Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)
You WILL be doing video!
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next year (probably by next year), but you will be doing video, and sooner than you think.
- The cost of creating video has never been cheaper.
- YouTube is the second most used search engine on the planet.
- Young people like videos (if you prefer to read content over watch a video, you’re showing your age).
- Other popular social media platforms are pushing us there (both Facebook and LinkedIn now have embedded streaming video).
But before we talk about “to script, or not to script”, let me first describe how easy and cheap it is to create video these days.SEO Needs Link Building
How Easy is it to Create Video These Days?
The bare minimum stuff you need is:
- A smart phone.
- A remote Bluetooth start/stop button.
- A well-lit area (maybe outside?).
- Video editing software (I use MS Movie Maker 2.8, which is free).
- Video format conversion software (I use Handbrake, which is free).
- A YouTube channel.
And that’s about it.
You may additionally benefit from:
- A source of music, such as the YouTube audio library, which is free.
- A tripod or tripod alternative, such as the handlepod, which costs $30.
- Better video editing software, such as Adobe Premier Pro, which costs $20 a month.
- LED panel lights for indoor shooting, which can get expensive, but they’re great!
With that minimal amount of stuff, you can get started.SEO Needs Link Building
So, To Script, or Not To Script?
There is no one definitive answer to this. There are three main ways people do “scripts” in videos, and which one works best for you is something you’ll figure out through trial and error.
I personally have tried the following:
- Fully scripted where I needed to “learn my lines” to make a video.
- Write down “the main idea” and improvise from there.
- Just start the camera and wing it.
You may think of another option and if so, please let me know.
But, for me….
The advantage of a fully scripted video is you have time to really think about not only what you want to say, but also how you want to say it.
The disadvantage is that memorizing and talking from scripts is A LOT harder than I thought.
For me, fully scripting videos before shooting produced terrible videos. I found it hard to memorize even three minutes of dialog, and when I was able to, the videos sounded “stiff” and unnatural.
Write Down Main Point
Writing down the main idea and improvising from there worked well for me. While I didn’t put thought into every aspect of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, this format led to me speaking to (or perhaps through) the camera in a very natural way.
When I did a headshot video I look at the camera and talk as if I was explaining to a person.
When I did a screenshot video, I jotted bullet notes about what I wanted to show in the video, and then I simply ran through it as if I was showing it to someone through a screen share session. The only thing that deviated from an actual screen share is I find I’m very conscious of what the viewer might and might not know and I took extra care to define terms I thought the viewer might not be familiar with.
Just Winging It
The advantage is you don’t need to prepare, but the disadvantage is it shows in the video. When I tried to “just wing it” I found myself changing thoughts in mid sentence which led to rambling videos, none of which were good enough to use.SEO Needs Link Building
Once again, you will be doing video, and sooner than you think.
Creating video is now so cheap you can’t afford NOT to do it.
In terms of scripting or not, you’ll need to experiment with what works best for you.