Should your video have a script?

PM2 Media Planning Planning

You may be tempted to write a nice script to read from when presenting to camera to avoid making mistakes. But we don’t suggest you use a script at all. Here’s why.

Reading a script is really hard to do

If we met you at a business event and came to say hi, we’d just talk. There would be no real prep beforehand. Sure we might know some of the points we’d like to mention but that’s pretty much it. If we started reading from a script it would instantly sound wrong. That’s because reading from a script and making it sound natural is really hard to do. So don’t even try.

People on TV read from scripts all the time and usually use something called an auto-cue (or a teleprompter). This is a screen that sits on the camera tripod with the script on it.

Reading from an auto-cue and making it look and sound like natural speech takes a LOT of practice and some amount of talent to get right. In order for it to look natural it should be
impossible to tell if someone is reading anything at all.

Usually any speech that is delivered via auto-cue on TV is written differently so it sounds natural. We don’t write an talk in the same way. Often our language and the way we use it is different. When done well you can’t tell. When it’s done badly though – it just looks mechanical, forced and sounds even worse. Essentially it looks and sounds like you’re reading something.

Go for some rough notes

The easy way to avoid looking and sounding bad is not to even try reading from a script at all. Just resign yourself to the fact that it’s not going to happen. People will warm to you more if your delivery is natural. Just talk to the camera exactly like you’re talking to a person.

Make some notes to refer to if you lose your way and practice natural speech. By all means put in as much detail as you like but don’t write a script and don’t read one.

Your videos will look and sounds much more personal as a result.

Want to find out more?

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