There’s a good reason why videos are increasingly popular. They’re easy to consume and, more important for those of us with a message, they are easy to make. You can do a lot armed with just a smartphone. You don’t need an expensive crew, equipment, and studio to produce a decent-quality video. In a memorable video, the speaker communicates their message clearly and succinctly. We are gripped by the speaker’s call to action. We viewers leap to our feet, ready to obey. Inspired, we share the speaker’s message with others. Ah, if it were only that easy… We’ve all sat through DIY videos listening to speakers “uh” and “erm” their way along. The speaker seems lost and befuddled, wanders off into side-topics, gets distracted by the cat (or dog) that comes into the room, and completely forgets their point. Don’t be that person. Instead, follow these tips to script a memorable video.An old Toastmasters trick: memorize your opening and closing sentences. Know the major points you want to make, and let your words flow naturally as you move from open to close.
If you want to see a wide range of videos, from polished to home-made on no budget, check out Indiegogo. It’s a fundraising site for everything from start-ups to non-profits, and most projects include a video. Some are great, some are awful. Worth the look.
And stay tuned to my website. I’ve been exploring videos lately and hope to be adding some soon.
Oh, and don’t forget to lock the door to the room to keep pets out while you’re recording your memorable video.
Step 1: Grab Attention With a Powerful Title and Opening SentenceYou’ve only got a few seconds to lock in audience attention. Don’t waste this time. Hook your audience from the start. If you can’t communicate your message right away, nobody will bother watching the rest of your video. Start with a powerful title that piques curiosity, then lure viewers in with an equally powerful opening sentence. Script the opening sentence to support your headline, then polish, polish, polish.
TipsThere are lots of free tools available to help.
- Check out this article from HubSpot. Yes, it’s about email subject lines. But you can use this approach to craft great video titles.
- Use the free headline analyzer at CoSchedule.com to craft a memorable video title. (CoSchedule’s headline analyzer will also score it for search engine optimization (SEO) characteristics.) Aim for a score of at least 70.
Step 2: Close Out On a High NoteIt’s counterintuitive I know, but next, write your closing. Script a sentence or two that recaps and reinforces your message and includes a call to action. Polish until it shines. This is what people will likely remember, so it’s worth the effort.
- A call to action is the step you want your viewer to take. It may be to enroll in a class, donate to a charitable cause, or hire you. Whatever it is, make sure you clearly state that next step.
- Don’t forget to include your or your organization’s name and contact information (website, email, and/or phone number).
Step 3: Fill in With One to Three Talking PointsNow develop the body of your script. Here’s where you tell your story. Most videos are short (30-90 seconds) — just enough time to make a couple of points. You need to decide whether you want to dive into one point or skim lightly over two to three points. The more you have to say about any one topic, the fewer topics you should have. Jot down a few five or six words for each bullet point. As you write, hone your message so that it is tightly focused. If there’s a specific example you want to use, note it. Write down specific words or phrases you need to remember.
- Worried about forgetting something? Keep your notes on your smartphone or on a pad nearby and refer to them if you need to when you’re recording.
- I get asked a lot whether someone should share personal information. It depends on your audience, so you need to know who you’re talking to. For example, bankers, accountants, and lawyers may be more comfortable with bare facts. Parents might want to know a bit about you as a person before they trust you.
- A little humor can work, but it can be tricky to pull off. If you’re not a natural with humor, don’t force it. And if you are, avoid snark and irony; even with body language, it may not work. (Your audience may be listening but not watching the video.)