How to Write a Great Script For Your Online Video

This post will give you the tools on how to write a great script for your next video.

Scriptwriting is the most important aspect of making a video. It is often overlooked however in the interest of producing the fancy end-product. 

This is a short-sighted approach, and will fail because a fancy end-product without a solid foundation will be useless. 

Writing a good script will form the foundation of your video and also ensure the production is speedy and efficient.

So, what is the process for writing a script that will guarantee you an awesome video? Read on...

 

Step One: Attention

Alec Baldwin in 'glengarry glen ross' (1992) explaining how to sell to leads

Alec Baldwin in 'glengarry glen ross' (1992) explaining how to sell to leads

"A-I-D-A".

You may have heard of screenwriter/playwright David Mamet. One of his best works is the play-turned-film 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (1992).

The story explores the machinations and relationships of a small real estate office. In one of the greatest sales speeches put to film, a cameo from Alec Baldwin explains (perhaps a little harshly) how to sell leads using basic influence and structure.

Aside from his 'A-B-C - Always Be Closing' mantra, he also educates the meagre salesmen in front of him with:

Attention
Interest
Decision
Action

A-I-D-A. 

"Attention - do I have your attention?"

That's pretty much it. It's basic, but extremely important. If you don't have the attention of the viewer, you have nothing. So your script should grab the attention immediately.

This can be through a visual and/or through a voiceover queue. Our trained scriptwriters tend to do both. For example:

As you can see, we're not talking about jarring, Danoz Direct-style "HEY YOU" stuff here (although that is very powerful too), but we are getting the attention of the viewer straight away.

The audio is the key element here - because we know the stakeholders who will be watching the video. So we frame the opening line around them, and their potential problem we will be solving.

 

Step Two: Problem definition

If you thought I was going to just regurgitate what Alec Baldwin says in this post, you were mistaken.

While his speech is potent for selling to leads, it doesn't quite fit here. What does fit is the necessity to define the problem of the person watching - this is how you connect with them in an instant.

Sometimes you can mould this into the 'Attention' phase. While we prefer a certain rigidity with our scriptwriting, you can definitely bend the rules here, because the problem definition might be a part of your attention-grabbing headline.

For example:

So you see it's straight to the point of the problem. It's a 'yes or no' question and it makes people think that way when you ask it. "Yes, I do find myself bored on weeknights, itching to play sport...what is this product or service they are offering?".

Now, we don't pretend that peoples' brains say that sentence verbatim, but the initial reaction is along those lines.

Or, it's not - and that's ok. In fact that's great, because it means your question is clear.

 

Step Three: Solution to Problem

What's a problem without a solution? A huge pain-in-the-neck.

So you have to solve your stakeholders' problem right away to warm them up to whatever your service or product you have. It seems obvious, and is crucial to getting them onside, but it's really the easiest part.

The hard part? Actually having something to show off and sell, but that's not our problem!

For example:

This part of the script is usually the most detailed and wordy, so the above example is just a snippet of a larger problem solution.

Ensure you cover everything that should be covered, make it sound attractive and if possible, it should trigger emotions in the viewer. Make them want whatever it is you're selling - remember you just solved their problem.

You're now their favourite prospect.

 

Step Four: Call to Action

The viewer still needs a bit of help in getting there though. So make sure you give them a clear call to action at the end. That might be 'buy now' or 'sign up' or 'learn more'. A good call to action is a short and uncomplicated one.

For example:

So let's recap. 

As you can see, it's not rocket science. This script method is the most useful for us, and yields the best results when writing scripts for a variety of industries. So try it out, and let us know what you think!

Or, if you need a script done, get in touch with us - we've got the process nailed...

Signing off,

Pete

 

PS - if you enjoy Alec Baldwin films you might enjoy sharing this post on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter - or all three - we don't discriminate.

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