When it comes to making a great business video, demo video or sales video, one of the most important elements is your script. Sure, fancy-shmancy effects, killer animation and pristine HD video are great pluses, but if your script isn’t good then the viewer isn’t going to take away what you want them to take away, and this could cost you customers. We’ve put together a list of five common script mistakes made by online video makers. Check ’em out so you know what to avoid.
1. Failing to Connect With Your Viewers
One of the biggest script mistakes (if not THE biggest) is failing to connect with viewers. When you make a promo video to present your product you don’t want to just talk at your viewers; you want to engage them. Connect with your potential customers by presenting them with a problem that they may be dealing with, a question they may have asked themselves, a desire that may spark their interest. Use your script to make your viewers feel like you are talking directly to them — like you know them.
We cannot stress enough how important connecting with your viewers is. As we continue on through the remaining four script mistakes you’ll see that viewer engagement is a common thread in all of them.
2. Listing Features Instead of Telling a Story
As a video maker it is your job to tell a story. Unfortunately, lots of brands and businesses fall into the trap of ignoring the story and simply reading off a list of product features, services or other not-so-interesting information. I’m sure your product is awesome, but let’s face it — a story about how a common problem was solved using your product is a lot more interesting and engaging than a dry list of all the things your product can do.
3. Rambling On and On … And On …
When you create an online video you have to understand that viewers not only have short attention spans, but they also have a whole lot of other video content they could be watching instead of yours. For this reason it’s important to keep your video short and to the point.
After you’ve written the first draft of your script, go through and slash everything that isn’t absolutely necessary for telling your story. You should be left with a script that tells the viewer exactly what they need to know in the shortest and most engaging way possible.
4. Getting Bogged Down in the Language
You’ve probably watched videos with voice-overs that sound like someone is reading a script off a piece of paper. It just doesn’t sound natural. The reason this happens is because the scriptwriter got bogged down in the language.
You don’t need to write something that sounds like an academic text with flashy or poetic language. If you do, it’s going to be hard for anyone to read it naturally. The best way to avoid this problem is to write the script just like you talk. Be casual and explain things just as you would if you were explaining something to someone who was sitting in the room with you.
Note: Reading your script aloud can help you get a good idea of how natural it sounds.
5. Making Assumptions About What Your Audience Knows
Another script mistake that is especially common among business and sales videos is assuming that your audience knows things just because you do. Remember, you work with your product day in and day out. You know everything there is to know about your industry — all the jargon, statistics and technical speak. When things are so familiar to you it can be easy to forget that everybody doesn’t know this stuff. Write your script in a way that is easy for anybody to understand, even people who don’t know a single thing about your product, not even the name.
Note: A good test is to read your script aloud to a group of people who know nothing about your product and then ask them questions at the end to see if they understood.
Now that you know five of the most common script mistakes to avoid, you’re ready to get to work. Happy scriptwriting!