10 Tips for Writing a Video Script

You’re producing a video! Maybe you’re announcing a new product, pitching to investors, or training your employees. In any case, the effectiveness of your video is only going to be as good as the script you have on the morning of production day. 

The trick is to keep it simple. That is, say everything you need to say to convey the key ideas, without overwhelming viewers with too many details. 

At People Productions, we use the following guidelines when we write scripts for our clients.Let’s walk through 10 steps to ensure your script does its job:

1. Start with your goal

What’s the desired result of this video? What action do you want the viewer to take after watching it? Knowing your main goal will help you stay focused and not dilute your message with extraneous information.

2. Write an outline

A brief outline with the essential ideas you want to convey can help you clarify your message – and make it easier to stay focused on the key takeaways for your audience.

3. Write to your audience

Are you speaking to experts who already understand the ins and outs of your industry? Or is it a more general audience that’s being introduced to the material for the first time? Imagine reading your script aloud to this audience; adjust your tone and word choice accordingly.

4. Shorten your sentences

Long, complex sentences are confusing to read – and even more confusing to listen to on video. So it’s important that you give your viewer one idea at a time. Then do your best to convey each idea as simply and clearly as possible.

5. Read your script out loud

Does the language sound natural and easy to follow? If possible, ask someone to listen along and point out sections that sound confusing or unnatural. Adjust the language until you reach a version that’s easy and comfortable to read aloud.

6. Write in the vernacular

As humans we’re social creatures. We prefer –and are more receptive–to listening to a more conversational message. So ultimately, the best version of your script should sound like an actual person talking. For example, “It’s” often sounds more natural than “it is.”

7. Focus, focus, focus

If you’re a subject matter expert, it can be tempting to turn your script into a dense mix of text and information. That may work for a training manual, but it doesn’t translate quite as well for video. If you get too far into the weeds, your audience can–and usually, will–tune out. Stick with the main point and lead them all the way through.

8. Prioritize clarity [Clarity first!]

Once you have the key points laid out, it’s a great idea to go back through your script and add some of your brand’s personality and flair. But remember, don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness, or you risk losing your audience.

9. Show, don’t tell

Combine audio with visuals–what can you show instead of just talk about? But don’t just describe what they are seeing. Let your visuals do their job. After all, a picture is still worth a thousand words. So, focus instead on explaining the significance and key takeaway of each visual. And, make sure your visuals and audio work together so you don’t confuse people talking about something different than what they are seeing. 

10. End with your call-to-action

What do you want your audience to do the moment they finish watching your video? “Call today”? “Buy now”? “Visit our website”? If you’ve written a clear and engaging script your viewers will have some momentum by the end of your video. What is it that  you’d like for them to do with it?

Obviously there’s a lot to consider when writing a script for video. So if it still seems daunting to create your own, here’s one last tip; let the team at People Productions help. We can make your video script sizzle by applying our 30+ years of broadcast, marketing and corporate know-how to your next video project. 

There are a number of ways we can help our clients. Some clients just want to give us the messaging points and have us write a script for them. We love bringing our creativity to the table. Other times, a client might provide us with an outline for the video and have us elevate it into something that the voiceover or actor can read. We can even help produce fully written scripts into finalized videos. 

So act now and call today!” Seriously,  we’d love to talk through your ideas and help in any way we can to ensure that your video is exactly what you need it to be.