It’s finally time to sit down and record your first video, but the moment you hit record you freeze up. Talking to the camera is easier said than done, and if you don’t have a script in hand, it can turn into a rambling mess quickly.

So it’s important to take the time needed to prepare a script well in advance of your recording – not only so you know what you’re going to say and are more comfortable on camera, but so you can ensure nothing is skipped. A good script is a primer, not a word for word recitation of your video’s content. Here are some tips on how to write a script for your video without boxing yourself into a corner in what you’ll be saying. These apply no matter if your video is free or paid.

Keep it Simple

Less is certainly more with video content.

The more you can break up your content, the better it will resonate with the audience.Click To Tweet Instead of producing one 60 minute video, you should break up the video in four 15 minute videos.

Scripting helps you ensure this is the case. Use short sentences, accessible and simple language, and ensure there is no industry jargon or buzz words that will lose the attention of your audience.

Start Small and Elaborate

In the first 5 seconds of your video, tell the viewer exactly what they are going to get out of it. Give them a reason to keep watching with a clear statement of purpose. If they are going to learn how to do something, tell them or show them what that thing is. If there is a clear benefit to watching your video in its entirety, explain that benefit now – don’t bury the lead.

Video relies on a punchy, direct presentation – people can’t scan it like they can with written content to find what they are looking for. If it doesn’t feel like they are going go get what the headline promised, they will move on.

Tell a Clear Visual Story

Every video should tell a story. Even if your video is a 2-minute tutorial on how to do a certain yoga pose, keep the narrative in mind. This means something different than you may be used to when we describe “narrative” however.

A good how-to video’s narrative is in how you solve a problem. In the first five seconds you should identify the problem your viewers have – what is the key pain point that has brought them to your video? From there you will paint a clear picture of what that problem looks like and then show them the solution. There is a beginning, middle, and fulfilling end – a story that will hold their attention throughout.

What’s the Take Away?

Include a short description of the benefit they gain from watching your video in that first 5-10 second introduction and then reiterate the benefit of what they just watched when the video concludes.

In the end, every viewer is going to ask the same question: What's in it for me? Click To TweetThis applies to almost all forms of content and in video you’d better make it very clear what they gain from watching.

Create a Rough Storyboard for Your Video

With all of the above in mind, outline a rough storyboard of what your video will look like. A storyboard goes beyond a written outline and shows visually what will be included.

Draw a series of scenes or descriptions of what you want to show the viewer throughout the video. With each drawing, jot down one or two lines of primer dialogue – what you want to say in that particular segment. If you feel comfortable adlibbing to some degree, you can keep these loose, but if you need to know exactly what you will say, spend more time outlining and refining the dialogue.

Turning that First Script into a Winning Video

A good script will not only prepare what you are going to say – it will provide a visual overview of how the video should be produced and what the viewer will get out of it. This script will allow you to look back after you release your video and determine, based on a number of factors, whether it is successful. By removing as much of the guessing as possible from the process, you can create a stronger video that does what you need it to do.

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