This update is about how to write scripts for web videos. I’ll discuss what makes a good web video script, the most common mistakes, and show you my simple formula for scriptwriting success.
Listen to the audio version:
00:23:22 – Substitute yourself
00:38:00 – Stop runaways
01:00:00 – Words on the page to speech
01:13:06 – What to remember when writing a script
02:04:14 – A simple formula for scriptwriting success
Making a face-to-camera video, just like this one, is probably the next best thing to do when you can’t meet face to face. The amount of time and money it would take to physically go and talk to all of your viewers is obviously impractical. So, part of your videos purpose, is to become a substitute for real face-to-face contact, and a way of helping to build the relationship. It’s important to come across as being natural and authentic.
A badly written script is going to make you sound stilted and robotic. Imagine how awkward it would be if you sounded like you were reading a corporate memo when talking to a work mate. They’d become instantly disinterested, and want to run away.
In a video, people will simply click away if you are not engaging them. After working with clients for over ten years, I’ve noticed that, often, they are good writers on the page, but their work doesn’t always translate to the spoken word. There’s a huge difference between written and spoken language. Here what you need to remember when writing your next script:
- Be interested and enthusiastic. Show viewers that this is a topic that matters to you.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Would you be interested in what you are saying if you were them? Write from your audience’s perspective. It’s not about you. It’s about being useful and providing value
- It’s easy to sound too formal when writing a script. When you’ve finished your script, read it out-loud or to someone else. Ask yourself: Would I normally talk like this?
- Avoid using complicated words or phrases. If you wouldn’t say it in a natural conversation, leave it out.
- Focus on one key idea, rather than trying to cover too much. Attention spans are short. So keep the video short. If you have a big topic, cut it up into shorter videos and release them as an on-going series.
Now, here’s my formula for how to structure a short face-to-camera video.
Step 1 – In one or two sentences, summarise what the video is about. Briefly mention how viewers will benefit by watching the video.
Step 2 – Articulate what the main challenge is that viewers are experiencing. What is the number one pain point that you are helping to solve by making this video.
Step 3 – Why should your audience listen to you? Who are you, and why are you qualified to give advice?
Step 4 – The meat and potatoes – Here’s where you give the actual steps – the recipe – of what people need to do.
Step 5 – Results – by taking this action, what sort of results should your audience expect.
Step 6 – Call to action – what action do you want your audience to take after they finish watching the video.
I’ve created a worksheet that takes you through, step by step, how to write your own face-to-camera video. You can download this for free by entering your email address in the box at the end of this video!
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.