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UNDERSTANDING VIDEO COSTS
IMPORTANCE OF A VIDEO SCRIPT
Updated 28th January 2020
The script is the most important part of any voiceover-led corporate video, or explainer video or any business video, including training and safety videos.
It's crucial because the script is the engine that drives the program.
The way to evaluate any corporate video that you see is like this:
> if you have a well written script that engages your audience, then it’s odds-on that video will be good – even if the visuals are relatively weak.
> On the other hand, if you have a video programme that is visually very strong, but it’s got a thin script, then it probably won’t work - in spite of the strong visuals.
We’ve all seen television adverts where they’ve spent half a million pounds on the production, but the script and the message just aren’t right. It doesn’t hang together, and the ad doesn’t work.
Which basically means a pile of money has gone down the drain because somebody didn’t put their scripting hat on straight and got carried away with visual or concept euphoria.
We’ve also seen very cheap TV adverts where there's a powerful message that’s extremely fluently told, and yet the visuals are not strong – and the program really works. It’s a winner.
It’s the same with your corporate video. The script counts the most. It’s important to have a perfect script.
What is a perfect script?
Here’s a simple definition:
The perfect script is where your target audience starts to listen at the beginning
- because their attention is engaged,
- and there is an inherent smooth flow in the script that just keeps them listening and listening and listening,
- right until they get to the end.
Anything that breaks that smooth flow of the script and makes the audience become distracted is wrong.
An example of this is when making a claim that isn’t substantiated enough in the program, or when passing a comment that isn’t explained fully. This is when you distract the audience. Your script mistake makes the audience become distracted, thinking about something they feel is wrong instead of staying with the message you’re trying to tell.
This distraction could last 5 seconds, or 10 seconds, or a minute, and that means you’ve wasted 5 seconds or 10 seconds or even a half minute of precious runtime.
I call these distractions Dead Spots.
Another example is when the script starts boasting, using self serving phrases, or talking about “we” instead of “you”.
People have heard all the puff & stuff. They tend to phase it out in their minds. Instant Dead Spot recognition.
You can easily avoid this trap by ensuring the ratio of “you” to “we” is 5:1, ie, one “we” for every 5 “you’s”.
Yet another example of a Dead Spot is saying endless lists of what you do, or markets you serve, or points to remember. People start to switch off here. Keep lists short and to the point. If you need long lists in your video then it’s very likely you need another video to cover these topics.
A script that flows, that really means something, is what will compel the audience to listen. This is the most important single element in any corporate video.
This is why developing the script is always the start of the video production process.
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Developing your important script
From the original topics - the bullet points that comprise the content of the your video - you need to sit together with your video production company as a team, and together creatively work out what the script is going to be.
You’ll need to research your market and your customers (or your workforce) first to make sure you’re starting from current information, and not from what you remember from maybe 6-12 months ago. Too many managers skip the discovery stage, and their video companies follow suit.
The script should then be drafted up for you as a 1st Draft and sent to you for approval. You can then make amendments and changes that help perfect it.
It’s also likely that you’ll have a body of colleague you have to satisfy, to make sure they’re happy with what you’re saying on your video. You need agreement from these people too.
A video is a very public production, a lot of people are going to see it and it must be absolutely word perfect in every respect.
Typically a script goes through three levels of draft and amendment, but it’s no surprise if it takes 6 drafts. This isn’t an admission of failure. It’s simply a show unparalleled determination to get it perfect.
And when the script is complete, and fully approved, you have the perfect words for the production that you want.
Whether your video is for your website, learning centre or social media, it has to be perfect.
An important video script for your important video project.