Media Training Worldwide

Why it is better to speak without using a script when shooting your videos

BY TJ Walker

You can save yourself massive amounts of time, energy and frustration if you don’t try to script out what you say for your talking head videos. Once you start writing a script it becomes a never ending process of writing, editing, re-writing, and revising. Even if this did help you end up with better content (sorry, but it won’t) it creates a very new specific need that you are unlikely to be able to fulfill: having Broadway actor or anchorman/women, TelePrompTer or cue card reading skills.

If you are speaking on an issue where you know a lot and you have passion, why would you want or need to write everything out in a script? Of course you could, but why would you want to? People do so because they are under the erroneous belief that they can somehow create something perfect. If only that were the case. Unfortunately, the sheer act of creating a script forces you to use skills that you are unlikely to have, namely, acting, memorizing or TelePrompTer reading skills.

People say “but TJ, I can’t remember everything I need to say, and I want to get it right, otherwise I’m not going to do it.” Fine, so does that mean if Oprah but you on her show and asked you a question about your area of expertise you would be unwilling or unable to talk for one minute?

Of course not.

 The only difference is that if you make a fool out of yourself on Oprah there is no do-ver. If you are recording your own talking head video in your own home or office you can review it after you have recorded it. If you don’t like it, just hit delete and start over.

I rarely if ever do a video in more than one take. It’s not because I am smarter or more articulate than you; it’s just that I know that doing numerous takes or trying to work off a script won’t help things most of the time and I could never justify the extra time it would take to do so.

For most people, writing a script for the ear is a very difficult thing. We are all used to writing for the eye—to be read. Consequently, when most people write a script and then read it, it sounds phony, contrived, and artificial. The solution isn’t to take speech writing classes for 6 months, but to bypass the script writing process all together and simply speak.

Think of it this way, if you favorite client called you up to ask advice on any one of 20 separate issues, you could speak coherently into the phone for a couple of minutes on each topic. Sure, you might have an occasional uh, um or “ya know.” That’s OK, you would sound conversational and believable and that’s what would make you effective in communicating to your client over the phone. That’s the same attitude and model you need to have for yourself when you are recording yourself for simple talking head videos on the Internet.

 

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