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Preparing your script

Preparing your script

When presenting to camera it may be very tempting to say you’ll do it on the spot because you’re used to presenting to people at seminars, in meetings, to potential clients and at networking events all the time. However, presenting to camera is very different from presenting to people face to face. When you’re presenting face to face your audience will often nod along and engage with you; this doesn’t happen when you’re presenting to camera.  On camera, there will be no visual or verbal reaction to what you are saying, and presenters often find this a little off-putting which leads to them starting to stumble over their words, repeating themselves, over explaining or sometimes just coming to a complete halt. This is why it’s really useful to have a script which will help you to stay focused on what you are saying, and help you give a clear message, targeted to your audience.

Before you start writing your script, think about what you’re trying to achieve from making the video and the message that you want to get across to your audience. Once this is clear, we would recommend that you then make a list of the main points that you would like to make in your video, and go from there.   However, depending on the length of the video remember that the human brain likes sets of three, so ideally three key points works perfectly and helps keep your message concise. If you have more than 3 points, perhaps you need to make more than one video?

Another thing to consider when writing your script is that people speak differently to the way that they read, and when people write scripts they often write them for written language, not spoken.   We find ourselves doing it too; recently we made a 5 part mini-series giving tips to people for presenting to camera. When we wrote and read the scripts in our heads they sounded fine, but when we came to film them we found that some bits didn’t sound quite right, so we went back into the script file and made changes to enhance the viewer’s understanding.

One way to make a script suitable for video is to use abbreviations. When people speak they tend to use shorter words which are quicker and easier to say.

Another tip is to put spaces in your script where you can stop to breathe, and pause for effect. If you’d like more information on how to prepare and deliver a script, you can watch our video ‘Tone of voice for Video & Autocue where we explain why your tone of voice matters when presenting to camera.

In addition to this, once your script is done, it’s a good idea to actually read it out loud. You could practice to yourself, you could record yourself and watch it back, or you could read it to someone and ask for their feedback.  This way you will see how it sounds and if you need to make any changes to it to make it sound more conversational, as well as check if your message is clear.

Our last tip is, if there is a teleprompter available, use it. This will save you from needing to memorize your script and help relieve that bit of pressure from you having to remember the words, helping you to relax into your presentation.

So, to round it all off we would say that it is important to use a script when presenting to camera, remember to take the time to read it, practice and make changes. When it comes to the day, if you’re presenting it in our studio and you think something doesn’t sound quite right, don’t worry, we can make the changes and try again.   That’s all part of the TakeOne TV service.


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