How to Write a Video Storytelling Script - Prue Madden

For most people, a video script is necessary. It ensures your content is presented in a focussed manner and enables you to plan the presentation of abstract concepts, in a creative way. If you want to know how to write a Video Storytelling Script that keeps your viewers engaged, then read on.

During the script writing process, you can evaluate all your ideas, identifying the best ones, and eliminating the non-essential ones. A script will serve as a guide and a source of creative inspiration. It will also prevent you from wasting valuable time and energy during production.

By writing down what you are going to say prior to filming, the most complex concepts can be well thought out and articulated in the most concise manner during production.

Scripting Tutorials & “How To” Videos

Creating a video storytelling script for how to and tutorial videos is quite simple.  Start by introducing the topic and then tell viewers what they are going to learn. Next, show the instruction. Finally, summarize what they just learned and encourage the viewer to try it themselves.

For a complete checklist for scripting your tutorials, instructional or “how to” videos, get the Video Marketing and YouTube Planner. This planner includes all of my checklists I use to create videos for myself and my clients. Inside this Planner you will find the Video Content Planning checklist for “how to” or instructional videos, which is a complete list of everything you need to check off, when planning a scripting your tutorials and instructional videos.

Video Flow

If you spend time consuming content on YouTube, you will find a lot of videos that are clearly not very well planned and consequently don’t flow well. With a well crafted video storytelling script, you can see how the ideas in the video will transpire. A video storytelling script also gives you a clear idea of the visuals that will support your ideas. The script will also create a timeline which is important for the video production.

Video Visuals

A video storytelling script is not all about words that are spoken. It is also about the visuals. Visuals tell the story as much as the narration. Preparing a script can give you the opportunity to plan out visuals for ideas that are abstract, and clearly and succinctly explaining these concepts. Pairing a well written script with visuals makes your instruction more consumable.

Building in visuals planning as part of your process to create slides and / or diagrams, will ensure that your visuals work together with your narration to deliver your message in the best format for many of your viewers – both by showing and telling.

Keep in mind that it’s not just diagrams and text that help tell a story.  Using motifs, icons and emoji can also be very effective visual communication tools. If you are trying to showcase something sad in a video, a simple thumbs down sign or a sad emoji face can pass your message across to your audience. As long as it’s on brand, this simple, widely recognised symbol can save you a lot of time and creative energy.

Something else to be aware of is that a large part of being successful at storytelling, is letting the audience figure out some things by the visuals, rather than telling then with the narration. Think of creative ways by which you can pass messages in your video through visuals alone.

Audience Attention

When writing your video storytelling script, it’s important to keep in mind the ways you can grab and maintain your audience’s attention.  Here are a few:

  • Get to the “hook” within the first 10 seconds
  • Put your full message in the first 30 seconds
  • Speak directly to your audience, not down to your audience
  • Use the right tone
  • Tell a story
  • Change the scene, subject position, and add footage to help tell the story
  • Keep your videos succinct, cut the fluff
  • Experiment with longer videos too
  • Tease with upcoming content (elude to what’s to come)
  • Ensure your content is consistent with the page on which it’s displayed on your website
  • Ensure the title, description and tags are consistent with the video content

So what are the steps involved in creating you story script?

Outline Your Goals

Before you write your video storytelling script, decide what will influence your story.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Who is my audience?
  • Why do I want to tell this story?
  • Why will my viewers care?
  • What value will this provide?
  • What’s my angle?
  • What will the key take away be for my viewers?
  • Who will be the charaters?
  • What are they striving for?
  • What is their before state?
  • What is their after state?
  • What will bring conflict?

Next you can create a list of what needs to be included in your script.

Craft a Narrative Arc

Your video storytelling script needs to follow a tried and true story arc.  A story arc builds interest and compels your audience to stay tuned to discover what happens next.

Hook them from the beginning: Use an emotional hook in your video storytelling script, an interesting experience or recount, a surprising fact, etc. Grab their attentions – you want your viewer to feel intrigued.

Focus on a single message:  Choose a single story and bring it to life as much as possible. Don’t introduce multiple themes or topics into your video storytelling script. Keep it simple so that it’s not hard to follow.

Setup and payoff: This technique involves inserting a seemingly irrelevant detail or statement early in the story, and bringing its importance to light later on in your story.

Make a Strong Call to Action

Your CTA should seamlessly tie into your story ending. Your ending should make it clear what your audience to do next…

  • Share the video?
  • Download a free product?
  • Subscribe to your newsletter?
  • Like the video?
  • Like your page?

Creating A Video Template

People like consistency. It’s comforting. They like to know what to expect, and knowing what to expect help create habit. You want your viewers to be in the habit of returning to your content. Once you’ve found a video storytelling script formula that works for your viewers, you can create a video storytelling script template that will make it easy for you to create different videos that your viewers love, and that have a consistent feel to them. If you are creating brand videos, tutorials, narrative videos or any genre of web series, you’ll find this very useful.

From large to small, brands all over the world make use of this strategy. Their videos all have the same tone and consistency. These brands and businesses make sure that all their videos have the same feel to build their brand recognition. Viewers will get the same feel no matter the video they watch, and their consistency will keep viewers comfortable and connected.

How do you write your video storytelling script? Tell me in the comments?