Have you ever heard a documentary or radio program that captured your attention from the first word? Though you were not the target, you ended up listening to the end, right?. The words and the message never seem to leave your mind. You might even end up joining an event or buying a product you had no intention because the message is so compelling. This is due to a compelling voice-over script.
The glue holding you to the end plus the secret to such a reaction to a voice-over is mostly in the script. Such a response requires a writer who can play around with words in both a seductive and hypnotizing fashion that you listen to the end. Moreover, it takes an artist to master the theatrics of words so that the message sticks to the mind.
The reality, luckily, is that normal human beings create such scripts. Fortunately, you can create one as well. However, there is a formula that professional writers have mastered over time, enabling them to produce the most captivating scripts, a class that your ears will never get tired of hearing. With these tricks, you can package your ideas and message in the most captivating fashion. Furthermore, your voice-over script will be easy to read and reenact for the artists, ensuring making it easier to deliver the message and draw the desired outcome.
While each voice-over script is unique, we will share ideas that cut across all types of scripts to elicit the best results.
Let’s start, shall we?
1. Writing the Radio Voice Over Script
Time is always a fact when writing commercial radio voice over scripts. Most of these scripts are 30 seconds or less. Even with such a limited time, you must capture your listeners; else, your message will remain noise to their ears. The listeners must also remember the message so that they can take the desired action. Hence, it requires a careful choice of words to communicate within the short time available for the ads.
A radio script should be as short as possible. The most reasonable word count is 100-110 in a minute. In such a word count, the reader will not sound like he is in a hurry to pass a message, losing the message in the process. Remember, the pace of reading must sound as natural as possible.
Having the right number of words within a minute or the duration helps listeners to capture the message. For instance, they need to remember your website, phone number, social media page, and the desired action for your brand.
When the announcement is hurried, listeners lack the time and composure to take in the (crucial) details. Your mission will have failed in this case, and you’ll lose the money spent on advertising.
From experience, the most effective ads are those that feature a conversational tone. The thundering announcements of yesteryear are tiring and monotonously synthetic. Some listeners fail to find a hook because they cannot identify with the message.
What is the solution? Prepare an ad where you talk to listeners instead of talking at them. While you write the script, imagine that you are chatting with your target audience. Your imagination is where you begin crafting a mind-blowing voice-over script.
A conversational tone makes your script natural and easier to communicate. A listener usually begins to build mental pictures because he or she can identify with the conversations. Remember to keep the sentences short and focused on the message. The 30 seconds you place, the ad will be enough to communicate the message and elicit the desired reaction.
Also, match the tone of your radio voice-over script to the subject at hand. Visualize the customer listening to your ad and imagine what would be pleasant to their ears. Each age, gender, social class, race, and other demographic group has preferred words, phrasing, and communication mannerisms. Consider such preferences when writing your script to make the message easier to deliver.
What tone or approach is going to grab the attention of your listeners within the first few seconds? Which words will the listener remember and even share with friends? Are there words that will push the target customer to make the buying decision sooner? Include these words and phrases in your script so that the script sells your products easily.
Do not forget to include a Call to Action at the end of your radio voice over script. It makes sense not just to inform the listener but to push a listener into taking the desired action through the CTA. To achieve all the above, the voice actor must have enough time with the script to internalize your desires and take appropriate action. An actor who executes a great script hurriedly will dilute its performance in the end. Such negligence does not generate the desired impact.
2. Writing an educational video voice over script
The ideas shared above still apply to the writing of a video voice over script for an educational project. However, this type of script is different because its actor has more time and does not have to hurry through the script.
While it sounds like an advantage, it may present a bigger challenge than you envisage because it gives the listener more time to abandon the ad. As such, you need an element that will capture the attention of listeners better and throughout the educational video.
Pacing is critical when scripting for an educational video. The content could be minimal but can only be shared within a specific period. Content may also be too much. However, you have to compress it within a stipulated timeframe. The purpose of producing the video and response from your target audience will determine the perfect pacing. Always remember that your target is for listeners to learn from your video. It would be best if you also considered the fact that 56% of people are visual learners when scripting for your videos.
The words and familiar images must combine perfectly to make an educational video successful. Success in matching the two elements has led to the rise of MOOCs. While at it, the concentration span of the global population is getting shorter by the day. Therefore, a dull voice, wordy script, or irrelevant images, among other factors, will distract your viewers. It is frustrating and boring for the target audience to re-watch the video because they missed something. This affects the learning experience and will especially slow them down.
Storytelling is intrinsic to human beings and will be a perfect attention grabber. Since stories are longer, the suspense will keep them glued to your video. Unlike movies whose scenes change within a minute-and-a-half, education videos may demand that the image remains on the screen for a longer period. The burden is, therefore, on the script to eliminate boredom and keep the viewer engaged.
Educational videos require a conversational yet instructional tone. Since the viewer can see images on the screen, explanations should be shorter and to the point. Use simple language considering that tough words are impossible to highlight on the screen so that the learner can look them up later. If the student struggles with a few words, the session will become boring.
Educational videos have to use jargon and technical words. As a writer, bringing to life such a script requires skills and tact. It takes a creative, experienced, and deliberate writer to make such a script engaging. Since such videos are meant for learning purposes, making it engaging will reduce the tension associated with learning. Two tricks may help you to make an educational video voice over captivating to listen to. They include:
- Use active voice instead of passive voice
- Embrace a question and answer approach to maintain curiosity in your session
Presentation experts caution against the inclusion of more than two sentences per slide. The sentences must be interrupted with some action taking place on the screen. It might sound challenging to follow such rules. However, it is important if the learners following your video will remain engaged to the end.
People should view education video voice over script like a set of reps at the gym. They are used to maintain a particular pace, the same way that the script must pace learning. The script will also determine whether a listener or learner will maintain focus on the content. Generally, the behavior of the learner and whether he or she leaves the session with something will depend on the script you have written.
The success of an e-Learning session depends on the strength of the script you write.
3. Writing a documentary voice over script
It is a rule that a documentary script should be descriptive. It helps the audience to identify the images on the screen or the sounds produced by characters in the documentary. This makes the script more reactive than proactive, a different scenario from educational voice-over scripts or commercial radio voice over script. While that is important, the choice of the right Bunny Studio Pro while recording your documentary voice over is equally important.
Documentaries ride on stories, making storytelling a key consideration when choosing a voice actor. The documentary also requires a particular voice impact that can only be provided when choosing the right actor. Remember that documentaries are lengthy and must maintain the attention of viewers. If the voice actor is not up to standard, the entire project will be a flop.
Review the footage to see the actions and characters involved. For many producers, they have an idea of how the documentary should be scripted and packaged. If you are scripting without knowledge of the documentary, it helps to begin by watching the footage.
Please pay attention to the words and actions on the screen because they enrich your documentary voice over script. Though you have a descriptive role, you hold the responsibility of enriching the viewing experience. It means that you will not be a passive viewer.
Try the question and answer method if it suits both your content and the target audience. Here is a Vsauce video highlighting how the approach can help a creator produce the most compelling script. Michael Stevens has done the video a lot of justice.
4. All great scripts are sealed with a reading
Whether you are writing an educational video voice over script, a documentary voice-over script, or a radio voice-over script, experts recommend that you read it out loud once you are done writing. You may even try to record it using local devices to see how it sounds.
A script you have written will rarely sound impressive. However, the recording part will help you establish how it sounds to the ears of the listener and whether the voice actor can execute it. The two elements contribute towards a captivating script, helping you to achieve desired goals.
Here are a couple of tricks you can use to assess the strength of your script. You may look at it as editing or finetuning; only this time, you are not reviewing its grammar.
- Perform a table read to read the script in different ways to test the most appropriate.
- Try different versions of reading, especially the way you think somebody should read and how not to read the script. It helps you eliminate elements you would not want to become a part of the script and affirm the aspects that must go into your script. Every addition to the script will be deliberate.
- Ask a question like: Is there a part that sounds slow or mundane? You are going to come across such parts. Make the necessary changes to improve the script.
- Break up any sentences that feel too long or complex. Eliminate any ambiguous sentences.
- How can contractions help to improve the feel of your script?
Voice over scriptwriting is both is a blend of science as well as an art. It requires intense practice to master the skill.
Practice the ideas shared and allow Bunny Studio Pros to bring your ideas to life. You can bank on our expertise to meet and exceed your expectations.