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Script writing - When to hire a pro!
You're a recognized expert in your field.
You've written articles, been interviewed, set sales records and gotten promotions based on your expertise and efficiency. Suddenly, the boss has decided your company just has to have one of those great whiteboard style videos to explain what the heck your company does, and you've been chosen to take care of scripting.
Hmm. Which way to turn?
You've never written a script for a video. How hard could it be?
Good script writing for video is both an art and a skill. It's not the same as writing a white paper or an online article or even a Power Point sales presentation. It's multi-disciplinary. You not only need to think about your topic, but how you plan to visualize it to make it interesting, plus a whole bunch of other stuff.
If your video is a marketing video, start by determining your target audience and gathering information about them. What are their problems, what keeps them awake at night and what is your solution? Effectively showing your audience how you can help them is the essence of a whiteboard style marketing or "explainer" video.
Marketing videos should be short, especially those online, so your next task is whittling away everything that isn't necessary. It's like the gag about wood carving a duck. The artist will tell you "It's simple. Just start with a block of wood and cut away everything that doesn't look like a duck."
Speaking of keeping it short, an idea length for your video is between 90 seconds and two minutes, or between 150 and 225 words of narration. Keep brevity in mind when writing your script.
Ah, the script! Here's where the left side of the brain meets the right side. Video scripts must be written for both sides of the brain. The left sides of your brain handle organization and logic. The right side takes care of visual information and emotion. Good scriptwriters always have that in mind. Words and pictures must coordinate with each other, and make sense. Abstract concepts are sometimes harder to visualize than concrete concepts. It's easy to visualize the concrete concept of a lawn mower mowing the lawn by drawing a person pushing the lawn mower with blades of grass flying out of the mower. But how do you visualize the abstract concept of a lack of teamwork? What can be drawn? Sometimes an analogy helps. In this instance, you can visualize a lack of teamwork by comparing to a game of tug-of-war. It's both familiar and easy to visualize.
Write the way people talk. Informal. Short sentences. Contractions. Read the script aloud, at the same volume you would read it if you were the narrator. You'll get a sense of how your writing sounds as narration. You're also more likely to run into land mines that will might trip up the narrator or which may read fine as written text but are difficult to understand when heard.
Always end your script with a call to action. The objective of your video is to get
viewers to do something. You may want them to click on a button to fill out an information form on your website. Or you may want them to call. More viewers will do this if you tell them to do it, hence, the call to action.
But wait! There's more! While the elements of scriptwriting we've covered aren't everything you need to know, they are many of the most important elements. Keep them in mind and you'll be off to a good start when you write your first whiteboard script.
When you don't have the time or inclination to develop a new skill, that's when you may want to consider hiring a pro to help.
Story Vision Video. Want help explaining what you do? We're here to help.
Want to know more? Click or call, 262-238-8740. We'll help you get your story out, and your search engine rankings up.