4 Online Video Script Tips You Can’t Afford to Forget
June 29, 2012 in Blogs
If you think that creating a successful online video marketing campaign is as easy as buying a web cam, sitting down at your desk, and talking off the top of your head, think again. You may not need a multi-million dollar, Hollywood-esque production, but you need a video script that makes you look like an expert and sums up all of your well-thought-out points perfectly.
So, how do you create the perfect script?
It all starts with remembering these 4 things:
1. Shorter is better
If a news reporter can sum up the lead story of the day in two minutes on the 6:00 news, you should be able to show off the features of your newest product or service in less than that. Remember, your video’s goal is to leave viewers wanting more — not feeling over-saturated.
The shorter-is-better advice also applies to the sentences in your script. Long, flowing sentences might be great for fiction writing, but they’re terrible for video scripts. Here’s the rule of thumb — if you have to pause to take a breath in the middle of your sentence, it’s too long.
(Try it for yourself… write a long sentence, and read it aloud in your best “video voice”. As a former news anchor, I can tell you that it’s a downright uncomfortable situation that you want to avoid at all costs!)
2. Keep it simple
Not only are simple sentences easier for you to recite on camera, they’re also easier for your audience to digest. Remember, in videos, your viewers don’t have the luxury of going back and re-reading a sentence like they can in an article or blog post. Instead, your viewers have to be able to understand everything perfectly all in one shot.
Making your job tougher — people tend to be more distracted when they’re watching videos than actually reading something. Mom might watch your video series while she’s cooking dinner. Dad might turn around in the middle of your video to answer a question. That busy business owner might look down to check his text messages while your video is playing.
So, how do you create a video script that’s as distraction-proof as possible?
The best advice I ever got came from one of my Broadcasting professors in college. On the first day of class, he told us, “Take all of those fancy words you learned for the SAT’s, and throw them in the garbage. Your viewers might be intelligent, but when they’re watching TV and tending to everything else that’s going on around them, they’re operating on a 4th grade level.” This same professor spent 30 years producing the “CBS Evening News”, so it was advice I took to heart!
Bottom line — your video scripts needs to be simple enough so that people understand them, no matter what’s going on around them. If people start to get confused, they’ll stop watching. And if they stop watching, the odds of them becoming your customer are slim.
3. Avoid alliteration
It might be catchy in written content, but your video scripts are no place for alliteration. If you’ve got a script that talks about the “stereotypical, slimy, snake oil salesman”, you’re going to wind up sounding like Porky Pig in your video — not exactly the impression you’re going for!
4. Passion is a must
Simply standing in front of a camera reading your video script doesn’t make it exciting. Instead, you’ve got to come up with ways to make your scripts just as compelling and engaging as your articles, blog posts, and newsletters are.
Remember, you’re going to set the tone for your viewers. If you’ve got a boring script, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to read it with excitement and passion. You’ll look bored, and as a result, your viewers will get bored. And guess what? Bored viewers don’t stick around!
This article is an original contribution by Nicole Beckett.
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