Three reasons why your video should not have a script

PM2 Media Planning Planning

When you’re making a video, you may be tempted to write a nice script to read to camera so you avoid making mistakes. But we don’t suggest you use a script at all. Here are three reasons why.

1. Reading a script is really hard to do

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.

In fact the script is even written differently to begin with. We simply use language in a different way when talking vs reading so the script has to be written to say and not read. It might even be written in a style to suit the presenter’s personality.

2. You lose your personality

Start reading this out loud right now and see what happens? Does your inflection or the way you phrase things change? When we read something that’s written down it’s hard not to sound different. In fact we lose a little of our personality and begin to sound a little more robotic.

Video works best when people can get to know you a little so showing your personality is vital if you want to make a real connection with your audience. 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.

3. People know that you’re doing it

It’s a like a 6th sense when you know something is off. When something is slightly less than human we can tell. We will spot the subtle loss of personality, changes in natural speech patterns and different language. We might even be able to see their eyes moving from side to side as they scan over the words in front of them.

In short, reading from a script might seem like an easy option but you will lose so much of you in the process that the video will suffer as a result.

There is a solution however.

How to do it naturally

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. Imagine that you’re delivering a presentation, giving a talk on stage or just talking to another human being. Because essentially that’s what video is.

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.

Above all practice. With some clever editing you can make the finished product look like you’ve delivered it in one take so don’t worry if you lose your way. Anyway, a few errs and ums are part of natural speech. We all do them.

So lose the script and your videos will look and sounds much more personal as a result.

Want to find out more?

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