11 Nov Video Scripts
7 Tips to Write Good Video Scripts
Video tutorials are changing the face of technical documentation. Mostly, video tutorials aim to present something new, unusual, difficult, and/or different (NUDD). However, from experience, it is very easy to go down the rabbit hole and pack a lot even in a quick video. The success of these tutorials depends a lot on how you present the information.
Broadly speaking, the usual components of a video tutorial are the recording, the video script (instructions), and the audio script. Video scripts are mostly mechanical. They indicate the actions being performed in the video and some additional information wherever necessary. For example, Click OK. Audio scripts enable you to add human touch to the mechanical instructions. For example, “We are all set. Now, click OK”. This is also what makes writing audio scripts a challenge.
It is very tempting to explain a lot in audio. However, it is only sensible to draw a line and create a structured script. This article shares 7 practical tips to help you create better audio scripts.
#1 Conversation is the Key
Be conversational and not instructional. Write how you talk.
#2 Less is More
Do not convert every piece of information to audio. Create a clear guideline about what is spoken and what is displayed.
#3 Silence is Golden
Add silence as whitespaces to make the audio effective and digestible.
#4 Sensory Overload is Bad
Time the recording, instructions, and audio with adequate breaks. Running all three at the same time can quickly cause sensory overload.
#5 Uniqueness Adds Value
Use audio to share unique, nice to know tips or friendly advice. Such tips and advices add value and establish trust.
#6 Rehearsal Helps
Read the script aloud, multiple times, even if you use a text-to-speech converter. This helps you trim the script, identify possible locations for pauses, and a lot more.
#7 Feedback is Precious
Run the script through as many people as possible. Observe how they read it, record feedback, and modify the script.
About the Author
Shrutika Dhake is a Team Leader-Technical Publications Group at Erwin, Inc. She specializes in software product documentation in several formats, such as HTML documentation sets, product microcopy, digital adoption and onboarding, and product videos. Shrutika is a self-taught UX advocate and strongly believes in applying UX principles to technical writing.