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How to make your script Production-ready

So far, we have covered how to script a video that your audience will want to watch, that will engage their attention, and deliver a memorable and persuasive message.

However, before you can convert your script to a video, there is another step – you have to make your script production-ready for a video production team. 

Begin with a Pitch

Your video starts with a pitch, a promise. A pitch for the viewer’s time and attention.

Your viewer makes a crucial decision within the first few seconds: is this for me? Will it be worth 2-min of my time? Not too boring?

Set the context, identify who your video is speaking to, what’s in it for them.

Promise something worthwhile (and of course, deliver on it later); else one click will lay waste to all your time, effort and campaign spend.

Then Layer in the Emotion

Identify the core emotion you are delivering – is it optimism, excitement, peace of mind?

Make sure the script reflects the desired emotion. Then weave in contrasting emotions. Flag the desired emotions for the production team.

Use the Power of the Medium

Show, don’t just tell. A video is a powerful medley of visuals, voice, colors, captions and music.

Include instructions for all of them where applicable, paying special attention to the emotional tone.

Make it conversational!

Your voiceover is meant to be heard, not read.

Obvious, right?

Yet when we hire copywriters and train them as screenwriters, the first error we see is complex sentence construction – perfectly OK in written copy, but not ear-friendly.

Use short, linear, simple sentences.  

End with a Pitch

The ending emotion is what will stay with the viewer afterwards, and

they will subliminally associate it with your offering or Brand.

End your video on a positive, inspiring note. Along with a clear call-to-action.

...and, Cut!

Now comes the most difficult part. This will hurt. You will feel like you’re bleeding.

Start cutting.

The first thing I check when someone shares a video script for review is: the length. It is invariably too long. Usually by 3x or more.

A minute of voiceover covers 120-140 words. Most enterprise marketing videos need to be under 2 min, plus you often have pauses and gaps in the voiceover. So aim for <250 words for a 2-min video.

How do you tell your whole story in under 250 words? As I said, cutting is the most difficult part.

But all of this information is essential…

Is all of the information really essential? It may be for a 30-min meeting or a white paper, but not for a 2-min video.

The objective of your video is to get the viewer excited about your offering and want to learn more. Convey only the essential information to build credibility. 

If your video does the job, you will have plenty of opportunity to tell them more, and they will want to hear it.

On the other hand, if your video fails to retain the viewer attention, what you say is moot.

When in doubt, cut. Cut till it hurts.

OK, but what to cut?

Test each sentence against these questions:

  1. Does it help your audience? Or is it designed to impress?

  2. Does it provide a valuable insight that helps the viewer? 

  3. Can it be moved to a later stage in the sales process?

 “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Remember, the shorter the video, the more punch it packs.

When in doubt, cut. Then cut some more.

So tell a Story 

Think of your video as a short movie, with a hero (your TG), a story, and a happy ending.

Make every word, every scene count. Emotions are as important as the message. Start well, end strong.  Leave the viewer excited to learn more.

Looking to build a great story video? Something that makes people not just learn about, but feel your product benefits? Leverage StoryProcess to tell great stories, engage & inspire your audience, and transform your business.

Your Product has a story to tell. Tell it well.


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