, consider extra documentation that explains your script to the people who will be producing it.
It’s a good idea to at least write an intro for your script that explains what it is about. Detail what you hope to achieve with the script and briefly summarize the message you are trying to promote.
You may also want to include some instructions about things like sound effects, actor movements, tone of voice, and lighting. Adding this extra detail to your script makes it easier to turn the script into a movie.
Test and Rewrite Your Script Multiple Times
Once you have your first draft, it’s time to test it out. A script is eventually meant to be spoken words, so you need to read it out loud.
Listening to the script helps you see how well it flows. You can notice any words that sound stilted and identify any awkward phrasings. Scriptwriting is always a process, so expect to spend some time testing your script, tweaking it, and testing it again.
All these tests are also great practice for the final video. By the time you’ve finally nailed your script, you’ll probably have read it enough times that you can easily speak the words on camera.
By following these steps, you can ensure that you end up with an engaging and easy-to-understand video script. And once you have your script in place, designing the rest of the video becomes a lot more straightforward.
Interested in learning more about how you can craft a quality video? Our team is here to help. Contact us today to discuss your next project.