(Last Updated: October 20, 2017)

When creating a video, one of the most important things you need to do first is to write a good video script. The reason is that a script helps you build a solid foundation to create a great video. In this article, I’ll show you how to do that in more detail.

Why You Should Write a Video Script

Imagine that you are making a video, and don’t have a good video script for it. Then, you do everything at the same time. For example, record screen while “thinking” what you need to do next in your head. Eventually, you get a messy video which may lack important details and/or have a lot of unnecessary information. Most importantly, the steps you mentioned in that video may confuse the audience because they aren’t ordered.

write a video script

All things considered, it’s better to write a video script before creating a video. You can, therefore, organize your thoughts, specify how your video will flow, and create consistency for your video.

  • When writing a video script, you have time to think through all of your ideas. For instance, you can determine what should be included and what shouldn’t. Or, how to impress the audience right at the beginning of the video? Or, how to organize procedures that the audience can follow?
  • There are lots of videos suffering from a lack of the good flow. This gives the audience a sense of frustration, leading to an increase in the bounce rate. To avoid this, write a script early on to make the flow smooth from one section to another.
  • Creating a video script is also a good way to bring consistency to your video. This is especially useful when you have to make many videos simultaneously, and you want to make sure that all of them are associated with your brand. If you consider videos as a part of your video marketing strategy, don’t forget to write a good script first.

Like Lydia Cockerham said: “a video without a script is like a person without spine”. In other words, a script is a backbone of any amazing video. So, start writing a good video script today, and you will find it easier to make a great video.

Best Tips to Write a Video Script like a Pro

write a video script

You’ve learnt why you should write a video script in the first place. Now is the time to find out some tips and tricks to create a good one. Remember that not all of videos need a script. In reality, this depends on your goals and your target audience.

In case you are creating video tutorials, explainer videos, and the like, a script is a must.

#1 Know Your Goals

Your goals have a huge impact on the way you write a video script. For example, if you want to create an explainer video, you’d better use simple words. Avoid using complex terms because your audience aren’t familiar with them. On the other hand, if your goal is to create a funny video, you are free to use slang and idioms.

#2 Know Your Audience

Besides your goals, you should consider your audience as you are making a video for them, not for yourself. If your audience aren’t experts, using jargon or technical terms isn’t a good choice. Paraphrase them or use simpler words instead.

#3 Write Like You Talk

The truth is that we rarely talk as formally as we write. So, use a conversational tone. This trick is useful to better engage your audience and get them involved.

But, how to write in spoken language? It is very simple to do that. Just imagine yourself trying to explain a feature of your product to a close friend or a six-year-old kid. In this case, what kind of words would you use? What tone would you speak with?

#4 Don’t Write Too Long

You are writing a script for your video, not a novel or a thesis. So, keep it short and clear. The audience don’t have much time to watch a long video like you think.

According to Wistia, shorter videos are more compelling than longer videos.  A 2-minute video, which is equal to 300 words, is a sweet spot. You can click here and here to define how many words your script should contain.

#4 Consider Your Writing Style

Write clearly and thoroughly. Provide context of the audience’s problem, especially when your video involves complex ideas or data.

write a video script

Normally, the audience may only watch a video once. You can’t count on them to watch more than one. So, make sure everything is clear the first time your audience watch it.

  • Write out names for symbols. In terms of numbers, write them in words. For example, write “one thousand” instead “1,000”.
  • Use acronyms appropriately. Avoid them when it comes to complex or new terms. Use the whole phrase instead.
  • Make use of contractions because they sound less formal and friendlier.
  • Use the active voice, avoid the passive voice.
  • Use simple words. For example, use “ask” instead “enquire”, “find” instead “discover”.
  • Avoid compound sentences, vague words/expressions, and jargon. If there’s another way to say it simply, reword it.
  • Keep each sentence under 25 words. You can use the rule “a sentence shouldn’t take more than one breath to say” to control the script length. Avoid writing long sentences as much as possible.
  • Always ask yourself: “Can I split this sentence into two?”. This is a great way to make sentences shorter.
  • Don’t make bullet points because you are writing for the ear, not the eye. It’s better to write down every single word.

#5 Read It Out Loud

To check if your script sounds natural, read it out loud. Do you have to stop and take a breath in the middle of a sentence? If so, the sentence may be too long. Do you repeatedly stumble while you’re reading at a certain point in your script? If so, the idea or wording may be not clear.

Don’t forget that some words look good on paper. But, once you read them aloud, they possibly don’t sound right.

#6 Other Useful Tips

Below are some additional tips to write a video script like a pro. Master them and you will make your video go viral:

  • End your script with a call to action (CTA). It may be a suggestion to download a free trial of an application, an invitation to join social channels or a registration form for a webinar.
  • Use Google Docs to share your script with your team and get feedbacks. See this video if you want to learn more.

As you can see, it isn’t easy to write a good video script. But, your effort will pay off in the end. Now, start creating a compelling script on your own and use it to make a video with ActivePresenter.