Whether you’re a YouTube newbie or a veteran editor, everyone gets nervous when posting a new video. You may worry about the content, whether it makes sense, or whether it’s presented in a way that will keep your viewers interested. Scripting is a great way to alleviate these worries. Even a simple script will help you keep your thoughts organized and sensible, and it will help keep you on track if you prefer to ad-lib.
Here are four simple steps by YouTuber Nick Nimmin to writing a clear, concise script that won’t break your fingers…or your brain!
1. Include an engaging hook.
It’s important to include a quick, fifteen-second hook at the very beginning of your video. Much like the first page of a book, the hook of your video needs to grab your viewers’ attention and keep it long enough for them to want to watch the rest of your video. If you don’t have a good hook, you may get the hook from your viewers!
A good example might be: “Hi everyone! I’m *insert name here* and I’m here to talk to you about *insert name of product, service, or topic here*! Let’s get started!” Very simple to do! Quick and easy is your best bet when it comes to a hook, because you will expand on that hook in your introduction or the body of your video.
2. Write a detailed introduction.
You don’t necessarily need an introduction, but many viewers like having an idea as to what your video is going to be about. A good introduction might include your name, an expansion on the hook (if applicable), and any other relevant information about the video. You might mention that the video is part of a series, and you might give a quick highlight as to what exactly you’ll be talking about in the body.
Again, many YouTubers don’t use an introduction and prefer to just jump right into the main topic, and that’s fine! Many YouTubers use a logo sting instead, where they create an animated short at the beginning that tells their viewers their name, and then they give a quick summary of what they’ll be talking about.
Here’s a video by Think Media on how to create a logo sting!
3. Write out your main topics in a list.
It’s very easy to get off-topic in a YouTube video, especially if you prefer to ad-lib. Your script should include a list of some kind to outline the main points that will go in the body of the video. How many points you have completely depends on you and the subject of your video, so this part of the script has no limit. Writing out a list of your main points also prevents you from accidentally repeating something you said earlier in the video.
It’s important to stick to your list! This will help you later when you edit, in case you want to delete a topic or move it to another spot. It’s also a good idea to write out your topics so they flow easily; this will prevent you from having to edit too much, and it will help you stay on-track without any awkward pauses.
This video by Peter Reginald has more information on how to plan out the content in your videos!
4. Include a call-to-action at the end of every video.
Depending on what your video is about, your call to action could be several different things: a “Go buy my product!” or a “Check out my service!” or even simply “Comment below with the answer to my question!” This is where you would insert your graphics and marketing links if you are selling a product or advertising a service and where you would give a few details about that product or service. Sometimes, though, a call-to-action might simply include a request for a comment and to subscribe.
A call to action could also be included at the end of your hook or the beginning of your introduction in order to help keep your viewers engaged. Asking a question and then requesting that your viewers comment below with their answers is a universal call-to-action that can be stuck anywhere in your video.
Here is a video by Paige Media with great tips on how to make a good call-to-action!
Remember, there is nothing wrong with scripting your videos, even if you like to ad-lib! It helps outline what your video is going to be about (and helps to prevent awkward pauses as you frantically try to remember what you were going to say). It helps with editing and helps you to remember to advertise your product/service if you have one! Including a good hook, a detailed introduction, outlining the main points, and including a call to action is important for a strong YouTube script. After all, it’s better to work smarter, not harder!
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Alexis is currently attending school to become an elementary school teacher. When she’s not wrestling with her cat, she enjoys reading, writing, and watching YouTube.