Write a script

For Heaven’s sake, why do we need to write a script?

When creating a video, it is advisable to work with a script. This may sound time consuming, but it will save you a lot of time during the editing process .

The idea of writing a script is that you are already think about what you will tell in the video and what story structure you will follow. By literally writing out what will be said, you can act very precisely and make sure everything you say has added value. Always keep in mind the goal of your video (see step 1).

When writing out the script, you could already think about possible text boxes, images, video material, ... that can be added later when assembling.

Here's an example of a script.

script

Tips for writing a script:

Make sure to have a powerful opener.

Give a powerful first impression. Briefly introduce yourself, which course you are teaching, to which department you are connected, etc. Also, briefly explain what you will bring in the video and what students can expect.

Keep the story short, concrete and structured.

Consider well what you will tell and in which order you will do this.

Use spoken language.

Although you may of course use specialist terminology, you better avoid archaic language in a video. Try as much as possible to tell a story the way you would do informally to a colleague or friend. Pay attention to stopgaps.

Hold the attention with stories, variation and interactivity.

Search for different ways to address your students. For example, ask a question and ask your students to pause the video for a moment to think about it. 

Repeat your core message

When needed, summarize everything at the end of your video. In principle, students should not need to watch a knowledge clip more than once.

Practice the script

Read your script out loud a few times, preferably to a colleague. This will help you to refine the script. The better you know your script, the faster the recording will go. The story will be more structured and as such come across better.

Alternatives to the script

Some teachers prefer to have something to hold on to and therefore choose to work with a teleprompter or autocue. Like for news readers, the text is played just above or below the lens of the camera during the recording, so that possible eye movement are reduced as much as possible. Without a professional teleprompter, any eye movement is often visible. This can be disturbing for the viewer.

Should you choose to work with a teleprompter, www.cueprompter.com is a useful website because you can customize the display speed of the text.

Another useful tool is working with a flip chart that lists some key words. This will help you not to lose the thread of your story during recording.

Although it is preferable to work as much as possible with one-takes, it is also possible to split a video into smaller shots or recordings. This way, you will have the time to look at your text every take before you actually start recording.